FORMER Energy Minister and Elton Mangoma has demanded to appear before the Parliamentary Committee on Mines and Energy to clear his name.
Mangoma, presidential candidate for the opposition Coalition for Democrats (CODE), wants to appear before MPs regarding the controversial deals between power utility ZESA and tenderpreneur Wicknell Chivayo.
The opposition politician demanded his say in a letter to Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda.
“The above committee had a session with ZESA regarding the fraudulent activities of Wicknell Chivhayo on Monday 12 March 2018,” he said.
“In that session my name was smeared, and an impression created that I was also involved in the tender with Intratek and Chivhayo.
“I write to ask to appear before the said committee so that I not only clear my name but also enlighten the committee on reported matter and other issues.”
Mangoma further issued a press statement in which he accused ZESA officials who appeared before the committee of lying under oath.
“On Monday 12th 2018, Ms. Thandiwe Mlobane appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Mines and Energy, which was following up on the illegal and fraudulent payments to Wicknell Chivayo.
“In answer to a question, she said Minister Mangoma introduced Intratek, a company fronting Chivayo. This was wrong, misinformed and mischievous.
“At no point did I introduce Intratek to ZPC (Zimbabwe [Power Company), or Zesa. Ms. Mlobane only joined the ZPC board after I had left and was spreading at best hearsay if not outright lies,” said Mangoma adding there is no way he could have “introduced anyone for a public tender”.
The former Cabinet minister, who also leads the Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe party, said he had authorised that a feasibility study be done “before the solar project could go for tender”.
“A feasibility study is often necessary for projects of this size so as to avoid costly errors,” Mangoma explained.
“The model I was promoting is that of an Independent Power Producer (IPP) which takes away the need for the state to spend any of its money.
“This way the cost of the project is up to the owners and the tariff payable is regulated by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA.”
According to the former energy minister, the tender was only advertised on 20 June 2013.
“The elections were on 31 July 2013 and, as you know, this was election season. The closing date was in September 2013.
“For the record I left the ministry before the elections. I was not there when the tender was closed or adjudicated.
“I was not there when the tenders were received and adjudicated. This tender was cancelled and retendered in 2014. I was not there.”