LATEST: High Court judgement on Wicknell Chivayo’s Gwanda solar project saga shocks President Mnangagwa


President Emmerson Mnangagwa has expressed his shock over the judgement issued on Thursday by a High Court judgement declaring the contract between Wicknell Chivayo’s Intratrek Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Power Company valid.

“There is a person who was given a contract to come and erect a solar plant here in Matabeleland South. The person came and erected some shacks and left. I was shocked to read in the papers that the same person has won a court case. I don’t understand how our courts work to permit the granting of an order of $25 million in favour of a person who received $5 million advance payment and did nothing.”

The High Court declared the contract signed between the parties for the Gwanda solar project valid.

ZPC was ordered to engage Intratrek and discuss progress on the Gwanda solar project in the next 60 days or alternatively pay $25 million damages to Intratrek.

Chivayo had been hauled before a magistrate to answer charges of fraud on the way he handled the 100 megawatt (MW) Gwanda Solar Project contracted by ZPC.

The State’s case was that Chivayo received $5 million advance payment for the project from ZPC without a bank guarantee, but ZPC stated on court record that they were not a complainant in the matter.

Chivayo and Intratrek then turned the heat on ZPC and told the court that the power utility was in fact, in breach of contract by wantonly causing delays and impediments to the implementation of the solar project.

But in an opposing affidavit to Intratrek’s High Court application, ZPC denied causing Chivayo’s arrest, technically meaning there was no complainant in the Gwanda Solar Project case.

In his judgment, Justice Tawanda Chitapi said ZPC had acted unlawfully and in bad faith, possibly under external influence from parties who were not part of the contract.

— Bulawayo24

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