The trial of businessman Wicknell Chivayo, accused of swindling the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) of $5,6 million is set to resume in two weeks following the Supreme Court ruling on Monday, overturning his acquittal at the High Court.
The Special Anti-Corruption Unit (sacu) welcomed the ruling and now seeks to implement the decision without delay.
In a statement yesterday, sacu welcomed the Supreme Court ruling and made it clear that it would implement the court’s decision to the best of its ability.
However, the anti-corruption unit said it was aware of statements circulating within the public domain suggesting that criminal charges against Chivayo and his company are to be discontinued.
“These sentiments do not represent true facts as they stand. sacu is proceeding with prosecution of the accused person as has been directed by the Supreme Court,” said sacu, adding that the proceedings, which were halted by the High Court in March last year, would resume within a fortnight.
When the proceedings were stopped, one witness had already taken to the stand. “A number of witnesses will now be called to testify in this case,” said sacu, warning that any interference with the witnesses either directly or indirectly would be dealt with in terms of the law.
The resumption of Chivayo’s trial follows the National Prosecuting Authority appeal against the decision of the High Court absolving the businessman and his company of any criminal liability in the botched multi-million dollar deal with the power company.
Justice Owen Tagu had upheld Chivayo’s application for review of the trial court decision, rejecting his application for exception to the charges.
The National Prosecuting Authority took the matter up to the Supreme Court on appeal and successfully quashed the decision of the High Court.
Justice Makarau ruled that the High Court erred in interfering with the unterminated criminal proceedings before the trial magistrate Mr Lazini Ncube and ruled that the fraud trial could now proceed.
Chivayo was facing three counts of fraud when the High Court cleared him of all the charges in July 2018, ruling that it was a civil matter rather than a criminal case.