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Court given nod to prosecute Mutasa

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THE Constitutional Court (Concourt) has given the nod to the private prosecution of former Telecel acting chairperson Jane Mutasa over an airtime scam involving $1,7 million.

SENIOR COURT REPORTER

The full ConCourt bench led by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku dismissed an application by the Prosecutor-General (PG)’s Office seeking to persuade the court to set aside the Supreme Court’s order which directed the State to issue Telecel with a certificate to privately prosecute Mutasa.

The court said reasons for the judgment would be delivered in due course. Mutasa, who is a shareholder in the same company, was arrested sometime in 2010 alongside Telecel’s then commercial director, Naquib Omar over the airtime scam. But their trial failed to materialise following the Attorney-General (AG)’s refusal to prosecute the pair.

After the AG’s refusal, Telecel, through its lawyer Isaiah Mureriwa, appealed to the High Court and applied for a certificate to privately prosecute Mutasa, but the AG opposed the application and the court ruled in the AG’s favour prompting Telecel to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Allegations against Mutasa and Omar are that on July 15 2009 the then Telecel managing director, Rex Chibesa, ordered all workers to stop selling lines and airtime using manual invoices.

Between August 26 and October 21 2009, Mutasa is alleged to have instructed Omar to request stock from Telecel stores on behalf of her personal firm Oxygon Investments.

It is the State’s case that Omar then instructed his junior, regional sales manager Charles Mapurisa, to write the manual invoice for 30 000 seed packs (lines) valued at $300 000 and airtime cards worth $450 000.

Omar allegedly authorised the invoices before they were presented to the Telecel stores office for collection. Telecel later engaged auditors who then managed to quantify the variance to $1,7 million of which $750 000 was traced to seed packs and airtime recharge cards purportedly sold to Oxygon Investments.

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