By Geraldine Zaranyika
Former Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) chief executive Patrick Mavhura and ex-head finance, administration and human resources manager Benenia Shumba are likely to be charged with 18 more cases involving corruption, a court heard yesterday.
This was said by the investigating officer handling the pair’s criminal abuse of office case Detective Assistant Inspector John Bvundura while testifying during the duo’s bail application at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts.
The State was opposing the application.
Det Asst Insp Bvundura said police were already seized with the 18 new cases.
“There are more cases with more values than the one which is before the court today, there are about 18 more counts,” he said.
“The cases were reported at CID Anti-corruption and investigations are still going on that is why they have not yet been included.
“They might abscond because they know they have other cases coming.”
Asst Insp Bvundura further stated that the seriousness of the offence was another ground that may force the duo to abscond trial.
“There is overwhelming evidence as there are Memorandum of Agreements signed by Mavhura as the ZBC representative,” he said.
“They also received bank statements from advertising agents.”
The prosecutor Mr George Manokore said because of the porous nature of the country’s borders, the duo was likely to abscond if the State conceded to granting of bail.
“Mavhura is also a person of influence and some of the witnesses were under his command, so if he is granted bail he will interfere with witnesses,” he said.
Through their lawyer, Brighton Mapadza, Mavhura and Shumba had indicated that they had no other pending cases as the investigating officer failed to provide evidence of such in court.
Mapadza cited that the two are of fixed abode and have families.
He said the duo was also willing to submit their passports and abide by any reporting conditions. Harare provincial magistrate Mrs Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro rolled the matter over to today for bail ruling.
Allegations are that the two siphoned more than US$340 000 in advertising revenue from the national broadcaster.
According to court papers, Mavhura bought a house in Borrowdale, vehicles and other properties.
“An advertising company Total Media was asked to make advance payments of US$75 000 and US$25 000 to an Ecobank account belonging to Mugiya and Macharaga Law chambers in exchange for advertising airtime worth US$112 500 and US$37 000 respectively,” the court papers read.
“The former ZBC boss and his accomplice again entered into another agreement with Adrenalin Advertising agent who also made an advance payment of US$100 000 in exchange for advertising airtime worth US$150 000.
“Under instruction from Shumba, Adrenalin Advertising deposited the money into Mugiya and Mucharaga law chambers’ Ecobank account.”
Mavhura and Shumba left the national broadcaster early this month following the appointment of a new board.