By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC)’s technical services director, Wisdom Hombarume appeared before the Magistrates Court on Monday facing allegations of smuggling the public broadcaster’s equipment from South Africa into Zimbabwe.
Investigations by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) concluded that the equipment in store had no records of duty payment yet they were bought in South Africa by Hombarume during his time as acting Chief executive officer of the State Broadcaster.
Hombarume is accused of breaking procurement procedures by purchasing a microphone kit worth US$393 and luggage case worth US$318 which was to be included into ZBC stores without documentation and allegedly prejudiced ZIMRA over $15 000 in duty.
He was remanded out of custody to August 27 on $5 000 bail by Magistrate Bianca Makwande.
On separate allegations, Prosecutor Constance Ngombengombe who appeared for the state argued that on January 27 this year, Hombarume sought cabinet approval to attend a workshop in Botswana which was to run from February 10 to 14.
US$6 750 was transferred into his nostro bank account and an air ticket of US$1 244 was bought for him.
The state added that between February 8 and 15, Hombarume did not report for work purporting to have been in Botswana yet he was not there and he allegedly converted the money to his own use and did not return it to ZBC.
The court heard that the offence came to light when Information Ministry permanent secretary Nick Mangwana called for an investigation of foreign trips by ZBC staff and a special committee setup discovered that he never went to Botswana.
Ngombengombe also argued that on February 19, Hombarume went to South Africa together with Gilbert Nyambabvu and Tapiwa Masikati Munzamba for a workshop.
Hombarume allegedly paid them US$1 050 and US$550 respectively, which was to be paid back to him which the state alleged was unlawful and contrary to his duties. Nehanda Radio