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Chivayo, Kazhanje bribe trial kicks off

By Nyore Madzianike

The trial of Wicknell Chivayo and his company Intratrek Zimbabwe (Pvt) Limited, along with former Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) board chairperson Stanley Kazhanje, on allegations that Intratrek paid Kazhanje a US$10 000 bribe, opened yesterday at the Harare Magistrates Court.

Wicknell Chivayo chats to his lawyers Advocate Lewis Uriri (right) and Mr Wilson Manase at the court yesterday
FILE PICTURE: Wicknell Chivayo chats to his lawyers Advocate Lewis Uriri (right) and Mr Wilson Manase at the court

Both individual accused and the company entered pleas of not guilty, with Kazhanje applying to have the charge against him dropped since he has already been convicted of hiding the transaction, which he avers was a straight-forward business payment made before he took the ZPC post, from his principle.

Chivayo and his company, represented by Advocate Lewis Uriri, denied ever transferring the US$10 000 to Kazhanje as a bribe, saying it was payment for consultancy services rendered to his firm before Kazhanje joined the ZPC board.

Adv Uri agreed Intratrek Zimbabwe did transfer US$10 000 “into the account of Stanley Kazhanje”, but said it “was made at a time prior to the said Stanley Kazhanje’s appointment as the ZPC board chair and for professional services rendered prior thereto.

“The said Stanley Kazhanje did not do anything to show favour to Intratrek Zimbabwe nor was he induced in any manner whatsoever whether as alleged or at all.”

Kazhanje, represented by Advocate Tawanda Nyamakura, denied the charges, saying he was once convicted on the same payment and applied that the charges be dismissed.

Adv Nyamakura said Kazhanje was convicted on charges of concealing a transaction from a principal, which has a competent verdict for bribery allegations and would be double jeopardy if tried on same allegations.

“It follows that in the original trial, the third accused (Kazhanje) was in jeopardy of conviction of bribery as a charge that is alternative verdict by operation of law,” said Mr Adv Nyamakura.

“The charges arise from a single transaction between the third and first accused in 2016.

“The evidence that proves the one is the same that proves the other. There is nothing new that the State subsequently discovered that could warrant a new charge.”

Kazhanje said trying him on the current charge was in violation of his right to be tried twice on same facts.

He denied the allegations, saying he did consultation work for Intratrek Zimbabwe in 2014 before his appointment as ZPC board chairperson in a tender project for Terminal Engineers, which he said was not successful.

Kazhanje said he was entitled to payment for the services rendered to Chivayo’s company and the money was deposited into his personal account.

He denied that he tried to influence ZPC to make a favourable decision for Chivayo and his company.

Mr Brian Vito, appearing for the State, is expected to reply to Kazhanje’s application for dismissal of the charges.

Regional magistrate Mr Ngoni Nduna presided. The Herald