By Tarisai Machakaire
Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Potraz) director-general Gift Kallisto Machengete’s $1,4 million graft trial failed to kick off yesterday after he advised the court that he would be attending a conference in Victoria Falls.
The matter was subsequently set for March 18 and 19 for trial.
“The accused person is representing the State at a conference that is being held in Victoria Falls and for those reasons we seek to have the matter postponed,” prosecutor George Manokore said.
Machengete was appointed Potraz director-general on December 1, 2016 and it was alleged that sometime in December last year, Potraz resolved to procure CVICs, which were going to be mounted countrywide.
On February 15, Machengete, in violation of the Procurement Act approved a memo recommending sourcing of quotations for the supply of CVICs from four companies.
It was alleged that Potraz subsequently purchased 24 CVICs from B Smart Business Solutions at $70 682,95 each, totalling $1 494 104, through comparative schedule despite the fact that the value involved required competitive bidding in terms of the Procurement Act.
The court heard that Machengete, in his capacity as the chief accounting officer, signed the contract between Potraz and B Smart Business Solutions for the supply and purchase of the CVICs.
B Smart Business Solutions has since erected 20 CVICs and was paid $1 032 755,38. DailyNews