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Ex-Zesa boss Chifamba in court

Former Zesa Holdings chief executive Josh Chifamba and two other senior officials who were arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) on allegations of appointing a city law firm as debt collectors without board approval, were yesterday granted $10 000 bail each.

Former ZESA chief executive Josh Chifamba arrives at the Harare Magistrates Court yesterday. — Picture: Lee Maidza
Former ZESA chief executive Josh Chifamba arrives at the Harare Magistrates Court yesterday. — Picture: Lee Maidza

The legal arrangement resulted in the power utility being prejudiced of over US$3 million.

Chifamba, company secretary Saidi Sangula and corporate manager (group legal officer) Garikai Murambiwa Churu appeared before Harare Magistrate Mr Trynois Utahwashe yesterday.

He remanded them to August 20.

They are facing charges of criminal abuse of office by a public officer.

The three were ordered not to interfere with State witnesses, to report once every Friday at their nearest police stations, to reside at their given addresses and to surrender their travel documents.

Mr George Manokore prosecuted.

The complainant in the case is Zesa Holdings, represented by executive chairman, Dr Sydney Gata.

According to the State, sometime at the end of December 2015, the three engaged Chihambakwe, Mutizwa and Partners law firm for debt collection services for Zesa’s distribution arm, Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), without a board resolution giving approval.

It is alleged that in January 2016, Chihambakwe, Mutizwa and Partners started debt collection for ZETDC and on May 31, 2016, the law firm received US$5 000 as a debt collection disbursement from Zesa.

The court heard that when Chihambakwe, Mutizwa and Partners started collecting the debts, they had no valid contracts and in a bid to rectify this, the accused connived to regularise the engagement of the firm by later signing a contract on June 3, 2016, again without a board resolution giving the necessary approval.

This was allegedly done to authorise the awarding of the contract, thereby showing favour to the law firm.

It is further alleged that no board resolution was ever passed to authorise the engagement of Chihambakwe, Mutizwa and Partners for the services it rendered throughout the term of service of the board.

From January 2016 to December 2019, the law firm is alleged to have received US$3 098 248 as commission for the services.

Chifamba was represented by Mr Admire Rubaya while Advocate Sylvester Hashiti represented Sangula.

Advocate Garikai Sithole and Mr Farai Nyamayaro represented Churu. The Herald

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