Caaz boss further remanded
By Shamiso Dzingire
Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) managing director David Chawota and head of legal affairs in the Transport ministry Angeline Karonga spent another night in prison after a Harare magistrate deferred their bail ruling to today.
Chawota and Karonga are accused of failing to declare their personal interests in a company that was contracted by the Zimbabwe National Road Authority (Zinara) to supply road construction material.
The duo spent the weekend in prison after presiding magistrate Learnmore Mapiye remanded them in custody to yesterday for full bail application.
They took to the stand in a bid to convince the courts that they are proper candidates for bail.
Chawota said he became aware of the investigations in 2015 and insisted that he has never interfered with any witnesses. However, he was previously denied bail in another graft-related charge after the court ruled that he interfered with witnesses.
Karonga also said she first became aware of the investigations when she was interviewed by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) in 2015 but never attempted to flee the court’s jurisdiction.
The investigating officer Lawrence Mashawi opposed bail and said there is high likelihood that the duo will interfere with witnesses and abscond trial.
“In respect of Chawota, there is propensity to interfere with witnesses. That is why he was denied bail in another record where he is facing criminal abuse of office charges,” he said.
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. 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 State alleges that the duo 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. Daily News