Tich Mataz taken off air

HARARE-The embattled Zanu PF celebrity radio and television personality Tichafa Matambabanadzo aka Tich Mataz was Wednesday “struck off” the Power FM duty roster until his court case is finalized on March 31.

The veteran broadcaster, who was supposed to take up his 3 pm – 6 pm shift was replaced by Kudzie Marudza. Before his court case, Matambanadzo was a regular on the drive time shift and also stood in for DJ Munya on the Power Breakfast Show.

The station said that “it was merely protecting its image adding that Tich Mataz has not been fired”.
Matazz and business partner Dr Raymond Chamba is alleged to have swindled the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe  Zd 150,140 (about USd 1 300).

The prominent radio and television presenter was released on USd 500 bail late on Monday with stringent conditions.

Mataz was brought before a Harare magistrate on Monday, and his lawyer Wellington Pasipanodya indicated that he intended to repay the money he received from the bank through his company, Subverted Solutions.

Prosecutors say Mataz and Chamba, through their company in which they are directors, were engaged by the Reserve Bank to supply 1,551 food hampers under the controversial BACOSSI scheme on November 3 last year.

The RBZ paid for the order through a cash deposit. But on November 6, only three days later, the RBZ’s head of procurement and stores, Howard Sithole, personally went to the company’s premises and cancelled the order.

Police say that Mataz and Chamba went on to withdraw the money using cheques. Efforts by the RBZ to get the money back had been frustrated until police were asked to step in.

The two are being charged under section 113 chapter 9.23 of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act.