BUSINESSMAN and football administrator Farai Jere will have to wait a little longer for his freedom as the court will rule on his bail application tomorrow.
Jere is jointly charged with Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) employees Leonard Chisina and Freeman Chikonzo on allegations of defrauding the power supplier of over $US3,5 million in a smart meters supply deal.
Yesterday, he emphasised that his arrest was a plot to block his company from a lucrative US$58 million deal, from which the firm would earn US$28 million.
The State led by George Manokore and Tinashe Makiya vehemently opposed bail, saying he is a flight risk with links outside the country.
It is alleged that Jere misrepresented to ZETDC that Secure Meters Pvt Ltd had a manufacturing plant for smart meters and had a head end system in the United Kingdom yet there was none.
Allegations are that on November 24, 2018, three engineers —one Mapipi, one Tshuma and Chisina — all from ZETDC and Freeman Chikonzo went with Jere to the UK 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 Chisina and Chikonzo signed the false FAT report while Mapipi and Tshuma expressed reservations as no test had been done.
Chisina and Chikonzo yesterday told the court there was a factory in the United Kingdom and the tests were done in a laboratory there and wondered why the other two engineers, Mapipi and Tshuma, were 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 in Zimbabwe when they were shipped and ZETDC was satisfied that payment was processed.
They pleaded not guilty, arguing that all the requirements of the deal were met and that the meters that were supplied were actually being used by ZETDC and only three out of 1 151 had faults. They said that this was a contractual dispute with remedies in the contract.