THE recent conviction of Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) board chair Stanley Kazhanje has exposed businessman Wicknell Chivayo who was acquitted by the High Court of charges relating to paying a bribe to the board chairperson, Zim Morning Post has learnt.
In an exclusive interview with this publication this Thursday, the ZACC chairperson Loice Matanda -Moyo said her organisation is seeking a leave to appeal since the other party (Kazhanje) has been convicted of the same charge.
“We are seeking a leave to appeal so that the acquittal is set aside,” Matanda -Moyo said.
“We are now armed with a conviction so it defies logic that one party is punished while another is left scot free yet it takes two to tango,” she said.
“When I was appointed, Chivayo had already been acquitted so we allowed the Kazhanje case to proceed until it was finalised.
“That conviction alone should be reason enough to question why Chivayo is not on trial on the same case.
“Principles of justice require that fairness in dealing with the same case be employed so we have no option but to appeal the acquittal,” she said.
Chivayo was acquitted of charges relating to the USD10 000 bribe which saw Kazhanje being convicted and slapped with a three year jail term but to serve an effective one year behind bars.
Matanda-Moyo’s revelation, therefore, leaves Chivayo’s acquittal skating on thin ice as there is room for its reversal, at law.
Kazhanje was convicted by Harare Magistrate Hosea Mujaya who found him guilty of criminal abuse of duty.
The State managed to prove its case that, on October 23 in 2015, ZPC signed an Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) of a 100 Megawatt Solar Project with Intratrek.
Kazhanje was the board chairperson.
The court heard that on /or about December 11, 2015 to January 20, 2016, ZPC paid Intratrek $1 263 154 in advance for the implementation of the Gwanda solar project.
Intratrek in turn failed to fulfil its obligation, resulting in the management suggesting termination of the contract.
On January 21, 2016 and under unclear circumstances, Kazhanje received $10 000 in his personal Barclays Bank account from Intratrek’s CBZ bank account.
In his capacity as ZPC’s board chairperson, Kazhanje presided over a meeting where it was resolved that ZPC must pay services direct to Intratrek sub-contractors instead of terminating the contract.
This resulted in ZPC paying $4 387 849 as advance payment despite the fact that Intratrek had not fulfilled its obligation.
The $10 000 deposited into Kazhanje’s account and the subsequent resolution not to terminate Intratrek’s contract gave rise to reasonable suspicion that Kazhanje was influenced by this payment to decide in favour of Intratrek.
By so doing, Kazhanje failed to declare any interests upon his appointment as the ZPC chairperson.