Potraz boss temporarily gets passport back

By Staff reporter | 27 Mar 2019 at 08:04hrs
Dr Machengete
Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) director-general Gift Machengete, who is facing charges of contravening the Procurement Act, on Monday successfully applied for the temporary release of his passport to enable him to travel abroad on Government business. With the prosecution's consent, regional magistrate Mr Hosea Mujaya granted the immediate release of Machengete's passport and will have it till March 30.

Machengete, through his lawyers, Messrs Selby Hwacha and Farai Zuva, told the court that he wanted to travel abroad for a Government conference.

They produced a Cabinet authority confirming the same. Representing the prosecution, Mr Zivanai Macharaga did not oppose the application.

He said Machengete was once given his passport back and returned it, hence his previous conduct showed that he was trustworthy.

The Potraz boss recently made an application for exception and the State is expected to respond on April 2.

Mr Mujaya remanded him to April 5 for ruling. 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.

In his application for exception, Machengete seeks to have the charge quashed. He argued that he did not act unlawfully in any way, adding that the facts as alleged by the State, did not disclose how the offence was committed.

"On the face of it, the charge as read with the State outline is completely devoid of any details, particulars, facts or information as to how the accused allegedly induced or intended to induce Potraz as a procuring entity to engage in a procurement by a method that is prohibited by the Act. In the absence of anything in the charge and or outline of the State case particularising exactly how the accused allegedly induced or intended to induce Potraz to adopt the alleged prohibited procurement method, the charge is vague and embarrassing.

"It does not constitute a cognisable and certain offence to which the accused person can be asked to answer," Machengete's lawyers said.

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.



WhatsApp Newsletter

Follow us

Latest Headlines