Zesa secretary acquitted in $1 billion tender scandal
Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) secretary, Nora Tsitsi Tsomondo has been acquitted of charges of concealing a transaction from her principals in a botched $1 billion Hwange tender.
The State accused her of corruptly concealing a transaction from her principals during the registration of the Notarial Security Cession Agreement with the registrar of Companies.
Tsomondo (59) was acquitted by magistrate Lucy Mungwari at the close of the State case after the State failed to provide enough evidence to the court.
In acquitting Tsomondo, Mungwari ruled that the State had failed to prove a case against her, saying all State witnesses admitted that there was no evidence implicating Tsomondo in the commission of the offence.
“The State conceded in court that they failed to prove a prima facie case against the accused. Engineer Hubert Chiwara, who is the accused’s principal sympathised with the accused person after he told court that there was no evidence of her concealing the transaction. The evidence of Saidi Sangula also clearly exonerated the accused person,” Mungwari ruled.
Mungwari further ruled that according to the State witnesses, there was no criminal offence carried out by Tsomondo, saying the State nominated to charge the wrong person for the allegations.
Allegations were that sometime in 2011 and 2018 ZPC undertook an engineering procurement and construction contract for the expansion of Hwange 7 and 8. The tender project was awarded to a Chinese company called Sino-Hydro Corporation at contract price of $1,1 billion.
It was alleged in order to access funds, government represented by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development entered into a preferential buyer credit loan agreement with China Exim Bank.
The agreement was novated to Hwange Electricity Supply Authority (HESCO) through an on lending Agreement. This prompted the need for Notarial Security Cession agreement for the project which was in favour of China Exim Bank in the sum of $4 501 166.