Senior Court Reporter
Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) manager Engineer Frederick Mafoko yesterday told a Harare magistrate that he certified payment for smart meters that were supplied by businessman Farai Jere’s company, Helcraw Electricals, when they were delivered to the country.
Eng Mafoko, who was a State witness, told regional magistrate Mrs Marehwanazvo Gofa that the smart meters were in the custody of ZETDC and were installed to generate revenue for the power utility.
Jere and his company are being jointly charged with former ZETDC engineers — Leonard Chisina and Freeman Chikonzo — for allegedly defrauding the power utility of US$3,5 million in the supply of the smart meters.
They are all denying the charges.
In his testimony, Eng Mafoko, who was part of the specification committee, said there were no issues of misrepresentation that were raised when a team from his company returned from the United Kingdom for Factory Acceptance Tests (FAT).
“I certified for the payment of the meters. When the team returned to the country, I sat down with Eng Chisina, who went there representing our section and he told me how the process went on up to the point that the meters came to our stores.
“I saw the process as normal and when the issue was presented to me, there was no talk of misrepresentation,” he said.
Eng Mafoko told the court that he certified for the meters upon delivery and before payment was made.
He said although some of the meters might not be in use, he believes there were some which were working.
“Some of the meters have been installed and in use although there might be some that failed,” he said.
Asked during cross-examination by Chisina and Chikonzo’s lawyer Mrs Mavis Sachikonye Ushe and Jere’s lawyer Mr Tinofara Hove, whether there were some misrepresentation that were made during the smart meter project, Eng Mafoko said: “There was no misrepresentation that I know to the best of my knowledge.”
The matter is expected to continue on August 16 on a three-day roll.
Mrs Tendai Shonayi and Mr Tafara Chirambira appeared for the State.