Potraz boss wants charges dropped

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

FRUSTRATED Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) director-general Gift Machengete is demanding that charges filed against him be dropped as the State struggles to commence trial.

Machengete appeared in court yesterday, but the trial could not kick off because the prosecutor and witnesses in the matter were in no-show, prompting his lawyer Selby Hwacha, to file an objection and application for exception levelled against him.

Hwacha also made the move after the State, in a new twist, abandoned the main charge of criminal abuse of office in favour of a charge in which he is accused of inducing a procuring entity to procure goods using a method that is prohibited by the Act.

In his application for exception, Machengete is contesting the validity of the charge on grounds that the facts do not disclose how he induced or intended to induce Potraz as a procuring entity to engage in a procurement method that is prohibited by the Act.

In his application, the Potraz boss said in the absence of facts alleging inducement to adopt the alleged prohibited procurement method, the charge is vague and embarrassing. He further said it was not legally tenable for an accused person to plead to a charge in which there was no averment as to how
he allegedly committed the offence. Magistrate Hosea Mujaya postponed the matter to March 25.

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