Sir Wicknell bribery trial commences

A WITNESS in the trial of Wicknell Chivhayo yesterday told the court that the US$10 000 payment made by the Intratrek Zimbabwe boss to Zimbabwe Power Company board chairperson Stanley Kazhanje was above board.

Chivhayo is being accused of bribing Kazhanje in order to clinch the US$5 million Gwanda solar project tender in 2016 ahead of other bidders.

A witness, Isaac Farai Mupotsa, told Harare magistrate Ngoni Nduna that the payment to Kazhanje was normal.

Mupotsa was responding to questions from State prosecutor Cecilia Mashingaidze who had asked him to explain if it was the norm for the power utility to pay contractors using their personal bank accounts instead of company accounts.

His response was that during the time he was contracted to Zesa, they would hand over their personal bank accounts for payment to evade tax.

Chivhayo’s defence led by advocate Silvester Hashiti and Tawona Nyamakura also asked Mupotsa to explain if it was normal to receive payments through personal accounts after rendering services.

The State had alleged that Chivhayo bribed Kazhanje with US$10 000 to get the contract, but Chivhayo defended the move, saying that it was money paid for services rendered before Kazhanje became Zesa chairperson.

Kazhanje was, however, convicted of concealing the transaction from Zesa, but he was acquitted for receiving a bribe from Intratrek.

But Chivhayo and his company are now being accused of bribing Kazhanje.

The trial was postponed to today after Nduna indicated that he had an appointment with a doctor.

Chivhayo denied depositing the US$10 000 in Kazhanje’s account, but said it was Intratrek as a company which did so.

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