BUSINESSMAN and CAPS United boss Farai Jere, accused of swindling the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) of over US$3,5 million in a smart meters supply deal, has been denied bail.
Jere, who is jointly charged with ZETDC employees Leonard Chisina and Freeman Chikonzo, were found to be improper candidates for bail with Harare magistrate Lazini Ncube saying there was overwhelming evidence against them.
The court said there is a real possibility that they would abscond and that the surrender of passports will not guarantee their availability for trial.
They were remanded in custody to September 10.
Allegations are that Jere misrepresented to ZETDC that the United Kingdom-based Secure Meters Pvt Ltd had a manufacturing plant for smart meters.
On November 24, 2018, the State alleged, three engineers Julius Mapipi, Munyaradzi Tshuma and Chisina all from ZETDC and Chikonzo went with Jere to the United Kingdom to carry out a factory acceptance test.
It is alleged that while in the UK, Jere took the engineers to a warehouse with smart meters and not a factory.
It is alleged that engineer Chisina and Chikonzo signed the false FAT report while engineers Mapipi and Tshuma expressed reservations as no tests had been done.
Chisina and Chikonzo argued that there was a factory in the United Kingdom and the tests were done in a laboratory there and were wondering why the other two engineers, Mapipi and Tshuma, were now throwing them under the bus.
They told the court that the meters had passed the adjudication process before they were chosen by ZETDC to go to the United Kingdom for the test.
They said the meters were even tested here when they were shipped and ZETDC was satisfied and payment was processed.
They pleaded innocence arguing that all the requirements of the deal were met and that the meters supplied were actually being used by ZETDC and only three out of 1 151 had faults and that this was a contractual dispute with remedies in the contract.