Chivayo in court over new ZESA scandal; gave parastatal chief $10,000

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By Audience Mutema

HARARE businessman Wicknell Chivayo appeared before a Harare magistrate Wednesday facing bribery charges.

He was jointly charged with his company Intratrek Zimbabwe Private Limited.

Allegations are that Chivayo and his company paid a $10,000 bribe to Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) board chairperson Stanley Kazhanje.

The charges relate to the multi-million Gwanda Solar Project which was awarded to Chivayo and Intratrek by ZPC, a unit of power utility ZESA.

Kazhanje is said to have influenced the awarding of the tender after receiving the bribe.

According to prosecutor Michael Reza, sometime in 2013 ZPC Chivayo responded to ZPC invitation for companies to bid for the Gwanda Solar Power Project.

In October 2015, the ZPC board held a meeting where Kazhanje allegedly influenced management to award the contract to Intratrek, despite the latter failing to provide a bank guarantee.

Court heard that in January 2016, Intratrek, represented by Chivayo, transferred $10,000 into Kazhanje’s Barclays Bank account.

After the payment, Kazhanje later influenced the ZPC board to pass resolutions in favour of the Chivayo in connection with ZPC contract even where accused breached the contracts.

Chivayo was represented by Advocate Lewis Uriri while Advocate Sylvester Hashiti appeared for Intratrek during Wednesday’s court hearing.

Harare magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa granted Chivayo $2,000 bail and remanded the case March 28.

The businessman is also facing separate charges before the courts related to the same tender. He was accused of abusing about $5 million released by the power utility for the project.

Former energy minister Samuel Undenge has also appeared in court over the saga.