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The Harare man who is accused of stealing $50 000 from Air Force of Zimbabwe Commander Air Marshal Perrance Shiri in a botched solar power system deal at his farm, has been sending emissaries to persuade the Air Marshal to withdraw the matter and have an out-of-court settlement, the court heard yesterday.

Air Marshal Shiri revealed this while testifying during the trial of Brian Tarisai Kambasha, which commenced yesterday before Harare magistrate Mr Milton Serima.

Kambasha is being charged with theft of trust property in his own capacity while the second accused is his company, Hemmingworth Cartwright (Pvt) Ltd.

While giving his evidence-in-chief led by prosecutor Mr George Manokore, with the assistance of Miss Sharon Mashavira, Air Marshal Shiri said Kambasha approached him and proposed a solar power pilot project at his Hopedale Farm in Bindura.

“He indicated that the project had three stages and I agreed to have the first stage of the project installed at the farm at a cost of $50 125 since I was having electricity problems there.

“For the whole project of 600 kilo volts (KVA) I was charged $250 625 and the $50 125 I paid was for 100 KVA,” he said.

He added, “We agreed that 100 KVA be installed first which I wanted to monitor before he finished the project and I paid the $50 125 which he requested.”

Air Marshal Shiri said that instead of finishing the first stage as per their written agreement, Kambasha, who said that he was representing his United Kingdom parent company, only mounted metal poles and disappeared.

“He later came back to me after some time requesting for more money saying that the $50 000 was not enough to finish the stage but I refused and told him that I was sticking to our agreement that he finishes the first stage with the money I had given him.

“I think he even used less than $3 000 on those poles.

“He kept giving excuses and after a year I reminded him that I wanted my job done. He did not do anything ndipo pandakabva ndatoona kuti mari yangu yayenda naZambezi uye zvisimbi zvaakaisa ungati zvakangonhongwa muroad,” he said.

During cross-examination Kambasha’s lawyer Mr Tazorora Musarurwa, said that his client did not commit a criminal offence as it was just a breach of contract.

He further accused Air Marshal Shiri of abusing his position as the Air Force of Zimbabwe Commander and brought Kambasha to a criminal court.

In response Air Marshal Shiri said, “I have so many powers and if I wanted to abuse them dai ndisina kumbouya kuno dai ndakangoti vakomana vangu masoja batai munhu uyo, but I decided not to take the law into my own hands.

“How can you also say that it is not a criminal offence for example ndikayenda kugarage kunotenga mota ndonzi irikuda $20 000 ndoibhadhara then the next day vekugarage vaye vondiigira wheel spanner nejega (jack) ndonzi mota tichazounza, mari yangu inenge isina kurohwa here apa?” he said leaving the gallery in stitches.

The matter was remanded to February 27 for continuation of trial.

Source : The Herald

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