Witness exonerates ex-minister, suspended Zesa bosses

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

The investigation officer in the case in which former Energy minister Elton Mangoma and former Zesa bosses Joshua Chifamba and Tererai Luis Mutasa are facing charges of violating the Procurement Act, admitted in court that the power utility was not a procuring entity at the time of the signing of the deal.

Energy Mundandishe told magistrate Francis Mapfumo under cross-examination by Chifamba’s lawyer Admire Rubaya that Zesa Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd was not a procuring entity listed in the procurement regulations as of the year 2011 when the technology transfer agreement between Zent and Techpro of South Korea was signed.

Mundandishe, however, could not say if Chifamba was implementing the resolution of the Zesa board as the chief executive.

He further conceded under cross-examination that Chifamba had actually complied with the provisions of the said Public Finance and Management Act because he had notified and sought approval of the deal from the former Minister of Finance (Tendai Biti) and Mangoma.

For the prosecution, Clemence had alleged that Chifamba recommended the approval of the technology transfer agreement which was then approved by Mangoma.

Mundandishe admitted that he had not interviewed critical people from the ministries of Energy and State Enterprises and Parastatals, headed then by Gorden Moyo.

The matter was postponed to June 27 for trial continuation.

Allegations are that sometime in 2010, Choi Young of Techno Company, South Korea, met Mangoma and they agreed to enter into a technology transfer partnership between Zesa Enterprises and Techpro Company for the manufacture of switch gears.

It is alleged that Chifamba, Mutasa and Mangoma allegedly connived to by-pass the approval by the committee and the competitive bidding process to favour Techpro Company by making sure that it automatically became the partner in the technology transfer agreement.

Due to the trio’s actions, Zesa Enterprises allegedly suffered a total prejudice of $850 000 and nothing was recovered.

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