By Tendai Rupapa
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation’s (ZBC) bulletin manager Mr Moses Charedzera yesterday testified against zanu-pf Highfield West National Assembly representative Psychology Maziwisa and former ZBC News anchor Oscar Pambuka in a case in which the pair is accused of duping the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) of over $12 000 after claiming to have done publicity work.
Mr Charedzera said the publicity work Maziwisa and Pambuka claimed to have done was in fact, news stories carried out by ZBC in its bulletins. He said some of the advertorial work, which the pair claimed to have aired on behalf of ZPC before billing the power company were non-existent.
Mr Charedzera said what the pair did was inappropriate.
Maziwisa and Pambuka, who are the directors of Fruitful Communications, appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Lazini Ncube facing fraud charges.
It is alleged that sometime in 2016, Maziwisa and Pambuka took a letter to ZPC from former Energy and Power Development Minister Samuel Undenge directing the firm to work with Fruitful Communications at intervals of six months.
Undenge was last Friday jailed for an effective two-and-a-half years for abuse of office after he hand-picked Fruitful Communications to do work for ZPC.
It is alleged that on February 12, Fruitful Communications hosted a Zim-Asset conference at Meikles Hotel, where Undenge was the guest of honour.
ZBC covered the event, but on March 8, Maziwisa and Pambuka, with the intention of defrauding the company, brought an invoice of $12 650 to ZPC.
They allegedly claimed that they had done a Press conference on power projects in Kariba, Hwange and Batoka.
They also claimed to have done stories for news bulletins aired on Power FM, Radio Zimbabwe and National FM and media watch programme on “Kariba water levels”.
Mr Charedzera told the court that no such topic was aired on the programme.
“There was never a media watch programme on Kariba water levels on February 22,” he said.
“The programme which was produced and aired by ZBC on the said date featured Maziwisa as a guest talking about the 21st February Movement.”
Maziwisa and Pambuka alleged they had done Zim-Asset conference radio interviews on National FM and another Powertalk session on energy and infrastructural development before sending a bill to ZPC.
Acting on the misrepresentation, ZPC paid the money.
Mr Charedzera castigated Maziwisa and Pambuka’s actions, saying what they did was improper.
The case continues on August 7.
Mr Michael Reza appeared for the State, while Mr Jonathan Samukange acted on behalf of the pair. The Herald