18 October 2018
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation’s Editor in Chief Tarzan Mandizvidza appeared in court in the case involving television personality Oscar Pambuka and former legislator, Psychology Maziwisa.
Maziwisa and Pambuka are pleading not guilty to allegations of swindling the Zimbabwe Power Company of $12 650 in a botched public relations deal through their company, Fruitful Communications.
In his submissions, Mandizvidza denied claims by the accused persons that their company had publicity arrangements with the national broadcaster.
“I know Pambuka as a former employee at ZBC and Mazivisa I know him as a former Member of Parliament and other than that I don’t have any other relations with them.
“My employer is ZBC and I am currently the Director of News and Current Affairs and also Editor in Chief.
“Within the news department, I can safely say that we have no such working arrangement with them.
“It is our mandate as the news department to cover news especially involving government officials and we are not made to do so by any board or organisation.
“I cannot speak on behalf of other sections of our organisation but at the news and current affairs department government officials are covered without any form of arrangements,” he said.
According to the State, sometime in January last year, Maziwisa and Pambuka allegedly brought a letter to ZPC from then Minister of Energy Samuel Undenge directed the power utility to work with Fruitful Communications at intervals of six months per engagement.
The firm then entered into a verbal agreement with ZPC — which was represented by its managing director Noah Gwariro and public relations executive Fadzai Chisveto — to do publicity work for the parastatal.