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Silo Boss Lancelot Jena Nabbed For Corruption

Silo Boss Lancelot Jena Nabbed For Corruption

SILO Food Industries (Silo) board chairperson Lancelot Jena was on Friday arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) and appeared in court for imposing his own grain suppliers on the parastatal.

While the 70 year-old businessman and ex-Zimtrade board chair stands accused of violating the Public Financing Management Act, he was granted a US$100 bail by Harare magistrate Lazini Ncube and remanded to July 16 for provisional trial.

“…around 23 November 2023, the accused unprocedural handpicked… Corefields Investments (Corefields)… to supply the entity with 3 500 tonnes of wheat already contracted to four other suppliers,” prosecutor Lancelot Mutsokoti said, adding when Daniel Maregedze’s management team “raised compliance issues” over the Chegutu deal “he forced them to disregard the unnecessarily bureaucratic procurement and cumbersome processes and just follow his instruction”.

“Before a contract was even signed (between Silo and the new supplier), the former received 443 tonnes (between) November and December 05, 2023 (with Jena forcing the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) subsidiary to just receive consignments from Adrian Carbutt’s company),” he said..

While Maregedze’s team had already signed four legally-binding contracts with Botake, CP Van Heerden, Stelta and Primeberg for the supply of the staple grain, it is further alleged that management was forced to take in wheat from Corefields “despite a resolution to halt deliveries in order to avoid overstocking”.

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“Thereafter (and) from December 14 to January 04 (this year, and at the instigation of Jena), the Mashonaland West-based supplier resumed deliveries totaling 500,3 tones. During that period, the accused would force management to (just prioritise this contractor and) ignore others by using available bank balances to just pay this supplier,” Mutsokoti further alleges.

Also read: Police Officer Tells Assault Victim to Take His Case to the Chief!

While trouble seems to have followed the 70 year old trader at Silo, it is understood that Jena also left ZimTrade in a huff after similar governance issues and clashes with Allan Majuru’s organisation.

According to a Zacc and whistleblower dossier recently seen by the Daily News, the level of interference by the non-executive director was not only limited to “chasing up Corefields’ invoices to a point of demanding proof of payments”, but the brazen manouvres to favour Carbutt’s firm by undermining cheaper suppliers like Ruth Ncube’s Botake and ensuring that they deal with the GMB subsidiary via Corefields.

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