ZBC duo cleared of corruption charges

Senior Reporter
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) last year investigated a number of corruption cases involving high-profile figures, including Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation senior officials who were later acquitted in the courts. ZBC acting chief executive Mr Patrick Mavhura and the broadcaster’s acting head of finance and administration Benania Shumba were facing criminal abuse of office charges.

They faced another charge of potentially prejudicing ZBC of $738 900.

It was alleged they bought 35 vehicles from Croco Motors without following due process, prejudicing Government of $20 000.

Said ZBC corporate affairs secretary Ms Patricia Muchemwa yesterday: “We wish to advise that the case that ZACC investigated at ZBC pertaining to alleged irregularities in the purchase of certain motor vehicles led to the arrest of the acting chief executive officer, Mr Mavhura, and another. They then were arraigned before the courts .

“They were subsequently acquitted on the 27th of January 2017. This was reported in the media on the 1st of February 2017.”

ZACC released its 2016 report recently, which indicated that it investigated a number of high-profile figures, including Cabinet ministers and permanent secretaries.

Though their lawyers, Messrs Admire Rubaya and Oliver Marwa, Mavhura and Shumba applied for exception to the charges they were facing.

In their application for exception, the pair submitted that the charges did not disclose the offence.

“The offence applied to a special species of individuals known as public officers of which the accused do not qualify to be called public officers,” the lawyers said.

“This means that they cannot be answerable to a charge that does not exist or do not apply to them.”

The prosecutor, Ms Junior Mugebe, opposed the application saying the argument had already been determined by the remand court.

In his ruling, regional magistrate Mr Elijah Makomo said the State’s argument was not only incorrect, but misleading as a matter of fact and law.

“It is not correct that a minister appoints the board of the company, the shareholders do in terms of the Companies Act,” said Mr Ma- komo.

Mr Makomo concluded that Mavhura and Shumba were not public officers, before quashing the charges.