There was drama in Parliament today after controversial businessman Wicknell Chivayo was publicly disowned as a shareholder in Intratek Holding by his purported partners. Chivayo had told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy that he owns 50 percent of Intratek Zimbabwe with Yousouf Ahmed owning the other 50 percent. However, according to Bruce Tokwe, the lawyer who represents the other shareholder, Ahmed, Chivayo ceded his shares in the company in 2014 and was now working for the company as a managing director.
Chivayo immediately retorted that the cession of shares documents the lawyers have was never registered. He insisted that the issue of shareholding is an internal matter and claimed that the other partner, Yusuf Ahmed gave him back his shares in 2015 after he had initially ceded them in 2014. When asked if there was a dispute between the shareholders at the courts, Chivayo was forced to admit there was none despite trying to state that there is a potential lawsuit. Committee chairperson Temba Mliswa had to warn Chivayo that he was under oath and that he needed to answer truthfully or he would face contempt of parliament charges.
Tokwe accused Chivayo of not respecting the rules of corporate governance saying that the businessman was doing things on his own without consultation. He also said that Chivayo had rebuffed efforts by his partners to engage him at various points. Said Tokwe,
It’s a clear case of delinquency on the part of management and we’re getting to the bottom of the matter.
Tokwe also said that his clients were concerned about the direction the company was moving in and told the portfolio committee that his clients were not aware of how Chivayo had used the $5 million advance fee that he had received from the Zimbabwe Power Company in irregular circumstances for the Gwanda Solar Power Project. Intratek claimed that Chivayo was just a director who was spoiling their reputation.
Despite the dispute over shareholding, Tokwe emphasized that the shareholders of Intratek are happy to fund the project “to ensure what needs to be done is done.” He said the other shareholders had invested between $2 million and $3 million. A figure which Chivayo also claimed to have put in.
The committee promised to look into documentary evidence and to call former energy minister Samuel Undenge to testify before them.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more details become available.