Caps United boss Jere trial continues

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Farai Jere

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

THE trial of Caps United boss Farai Jere and his company Helcraw Electrical on fraud charges involving a US$3,5 million smart meters supply deal continued yesterday with the cross-examination of former Zesa general manager Raphael Katsande.

Jere is being charged together with two Zesa engineers Leonard Chisina and Freeman Kuziva Chikonzo.

Jere, who was represented by Lewis Uriri, denied the charges.

Raphael Katsande, who was a State witness in the matter, told the court that Zesa executive chairperson Sydney Gata was the one who made a report that resulted in Jere and his co-accused being arrested.

Katsande said he tried to invoke a clause in the contract entered into by Jere and his company Helcraw Electrical with Zesa, so that they could address the shortcomings that had been mentioned in Gata’s report.

Under cross-examination by Uriri, Katsande admitted that the company that provided Zesa with smart meters had two factories, one in India and the other in England.

The State had initially claimed that there was only one factory in India, but Katsande told the court that it was Zesa that approved his England trip to procure the smart meters.

Jere and his co-accused also claimed that a fitness assessment test (FAT) was conducted in accordance with what was agreed in the contract with Zesa.

“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.

The trial continues today.

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