Harare – Former Zanu-PF Highfield West National Assembly representative Psychology Maziwisa and former Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) news anchor Oscar Pambuka have filed an application for discharge at the close of the State case.
The pair through their lawyer Mr Jonathan Samukange made an application arguing that they did not commit an offence adding that there was no misrepresentation proved by the State hence the application for discharge.
In response, the State led by prosecutor Michael Reza maintained that the pair have a case to answer and should be put to their defence.
“The crime of fraud is a crime of intention. It also needs to be proved that the other person to whom the misrepresentation was made acted on the basis of the misrepresentation to his prejudice,” he said.
“By their own admission in their application for discharge, the accused persons acknowledge that the ZPC officials still believe to this day that the accused persons did their work that is to say they caused ZBC to publish news items in respect of ZPC.
“The State believes and tenders before the court that it has made out a prima-facie case against the two accused persons and that their application be dismissed and that they be put to their defence.”
Harare magistrate Mr Lazini Ncube is set to rule on the application tomorrow.
It is alleged that sometime in 2016, Maziwisa and Pambuka took a letter to ZPC from former Energy and Power Development Minister Samuel Undenge directing the firm to work with Fruitful Communications at intervals of six months.
Undenge was jailed for an effective two-and-a-half years for abuse of office after he hand-picked Fruitful Communications to do work for ZPC. He is currently on bail pending appeal.
It is alleged that on February 12, Fruitful Communications hosted a Zim-Asset conference at Meikles Hotel, where Undenge was the guest of honour.
ZBC covered the event, but on March 8, Maziwisa and Pambuka, with the intention of defrauding the company, brought an invoice of $12 650 to ZPC.
They allegedly claimed that they had done a Press conference on power projects in Kariba, Hwange and Batoka.
They also claimed to have done stories for news bulletins aired on Power FM, Radio Zimbabwe and National FM and media watch programme on “Kariba water levels”.
Maziwisa and Pambuka alleged they had done Zim-Asset conference radio interviews on National FM and another Powertalk session on energy and infrastructural development before sending a bill to ZPC.
Acting on the misrepresentation, ZPC paid the money.