By Harriet Chikandiwa
FORMER Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) chief executive Frank Chitukutuku, who was arrested this week on allegations of fraud, will spend more days in custody after Harare magistrate Francis Mapfumo deferred his bail ruling to a date to be advised.
Mapfumo deferred the bail hearings following arguments between the State and Chitukutuku’s lawyers over allegations that the accused was a flight risk.
Chitukutuku’s lawyer Jonas Dondo argued that the accused could submit his passport to the clerk of court as surety if bail is granted.
The State argued that there were compelling reasons justifying Chitukutuku’s continued detention as there were fears that he could abscond court or interfere with witnesses.
It is alleged that between January 2009 and May 31, 2016, Chitukutuku being a public officer, corruptly influenced the awarding of contracts worth US$20 million for the rehabilitation of roads to Fremus Enterprisers (Pvt) Ltd without following tender procedures.
The prosecution alleged that Chitukutuku connived with former Zinara technical director Julius Juma to award road works rehabilitation contracts in several rural district councils without following dure process.
The court heard that Chitukutuku had a long list of expensive properties and was also the owner of two renowned companies, Farm Pride (Pvt) Limited and an insurance company, Champions Insurance, which boasts of assets estimated at over US$15 million.
Investigations of where he acquired the money are still in progress and the matter will be ready for trial soon.