Ruling On Machengete Put On Ice

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Magistrate Hosiah Mujaya was once again breathing fire over hearing on an exception application by Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) director-general Gift Machengete who is being charged for violating tender procedures, as state failed to pitch up.

State asked for a fourth postponement on Friday last week.

Harare magistrate Hosiah Mujaya, was agitated as special unit prosecutor Thabani Mpofu allegedly failed to attend court again on illness.

The magistrate was furious as state was fully aware that ruling was set on the day, and demanded that if the State failed to respond to the exception application by April 9, he will proceed to make a ruling on the request.

The magistrate said if the State felt it had no case against Machengete, it should simply own up.

Mr Mujaya said the situation has now become “chaotic”.

Why treating my court like a Chief Chinamhora type, What is this chaos,
each time the court sits for the matter, the defence would go out of its way trying to call the prosecutor

However, Machengete successfully applied for relaxation of his bail conditions. He temporarily got his passport back to enable him to travel. He is currently in Switzerland on Government business.

Machengete, who was reporting to the police once a week, had the condition permanently scrapped by the court.

When he initially appeared in court, Machengete was charged with criminal abuse of office or alternatively “inducing a procuring entity to engage in procurement by a method that is prohibited by the Act of public procurement and disposal of public asset regulations”.

The prosecution abandoned the main charge and pursued the alternative charge of contravening the Procurement Act.

It is the State’s case that Machengete caused Potraz to purchase 24 containerised village information centres from Smart Building Solutions Ltd for $1 494 104,33 by way of quotations, instead of the competitive bidding method as required by the Act.

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