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Ex-ZPC board chairman freed on bail

by Staff reporter
03 Oct 2019 at 07:17hrs | Views
Former Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) board chairman Stanley Kazhanje has been granted $1 000 bail pending appeal against both conviction and sentence for allegedly concealing a US$10 000 payment he received from Intratrek Zimbabwe chief executive Wicknell Chivayo, before the court imposed an effective one-year jail term.

Kazhanje, who is appealing against both conviction and sentence, at the High Court applied for bail pending appeal at the same court. Justice Amy Tsanga granted the application for bail by Kazhanje saying his prospects of success on appeal were high.

Through his lawyer, Advocate Sylvester Hashiti, Kazhanje argued that he was optimistic that he will succeed on appeal against the lower court's decision, justifying the granting of bail.

His grounds of appeal ranged from challenging the onus which he said was wrongly placed on him to prove his defence, the correctness of the charge and the finding that he had not disclosed his personal interest in the Gwanda solar project transaction. But the State, which was listed as the respondent, vehemently opposed Kazhanje's application.

It argued that the trial court did not misdirect itself as the evidence was overwhelming that there had been no disclosure. But in her ruling, Justice Tsanga noted that Kazhanje may not have disclosed his past relations with Intratrek but it could not have said on the basis of facts that were argued, he had an interest in the transaction, being the Gwanda solar project.

"Strictly speaking, there was no evidence placed before the court a quo that he had a personal interest in the Gwanda solar project," she said.

"The prospects of success on conviction are, in my view, therefore, not manifestly doomed to failure. If there is a possibility of conviction being set  aside, it stands to reason that so will sentence."

It is the State's case that on October 23 2015, Kazhanje signed an engineering, procurement and construction contract of a 100 megawatt solar power station project, in which he received US$10 000 from Intratrek under unclear circumstances.

The trial court also heard that because of Kazhanje's actions, ZPC paid over $4 million to Intratrek as advance payment, despite the company failing to meet the terms of the contract.

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Source - the herald