Home » Health Services » Muchechetere Seeks Acquittal in Fraud Rap

DISGRACED ZBC chief executive officer, Happison Muchechetere, on Tuesday filed for an exception the fraud charges he faces in a development that could lead to his acquittal if upheld.

Facing jail for fraud, abuse of office and flouting tender procedures in connection with the acquisition of an outside broadcast van (OB Van) for the public broadcaster, Muchechetere however argues that the law under which he was charged is constitutionally invalid.

Representing the ex-ZBC chief, Aocate Thabani Mpofu assisted by legal firm Dube, Manikai and Hwacha asked magistrate Aidonia Masawi to grant the exception order because the State case was defective beyond redemption.

“The accused person takes the point that the legislation under which he is charged is constitutionally invalid and no valid proceedings can depend thereon. The charge names an entity which does not exist by operation of law.

“The State ought to have done its home-work before rushing to prefer a charge. The provisions of the law are at variance with the allegation made,” Mpofu argued.

Muchechetere’s legal counsel said the State’s case was “incurably defective and the exception must be upheld by the court”.

“Upon the upholding of the exception, the accused person is accordingly entitled to his acquittal.

“The court is urged to make determination that section 35 of the Regulations is constitutionally invalid for being ultra vires and for failing to meet the standards of what a law ought to be,” he said.

The suspended ZBC boss is accused of purchasing the OB van from China National Instruments Imports and Exports Corporation for $1 050 000, without going to tender thereby violating the State Procurement Act.

It is alleged that sometime in January 2013, Muchechetere, without the knowledge of the former board then led by Cuthbert Dube, concluded a deal for the purchase of the equipment.

China National Instruments Imports and Exports Corporation then delivered the equipment in August the same year.

The alleged scam was unearthed following revelations that Muchechetere was earning some $44,000 as salary after which a forensic audit whose results are due anytime this months was ordered.

Muchechetere and part of his executive were suspended while the Dube’s board was dissolved. The former ZBC chief was bailed pending finalisation of the case.

Source : New Zimbabwe