By Prosper Dembedza
Former Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) chairperson Stanley Nyasha Kazhanje yesterday pleaded not guilty to charges that he concealed a personal interest in a transaction from his principal after he allegedly received a $10 000 bribe from controversial businessperson Wicknell Chivayo.
In his defence outline read by his lawyer, Advocate Silvester Hashiti, before Harare provincial magistrate Mr Hosea Mujaya, Kazhanje said he never received a bribe or inducement of whatever nature from Intratek Zimbabwe (Pvt) limited or from Chivayo.
He also denied that he was influenced or corruptly motivated to act in favour of Intratek and Chivayo in relation to the Gwanda Solar Project or any other project of whatever nature.
“A company in which he was director is the one which was engaged to conduct consultancy work for Intratek Zimbabwe prior to his involvement whatsoever in whatever capacity with ZPC,” read the defence outline. “The consultancy work was duly rendered and fees invoiced as at that stage and payment made pursuant thereto.”
Kazhanje said he never influenced any decision to sign any contract as he was working with a board of qualified and capable members of various educational and professional backgrounds who collectively made decisions and had the capacity to object if any impropriety was occasioned.
“The accused will state that he was board chairman instead and had no powers or capacity to enter into any transactions on behalf of the company,” reads the application. “He will also state that he was never involved in the award of any tender as this is the preserve of the State Procurement Board.”
Kazhanje denied that his principal was ever deceived and stated that the matter has been resolved by superior courts which found that everything was done above board.
The State led by Mr Brian Vito led its first witness, former Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development Eng Munashe Mutezo, who said he was approached by the police in connection with Kazhanje’s case.
Eng Mutezo told the court that the tender for the Gwanda Solar Project was awarded when he was no longer deputy minister.
Mutezo told the court that the Gwanda Solar Project was awarded after he was no longer deputy minister. The Herald