Fungai Lupande Senior Court Reporter
Highfield National Assembly representative Cde Psychology Maziwisa and former ZBC News anchor Oscar Pambuka appeared in court yesterday accused of duping the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) of over $12 000 after claiming to have done publicity work.
A Harare court heard that the publicity work Maziwisa and Pambuka claimed to have done during a Zim-Asset conference in February 2016 was in fact carried out by the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC).
The pair appeared before Harare magistrate Ms Rumbidzai Mugwagwa facing two counts of fraud. They were remanded to January 30 on $300 bail each. As part of their bail conditions, Maziwisa and Pambuka were ordered to surrender their passports, reside at their respective addresses and not to interfere with State witnesses.
The complainant is ZPC represented by its managing director, Mr Noah Gwariro. The court heard that Maziwisa is the director of Fruitful Communications, while Pambuka is the media executive. Prosecuting, Ms Linda Gadzikwa alleged sometime in 2016 Maziwisa and Pambuka brought a letter to the Zimbabwe Power Company from former Minister of Energy and Power Development, Mr Samuel Undenge.
The letter directed the Zimbabwe Power Company to work with Fruitful Communications at intervals of six months. It is alleged that in January 2016, the accused entered into a verbal agreement with ZPC to do its publicity work. During the agreement, ZPC was represented by Mr Gwariro and public relations executive, Ms Fadzai Chisveto.
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 an intention to defraud the company, brought an invoice of $12 650 to ZPC.
They allegedly claimed that they had done the Zim-Asset media campaign and press conference on power projects in Kariba, Hwange and Batoka. They also claimed to have done news bulletins at Power FM, Radio Zimbabwe and National FM and a “Powertalk” programme on Power FM. The pair also alleged they had done Zim-Asset conference radio interviews on National FM and another Powertalk session on energy and infrastructural development. Acting on the misrepresentation, ZPC paid the money.