Former Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) acting chief executive Moses Juma was yesterday sentenced to 30 months in jail for criminal abuse of office.

Juma, who is Zinara technical director, will serve 24 months effective jail term after Harare regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya suspended six months of the sentence on condition of good behaviour.

He was initially charged together with former board member, Davison Norupiri, who was removed from remand for lack of evidence.

The State, represented by Chris Mutangadura, told court that the offence was committed between December 2014 and June 2015 when Juma was accounting officer and Zinara acting chief executive.

The court heard that Juma authorised and approved various payments to Central Source Management Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, trading as Tax Management System (TMS).

The payments were for tax management and tax healthy checks done on behalf of Zinara, without a binding contract between the parties.

The transactions raised suspicion in December 2014 and Juma created a fictitious contract in retrospect to regularise the engagement of TMS.

The court heard that Juma showed bias by awarding a contract to TMS.

Juma single-handedly picked three companies, including TMS, to present proposals for tax management consultancy, which had accrued to $43 million.

The court heard that procedurally, the procurement of service providers should be done by a procurement committee.

Furthermore, the amount involved required procurement of the services to be done through a tender process.

Juma influenced the appointment of TMS and later ordered Zinara to pay in full the money which the company demanded without verification. He prejudiced Zinara of $1 274 575, 76.

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