Mr Happison Muchechetere the recently suspended ZBC CEO over salary gate scams is another mess as he was yesterday picked up by the police on allegations of inflating the purchase price of an Outside Broadcasting (OB) van bought from a Chinese firm last year.
Muchechetere, who was taken in for questioning and later released, was also questioned on cases involving tender procedures which occurred during the time he was in office from May 2009 until he was suspended last December.
Chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba confirmed the arrest.
“He has been called in for questioning by the CID Serious Frauds with regard to tender procedures and the other one involving the OB van,” she said.
“Police recorded a warned and cautioned statement.”
Snr Asst Comm Charamba would not divulge further information on the case as investigations continued.
The allegations against Muchechetere come at a time KPMG is undertaking a forensic audit at the public broadcaster following allegations of corruption, abuse of power and mismanagement.
The audit results are expected in the next few weeks.
Although details were still sketchy, sources close to the investigations said Muchechetere misrepresented that the OB van was purchased at over US$1 million, yet it was bought for only US$100 000.
It is alleged that sometime last year, ZBC entered into an agreement with China National Instruments Imports and Exports Corporation (Instrimpex) for the purchase of the OB van worth US$100 000.
Muchechetere is alleged to have connived with Instrimpex officials and inflated the figure to US$1 050 000 and fabricated receipts.
Sources said Muchechetere allegedly shared the balance with the Chinese officials.
He dominated headlines last year after it was discovered he was earning a salary and allowances totalling US$40 000 per month while workers went for more than six months without pay.
Mr Muchechetere, who became substantive chief executive in May 2009, drew salaries and allowances approximated at US$2,28 million till December last year.
This was revealed during a meeting to discuss challenges faced by ZBC held between Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Deputy Minister Cde Supa Mandiwanzira, acting ZBC chief executive Mr Allan Chiweshe, management and workers’ representatives.
Mr Muchechetere was then sent on leave last to pave way for the forensic audit ordered after Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo dissolved the board led by Mr Cuthbert Dube. It had failed to submit a turnaround strategy document within the 14 days it had requested.
Mr Muchechetere’s package included US$3 000 entertainment allowance, a US$2 500 allowance to pay his domestic workers, US$3 500 housing allowance and US$3 000 as a general allowance.
He also received unlimited access to fuel every month, five business class air tickets for him and his family to any international destination of his choice, three regional tickets and unlimited local air tickets every year.
Source : herald