BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
A WITNESS in the trial of two Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission Distribution Company executives accused of corruptly awarding Farai Jere’s Helcraw Investments a US$3,5 million smart meter deal yesterday distanced himself from the report that sought to implicate the businessman and soccer administrator.
The State had alleged that Jere, his company Helcraw Investment and two ZETDC employees, Freeman Chikonzo and Leonard Chisina, had misrepresented that factory acceptance tests on smart meters were carried out at the United Kingdom company factory, and that the report with factory tests results was fake.
The trio was also accused of forcing State witness Julius Mapipi to sign the document with factory acceptance test results.
When asked by lawyer, Advocate Lewis Uriri under cross-examination to explain if he was forced to sign the document, Mapipi said the results of the factory acceptance tests were machine-generated and could not be
Mapipi was then given a document with WhatsApp chats to confirm if he was forced to sign as he had previously told the State.
He remained mum until magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa asked Uriri to ask another question.
Later, he said the factory acceptance tests were procedurally done in the United Kingdom as opposed to the State’s assertion.
Mapipi further said Jere had asked them to do a physical inspection of the smart meters while waiting for the machine-generated results.
He further told the court that he was not an expert in electricals, adding that the State could not say they lied in their report since they had done it procedurally.
The witness said he was not pressured by anyone and he did not tell anyone that he was under pressure from Jere.
Gofa then postponed the matter to today for trial continuation.
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