BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Former Zimbabwe Power Company chairperson Stanley Nyasha Kazhanje yesterday denied allegations that he received a $10 000 bribe so that he does not cancel a 100 megawatt Gwanda solar panel station project tender won by Intratrek Zimbabwe.
Kazhanje, who appeared before magistrate Hosea Mujaya, however, said a company in which he was a director had carried out some consultancy work for Intratrek Zimbabwe, fronted by flamboyant businessman Wicknell Chivayo, prior to his appointment to the ZPC board.
But he claimed he did not influence decision-making as far as Intratrek was concerned because the ZPC board had “qualified and capable members of various educational and professional backgrounds”.
State witness, former Energy deputy minister Munacho Mutezo also said Kazhanje was an engineer who does consultancy work for various clients and as ministry they did not know his clientele.
Mutezo told the court that he was not sure if Kazhanje disclosed his personal interests in the project when he was appointed chairperson and did not know when he started doing consultancy work for Intratrek Zimbabwe.
The matter was adjourned to late yesterday to allow the defence team, led by advocate Silvester Hashiti and Garikai Mhishi, to peruse through minutes of the meeting that Kazhanje is alleged to have disclosed his interests.
Allegations are that on October 23, 2015, Kazhanje signed an engineering procurement and construction of a 100 megawatt solar panel station project with Intratrek Zimbabwe.
It is alleged that Kazhanje, during the engagement, failed to declare his interests. It is the State’s case that during the period December 11 to January 20, 2016, ZPC made advance payments of $1 236 154 to Intratrek for the implementation of the project. However, Intratrek did not fulfil its obligation and this resulted in ZPC management suggesting termination of the contract.
The State alleges that on January 21, 2016 under unclear circumstances Kazhanje received $10 000 into his Barclays Bank personal account from Intratrek CBZ Bank account.
Kazhanje in his capacity as ZPC chairperson presided over a meeting in which it was resolved that ZPC must pay services direct to Intratrek sub-contractors instead of terminating the contract.
It is further alleged that this resulted in ZPC paying $4 387 849 as advance payment despite the fact that Intratrek had not fulfilled its obligation.
It is the State’s case that the $10 000 deposit and the subsequent resolution not to terminate Intratrek’s contract gave rise to reasonable suspicion that Kazhanje was influenced by this payment to decide in favour of Intratrek.