New Zimbabwe.com

Jailed CAAZ boss, fraud accomplice to know fate on Tuesday

By Mary Taruvinga


EMBATTLED Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) managing director David Chawota and his accomplice will spend more time behind bars after ruling on their bail application was postponed to this Tuesday.

Chawota is accused together with Ministry of Transport legal director Angeline Karonga (56).

The two are accused of pocketing RTGS$1 million which they acquired through a corrupt deal.

They are charged with “corruptly concealing from a principal, a personal interest in a transaction.”

The two had argued that they are fit for bail since the offence they are facing is not serious.

“I knew about the allegations in 2015 but I never tried to run away. I don’t see any reason to abscond because I don’t see the seriousness of the offence,” said Chawota, who already has two charges of corruption for which he has been denied bail.

Karonga also said the same arguing she has no reason to abscond as she had a family to take care of.

But the investigating officer Lawrence Mashawi crushed the duo’s applications saying people who abuse public funds should be incarcerated.

“This evolves around breach of public trust. If convicted, the two are likely to be given custodial sentence,” said investigating officer Masawi while being led by the prosecutor.

According to the State, sometime in January 2012, the two made an application to the State Procurement Board (SPB) for a company they had formed, to be on the approved list of suppliers of bulk and drummed bitumen to participate in government tenders.

The application was duly approved by the SPB.

The company went on to register with the Zimbabwe National Road Authority (Zinara) a public entity under the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development a supplier of Bitumen.

Court heard they went on to carry out transactions for supply of catmix and stable 60 which are products for the manufacture of bitumen, on 24 occasions from the 2nd of February 2012 up to the 18th of August 2013.

It is the State’s case that the fact that the accused persons were supplying bitumen to Zinara, a public entity falling within the same ministry and that they did not disclose to their principals their personal interest in the subject matter of the transaction constitutes a crime.

State papers show that the accused persons were paid a total of RTGS$1 234 004 whereupon “they shared the proceeds without disclosing their personal interest in the transactions, intending to deceive their principals or realising a real risk or possibility that the principal may be deceived.”

Chawota faces two more criminal abuse of office charges and is in custody after he was denied bail by Harare magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa.

In this case, the two are being accused of corruptly concealing from their principal personal interests in a transaction.