Tendai Rupapa and Geraldine Zaranyika
FORMER Minister of Energy and Power Development Elton Mangoma, Zesa chief executive Joshua Chifamba and managing director of Zesa Enterprises Tererai Mutasa appeared in court yesterday facing fresh charges of criminal abuse of office. According to the State, the trio’s actions caused Zesa Enterprises to suffer prejudice of $850 000.
They appeared before magistrate Ms Ruramai Chitumbura, who released them on $1 000 bail each with the prosecution’s consent.
They were ordered to surrender their passports and report once a week to the police.
The trio allegedly entered into a technology transfer partnership with a South Korean company Techpro Company Limited for the manufacturing of switchgears without due process.
Five years down the line Techpro Company failed to execute the project after getting an initial payment of $850 000. The State is alleging that this happened in 2010 when Choi Young Jin of Techpro Company met Mangoma at his offices in Harare.
They signed a technology transfer partnership between Zesa Enterprises and Techpro for the manufacturing of switchgears.
Mangoma allegedly instructed Mutasa to liaise with Techpro with the view of establishing the partnership.
The court heard that Mutasa wrote to the State Procurement Board seeking advice on the procedures to be followed in such partnerships.
He was advised to proceed with Section 49 of the repealed procurement regulations act Chapter 22:14.
Mutasa was further advised to seek assistance from State Enterprises Restructuring Agency (SERA) on how to proceed.
SERA advised Mutasa to prepare a memorandum for Mangoma to submit to Inter-Ministerial Committee on Commercialisation and Privatisation of Parastatals (IMCCP) recommending the identification of a technical partner for the technological transfer through a competitive bidding process.
The State alleges that Mutasa complied with the instructions assisted by SERA officials up to a stage where the business proposal memorandum and bid documents for tender were forwarded to Mangoma for recommendation and final approval by IMCCP.
On receiving the proposal and bid documents for tender, Chifamba and Mangoma allegedly connived to bypass the approval by IMCCP and the competitive bidding process and favoured Techpro company.
It is alleged that the trio decided to apply the provisions of section 48(3) (b) and (e) and 48 (4) of the public finance and management act which required the approval of Mangoma and the Treasury.
The matter was deferred to January 29.