CAAZ tender scandal: Chawota to appear in court

The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) general manager David Chawota faces criminal abuse of office as well as usurping the board powers charges after he unilaterally awarded a US$33 million contract to a company he handpicked despite contrary advice from the military and the board, the Zim Morning Post has learnt.

Police sources told this publication that Chawota will be dragged to court on Wednesday morning.

“Chawota is facing serious charges and will be in court tomorrow (Wednesday),” said the source.

As first reported by this publication, Chawota is now likely to be arrested anytime soon as investigations into underhand deals into the parastatal reach a crescendo. Chawota stands accused of signing a contract without board approval which saw CAAZ purchasing equipment worth US$33 million from a handpicked company without going to tender.

The police has so far interviewed Higher and Tertiary minister Amon Murwira, a former CAAZ board member, as they sought to get to the bottom of the unprocedural conduct of Chawota which is said to have prejudiced the state millions. Police details who spoke to Zim Morning Post said the investigations into the CAAZ boss were at an advanced stage and it was now a matter of time before he answers to the charges before a court of law. “We have also interviewed one Mrs Dumba who is in charge of IT in the ministry (of Transport) and was recently fired by the board as well as one Brigadier Madzingira.”

Chawota is said to have pushied for the direct appointment of Indra Sistemas SA PL of Spain (Indra) to implement the country’s airspace management systems after a Supreme Court ruling Judgment No. SC 45/16 Civil Appeal No. SC 631/14 JANUARY 28, & OCTOBER 28, 2016 whereby the matter was remitted to the State Procurement Board for the invitation of a fresh tender.

The 2016 board minutes seen by the Zim Morning Post indicate that the then Transport minister Joram Gumbo and Chaota awarded a tender to Indra Sistemas, a company registered in Spain against the board’s decision and the supreme court ruling.

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