The Chief Executive Officer of the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe, David Chawota, has been denied bail. The Daily News reports that Chawota is facing charges of criminal abuse of office. He is said to have offered a €27 900 000 contract to Indra Sistemas, a Spanish company. The company had failed to meet minimum mandatory requirements in the initial bid. It is reported that Chawota linked with the company following the annulment of the tender it was awarded in 2013. Selex Es, one of the bidding companies for Radar Surveillance Systems, challenged the awarding of the tender to Indra resulting in the Supreme Court cancelling the tender in January 2016.
Chawota kept requesting the state and the State Procurement Board (SPB) to respectively award the tender and to directly engage Indra. The tender was finally awarded to the company after Chawota allegedly convinced the SPB that the company had the required funding. However, as heard by the court, Indra’s failure to implement the project is attributed to lack of funding which it is currently seeking from the Afrexim Bank.
Chawota was denied bail and remanded in custody to April 11 by Rumbidzai Mugwagwa the Harare Provincial Magistrate for abusing bail conditions including by threatening and interfering with state witnesses. The abuse of bail conditions was revealed in the testimony of Lawrence Mashawi the investing officer. Mashawi testified after Zivanai Macharaga who was leading the State called him to the stand. The Daily News also reports that Chawota is facing corruption charges after he is alleged to have authorised a payment of $56 042, 76 for promotional material to a company he had interests in without first comparing potential service providers.
More: The Daily News