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Green light for Telecel airtime fraud prosecution

Green light for Telecel airtime fraud prosecution.

Shareholder Jane Mutasa faces allegations of defrauding the firm of $1.7 million.

A Telecel Zimbabwe shareholder faces prosecution for allegedly defrauding the telecoms firm of $1.7 million in airtime top-up vouchers in 2010.

Jane Mutasa, who is a shareholder and former acting chairperson of Telecel Zimbabwe, faces allegations that she illegally sold stock belonging to the company.

Subsequently, Zimbabwe’s supreme court on Tuesday gave Johannes Tomana, the prosecutor general in Zimbabwe, up to five days to start prosecution proceedings against Mutasa.

This was after Telecel appealed against the dropping of charges last year against Mutasa after Tomana said there was no incriminating evidence against the former chairperson.

Mutasa was charged together with former Telecel Zimbabwe director for commercial affairs, Naguib Omar, after the company unearthed a scam it said had prejudiced it of $1.7 million in airtime vouchers.

“The decision by the respondent (prosecutor general) to refuse to grant a certificate to the applicant be and is hereby set aside,” Justice Paddington Garwe said in his order yesterday.

Two other judges, Justice Vernanda Ziyambi and Justice Bharat Patel, were on the panel that ruled in favour of instituting private prosecution proceedings against Mutasa.

Telecel is majority owned by Russia’s VimpelCom which has hinted in the past that it wants to sell-off its stake in the Zimbabwean mobile services company. Other local shareholders include Mutasa and James Makamba who front separate empowerment groups.

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