Prosper Dembedza Court Correspondent
Allied Timbers Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd’s acting chief executive, Remigio Nenzou, who is facing charges of hand-picking a German company to supply sawmill machines without following tender procedures, will appear in court today for his bail hearing.
Nenzou (49), who was arrested last week, was charged with criminal abuse of duty when he appeared before Harare regional magistrate Mrs Esthere Chivasa.
His lawyer Mr Willard Madzimbamuto challenged his placement on remand, saying the charges outlined by the State did not constitute an offence.
He said his client was not a public officer according to the law under which he was being charged.
Mrs Chivasa remanded Nenzou in custody to today for ruling on his bail application.
The court heard that on October 30, 2019, Nenzou as the chief executive officer for Allied Timbers, verbally instructed his procurement officer Innocent Shenje to originate a letter for his signature addressed to the chief executive of the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) Mr Nyasha Chizu.
The letter was requesting Allied Timbers to be exempted from following the procurement procedures when procuring a sawmill machine from the German company, MS-Maschinenbau-GmbH, for a total price of US$1,1 million.
It is alleged that on November 15, 2019, Mr Chizu turned down the request made by Nenzou and advised him to select the most appropriate method of procurement in line with section 30 of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act.
The court heard that in February this year, Nenzou showed favour to the Germany company after ignoring the advice given by Mr Chizu.
He allegedly travelled to Germany to do the due diligence and expedite the procurement of the sawmill.
Investigations established that at the time of Nenzou’s visit to Germany, no procurement procedures had been followed to choose MS-Maschinenbau-GmbH to supply the sawmill machine to Allied Timbers.
The court heard that when Nenzou came back from Germany, he verbally instructed Wilcort Dzuda, the chief finance officer, to make payment of US$1,8 million to MS-Maschinenbau-GmbH for the supply of the sawmill machine.
It is alleged that Allied Timbers had no money in its account and Nenzou corruptly made a set off arrangement where the company would allocate trees at one of its estates to Timber Care Investments of China in return for settlement of US$1,1 million to MS-Maschinenbau-GmbH.
The balance of US$720 000,54 would be credited directly into Allied Timbers’ Agribank account.
The court heard that Timber Care Investments of China was then allocated the trees from Tarka Estate Plantation valued at US$1,848 million.