Chivayo remains in remand prison

Sharon Munjenjema
Businessman Wicknell Chivayo remains in remand prison after his bail application was moved to tomorrow as Harare provincial Magistrate Mr Elisha Singano said he needed more time to evaluate facts presented by the State and defence counsels.

Chivayo was arrested on Thursday and appeared in court yesterday morning for continuation of his bail application following his first appearance on Friday.

The businessman faces fraud charges, contravening sections of the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act and the Exchange Control Act.

Mr Michael Reza, the lead prosecutor, represented the State together with Mr Zivanai Macharaga and Ms Venranda Munyoro.

It is the State’s case that Chivayo’s company, Intratek Zimbabwe, was fraudulently awarded the Gwanda solar power plant tender worth $5 607 814,24 by the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) following a directive from former Energy and Power Development Minister Samuel Undenge.

It is alleged that the accused received the money from Government but converted it to personal use.

The State opposed bail on the basis that Chivayo is a flight risk.

Mr Reza said granting bail to the accused would not be in the interest of justice.

The State claims that when Chivayo flew into the country from the United States on July 29, he was fully aware that the police wanted him for questioning but did not bother turning himself in.

A State witness who is also the investigating officer on Chivayo’s case, Assistant Inspector Benjamin Nyahema confirmed that the accused never made any attempts to surrender himself to the police.

“There were almost 10 police stations (from the Robert Mugabe International Airport to his house) but did he attempt to surrender at any one of them?” said Mr Reza.

Advocate Lewis Uriri, representing the accused, insisted that Chivayo was not aware that the police were looking for him.

But on July 31, Chivayo’s personal lawyer, Mr Wilson Manase wrote to the acting Prosecutor General Kumbirai Hodzi, enquiring about the State’s position on Chivayo.

After being called to the witness stand, Mr Manase claimed he had only written the letter to clarify the State’s position after reading in the Press that Chivayo was wanted by the police.

Chivayo was arrested at the Robert Mugabe International Airport on his way to South Africa two days after the letter was sent to the acting PG.

In defence, Advocate Uriri said the accused had no intention of running away since he had a return ticket.

The State pointed out that possession of a return ticket is no absolute proof that a person travelling has intention to come back.

Chivayo’s trial is scheduled for the 27th to the 29 of this month.

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