Former ZBC acting chief executive Wisdom Hombarume who was arrested last Friday on fraud, criminal abuse of office and smuggling involving over US$6 700, appeared in court over the weekend and was granted $5 000 bail.
Hombarume (48) appeared before Harare Regional Magistrate Ms Bianca Makwande who remanded him to August 27.
Ms Constance Ngombengombe prosecuted. The complainant in the case is the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, represented by Secretary Mr Nick Mangwana.
It is alleged that on January 27 this year, Mr Mangwana received an application letter for Cabinet authority from Hombarume to proceed to Maun, Botswana.
Mr Mangwana advised Hombarume to attend a SADC TV channel and post DDT Migration workshop by virtue of ZBC’s membership of Southern African Broadcasting Association (SABA).
The workshop was held from February 10 to 14. On February 7, it is alleged that an amount of US$6 730 was transferred from ZBC Nostro account into Hombarume’s Nostro account, while an air ticket worth US$1 244 was bought for him.
Between February 8 and 15, Hombarume is alleged to have not gone to Botswana and did not report to work.
The court heard that during the alleged visit, Hombarume misrepresented facts to Mr Mangwana that he was attending the Maun workshop yet ZBC was not represented.
The offence was discovered when Mr Mangwana called for investigations into foreign trips done by ZBC staff and a special committee headed by Ambassador Thomas Bvuma discovered the offence.
It is alleged that by misrepresenting that he was representing ZBC at the workshop in Botswana and converting the money for the trip to personal use, Hombarume failed to protect the interests of the national broadcaster as the then accounting officer.
ZBC suffered a prejudice of US$6 730.
On the second count, on February 19, Hombarume, Gilbert Nyambabvu and Tapiwa Masikati Mudzamba went to South Africa where they attended a workshop with officials from Star Times and MultiChoice.
It is alleged that during their stay, Hombarume unlawfully made a payment of US$1 050 to Nyambabvu and US$550 to Mudzamba as their travel and subsistence allowance, which was to be given back to him.
On February 21, Hombarume acted contrary and inconsistent to his duties as a public officer and unlawfully and without following the proper procedures, purchased a lapel microphone kit worth over US$393,31 from Timbre Broadcast Systems and a hard luggage carry case worth US$318,59 from Moda Luggage and Leather, South Africa.
On arrival in Zimbabwe, Hombarume, is alleged to have instructed the equipment to be included in the stores records without any documentation.
On the third count, Hombarume arrived at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport from South Africa where he is alleged to have smuggled the lapel microphone kit and the hard luggage.
As a result of his actions, Zimra was prejudiced of $15 623,27 for the microphone kit and US$235,05 for the hard luggage case.