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More Confusion At Court: State Changes Its Charges Against POTRAZ Director General, Trial Postponed Again

There’s a new twist in the case of POTRAZ’s Director General, Gift Machengete. Earlier today, his trial was postponed again after the prosecutor team and witnesses failed to attend court.

Well, the two parties again failed to show up at 11:30 when the trial should have commenced.  Instead, the plaintiff, which is the state, just sent a note asking the court to postpone the trial to the 25th of March, next week Monday.

Interestingly, that notice was accompanied by a change of charges that are being leveled to Dr. Machengete by the state. Inititialy the Director-General was charged with criminal abuse of office in term of the Procumennet Act, but now those charges have been dropped. Now he’s being charged for just contravening the Procurement Act but not the criminal abuse of office anymore.

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Accordingly, the Director-General was served with new papers stating these new charges. However, the Director General’s lawyer, in turn, filed an objection to these new charges on the pretext that the charges don’t point out how the offense was committed. Although, the state’s case is saying that Dr. Manchengete prompted POTRAZ to use a method (he’s alleged to have used the quotation method instead of the tender method) which contravened the Procurement Act, Dr Machengete lawyers are saying that there’s no evidence that their client had any hand in influencing POTRAZ to adopt the illegal method.

There’s too much twist and turns in the state’s position, one wonders if it really has a case against the POTRAZ Boss. Anyhow, let’s wait and see next week when the trial commences. Hopefully, it will.


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