Chivayo laments impact of ZESA fraud charge; I can no longer win new contracts – he tells court as he sues utility for US$22m

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By Reason Razao

CONTROVERSIAL businessman and socialite, Wicknell Chivayo, has told the High Court that his arrest on allegations of defrauding the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) had tarnished his integrity to an extent that it was now difficult to get any lucrative contracts.

He was testifying in a case where he is suing ZPC US$22 million for defamation, and for breaching the solar project deal, which he argues was still valid.

Chivayo said his company, Intratrek Zimbabwe, has lost considerable business, locally and abroad, owing to the ZPC scandal.

Chivayo said he has lost credibility with potential clients.

“I can no longer do any projects due to the bad publicity l have received due to the ZPC deal,” he said.

“I have lost potential business in Kenya and Tanzania. l had gone there to do business and l was told l was the person who took money from ZPC and ran away.”

He further insisted that ZPC was owing Intratrek huge amounts of money from a deal they penned seven years ago.

ZPC, prior to being sued, laid charges of fraud against Chivayo, accusing him of taking money meant for the Gwanda solar project which he reportedly failed to implement.

Chivayo, however, denies the allegations.

“We visited the site together, they came back and did a report so it does not make any sense that l failed to deliver on the promises agreed on.

“They have been malicious and circulating falsehoods,” Chivhayo said.

The formerly flamboyant businessman said given the chance he wants to complete the project for the benefit of the country.

The trial continues Tuesday.