Jere fraud case collapses as star witness disown report

Source: Jere fraud case collapses as star witness disown report – NewsDay Zimbabwe

By Desmond Chingarande

The State star witness in businessman Farai Jere and two Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission Distribution Company employees case, Francis Masawi, has disowned the report that was used to arrest the trio saying if his report was used no one should have been arrested.

Jere, Leonard Chisina and Freeman Kuziva Chikonzo were arrested for fraud involving procurement of smart meters valued at US$3, 5 million.

The trio were denying any wrongdoing in the process.

Masawi said if the police had used his report since he was the team leader of the investigations Chisina and Chikonzo could not have been arrested as the Fitness Assessment Tests were done properly.

“The document I saw at the police station was not signed and had no dates. Now I am seeing that the documental report was not done by me. If they used my report, Chisina and Chikonzo could not have been arrested,” Masawi said.

Masawi said he was shocked to read an article in the Herald implying that Chisina and Chikonzo were suspended due to a case involving a local electrical company, Helcraw. He said he checked with Godfrey Mbanga and James Dzumbira and they all confirmed that it came from their report.

“I totally disagreed with that conclusion and I told them that. I then requested that Chisina and Chikonzo call me as a witness at their disciplinary hearings since I am the real author of that report, as a team leader of the assignment which was clearly taken out of context, ” Masawi said.

Masawi said he cannot talk of Jere and his company Helcraw because they were not part of the investigation they were carrying.

Magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa postponed the matter to July 19.

Jere and his co-accused are denying the allegations and claimed that the FAT was conducted in accordance with what was agreed in the contract with ZESA.

Through his legal practitioner advocate Lewis Uriri, Jere said there were no specific terms of reference and the FAT was undertaken on the basis of best practice and the relevant international standards.

“The FAT was for the purpose of ensuring that what was manufactured was the same as the sample that was provided at adjudication, subject to any agreed changes. The factory test results were machine-generated and could thus not be fake,” Uriri submitted in the joint defence outline.

“The results were known to all and what is now complained of was recorded,” they said in their joint defence outline. In their defence, the quartet said the adjudicators passed the samples supplied by Helcraw Electrical by 93%.”

The State had alleged the trio lied that FAT tests were conducted at a factory and thus defrauding Zesa.