Caaz boss denied bail again, further remanded to April 16

Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) managing director David Chawota was yesterday denied bail in a matter where he is accused of failing to declare his personal interests in a company that was contracted by the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) to supply road construction material.
He was further remanded in custody to April 16.

His accomplice Angeline Karonga, who is the head of legal affairs in the Transport ministry, was however, admitted to bail.
In denying Chawota bail, provincial magistrate Learnmore Mapiye said the fact that another court denied him bail for interfering with witnesses works against him.

He was previously denied bail by another magistrate in a criminal abuse of office charge where he is accused of fraudulently awarding a €27 900 000 contract to a Spanish company, Indra Sistemas, which did not meet minimum mandatory requirements in a previous bid.

In the previous matter, the court heard Chawota threatened senior employees against cooperating with investigations on the current.

“A competent court denied him bail on allegations of interfering with witnesses. There is no guarantee that he will not interfere with witnesses if admitted to bail in this matter,” Mapiye said, adding that interfering with witnesses was synonymous with someone who does not want to have his fair day in court.

Karonga was granted $1 000 bail and was ordered not to interfere with witnesses, surrender her passport and title deeds to her home, report twice a week to the police among other stringent conditions.

The State alleges that Karonga and Chawota are registered co-directors and shareholders at Akodac Consultancy Services.Sometime in January 2012, the two allegedly made an application to the then State Procurement Board (SPB) for their company to be on the approved list of suppliers of bulk and drummed bitumen so as to participate in government tenders and the SPB duly approved the application.

The court heard they proceeded to register Akodac Consultancy Services with (Zinara) as a bitumen supplier.
It is alleged that Chawota and Karonga went on to carry out transactions for the supply of cat mix and stable 60 which are products for the manufacture of bitumen on 24 occasions from January 2012 till August 2013.

The duo allegedly failed to disclose their personal interest to their principal, the Transport ministry.

It is the State’s case that Chawota and Karonga were paid 
$1 234 004 and shared proceeds without disclosing their personal interests in the transactions with the intention of deceiving the Transport ministry.

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