BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
A HARARE magistrate yesterday sentenced former Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) board chair Stanley Kazhanje to three years imprisonment for concealing a US$10 000 bribe he received from businessman Wicknell Chivayo’s Intratrek Zimbabwe.
Kazhanje will, however, serve one-year in jail after magistrate Hosea Mujaya conditionally suspended two years.
He was convicted after a full trial, but his sentence was deferred to allow a witness to testify on the State’s submission of aggravation.
However, the witness, who is a former ZPC board member and current Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission commissioner, Thandiwe Mlobane, turned into a hostile State witness after she told Mujaya that Kazhanje was a victim in the case.
Mlobane said she did not remember Kazhanje declaring his interests during board meetings, adding the bribery case only arose after one of the board members Noah Gwariro was suspended over Chivayo’s payment.
“Your worship, Kazhanje was a very good chairperson. He did not show any bias during our board meetings and I was surprised to hear that he had some deals with Intratrek. He never influenced anyone to pay Chivayo, actually Gwariro told us in the board meeting that he was pressured to pay him by then (Energy) minister Samuel Undenge,” Mlobane said.
“I do not blame the board for Chivayo’s payment, but the ZPC management. I blame two groups of people in Chivayo’s payment: the one that gave him US$5,2 million without a bank guarantee and the one that signed documents in relation to the work done at Gwanda project.”
“There are six people, your worship, the three that signed for payment certificate and three that signed documents that they saw boreholes drilled, fence erected and other feasibility studies whilst there was none,” Mlobane added.
Mlobane said Kazhanje was not one of the signatories.
In passing judgment, Mujaya ruled that Kazhanje failed to submit evidence of receipt of the money or the nature of work done by Terminal Engineering at Intratrek Zimbabwe.
He noted that even former Energy minister Dzikamai Mavhaire denied the claim.
But in his defence, Kazhanje had told the court that he declared his previous dealing with Intratrek to Mavhaire, his deputy and then permanent secretary.