Controversial and high-living Harare businessman, Wicknell Chivayo, was arrested at the crack of dawn at his home yesterday in connection with his power deals which saw him being advanced $5 million before work commenced at one of the contentious projects.
His lawyer Thabani Mpofu confirmed to the Daily News yesterday that Chivayo had been taken in by security agents, although he was not sure whether this had been done by the police or the military.
Among the deals, the burly businessman was awarded a $200 million tender for the Gwanda Solar Project.
ZPC senior management now stand accused of advancing $5 million to him for this project’s pre-commencement works, despite Chivayo not providing a performance guaranteed as required by law.
According to The Zimbabwe Independent , a year after winning the multi-million-dollar tender and despite getting the US$5 million payment for pre-commencement works, Intratrek (Wicknell’s company) reportedly abandoned the project site after only three months’ work.
In the past Wicknell was convicted of fraud and money laundering among other charges and he served a 5 year prison sentence, a fact which he hasn’t tried to hide. Despite his claims that he had nothing to hide and he has learned his lesson well, Wicknell’s name popped up several time when the military launched Operation Restore Legacy which targeted ‘criminals’ around President Mugabe who have caused untold suffering to the people of Zimbabwe with their corrupt activities.
Attempts by to reach Chivayo since last night were futile as Chivayo’s number was unavailable. Texts went unanswered as his WhatsApp number showed he was last online around 5pm yesterday.
We are still uncertain as to where Wicknell is being detained,
More updates to follow