Harare – The dream of being let off the hook has been deferred for former ZANU PF legislator Psychology Maziwisa and veteran broadcaster Oscar Pambuka .
The duo’s application for discharge at the close of the State’s case has been dismissed.
Harare magistrate Lazini Ncube dismissed the application on the grounds that evidence led by the State through the ZPC witness Noah Gwariro incriminates the two.
Gwariro gave testimony to the effect that he now realised that he should not have passed the invoices for payment as it has become apparent to him that the two accused persons had no influence in the production of the news items on ZBC.
The court also ruled that all the three ZBC witnesses corroborated each other that the accused persons had no role to play in the production of the news whatsoever.
The application was for discharge at the close of the State’s case indicating that they should not have been charged in their individual capacities but that their company should have been charged alone.
Magistrate ruled that there is nothing wrong with the state charging an individual director or employee of a company.
The matter was remanded to November 1 for the defence case.
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.