Zimbabwe: Ex-Zetdc Boss Testifies Against Jere

The smart meters supplied to Zesa by businessman Farai Jere through his company Helcraw Electricals had shortcomings and were at the moment being used as ordinary meters, not smart meters, former boss at Zesa Holdings' electricity distribution unit, ZETDC, Engineer Milton Munodawafa, told Jere's trial court yesterday.

He was a member of the committee that did the investigations into the meters and whose report led to Jere, Helcraw and Zesa engineers Leonard Chisina and Freeman Kuziva Chikonzo being charged with fraud over the deal before regional magistrate Mrs Gloria Takunda.

Eng Munodawafa appeared as a prosecution witness.

"We were told that the Factory Assessment Test (FAT) was done successfully," he said. "During the evaluation process there were other tests that were done. The amperage which was agreed was five amperes and what was offered was 10 amperes for the whole current meters.

"For the functionality, there were other SIM cards that were needed and we are told they need to be acquired by Zesa. It is a complex process."

Eng Munodawafa told the court that there were shortcomings picked up in the meters, but they were supposed to be resolved before the meters were delivered.

"We were told that all the tests which were done were complying," he said. "The shortcomings were supposed to be resolved before they were delivered. We got the report from the project manager and teams that did FAT. We also got a report from acting managing director who signed the same reports."

Eng Munodawafa said the investigations team did not conclude that the FAT test was successful.

"The report which was done had other outstanding issues. The team members indicated that not everything was done as required. We did a report we gave to the accounting officer." Eng Munodawafa said the smart meters, which were installed by Jere's company, were not working as smart meters, but as ordinary ones as there were no SIM cards to connect them to the network system.

ZESA is still to acquire the cards and other accessories.

"The supplier has to demonstrate its functionality if the cards are acquired," he said.

The matter continues on May 20, with Eng Munodawafa being cross-examined by Advocate Lewis Uriri, who is representing Jere and his company.

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