ZPC: ED queries judge’s awarding of $25 million damages to Chivayo

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has expressed reservations over Justice Tawanda Chitapi’s Thursday judgement which awarded controversial businessman Wicknell Chivayo’s Intratrek Zimbabwe the sum of $25 million in damages against the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC).

This is after the businessman had taken ZPC to court seeking an order declaring a multi-million dollar contract signed between the parties on the Gwanda solar project valid or alternatively, pay $25 million damages for contract breach.

ZPC had written several times to Chivayo, who is company managing director, claiming the controversial contract had been terminated by expiry after the latter failed to meet conditions.

But the flamboyant businessman Thursday posted a huge victory after Justice Chitapi ruled in his favour.

The judge ruled that the multi-billion dollar contract was valid and binding.

He also ruled that Chivayo was not responsible for the lack of progress in building the solar project.

But addressing delegates at the on-going Zanu PF Annual National People’s Conference in Esigodini, Matebeleland South on Friday, Mnangagwa appeared casting aspersions on Justice Chitapi’s verdict.

“Here in Matebeleland South, there has been a problem in the last two or more years for a solar project where $5 million dollars was paid and a bit of ground was cleared but this morning, I have read in the newspapers that ZESA might pay $25 million to the person who cleared the ground and did nothing.

“I do not understand how our courts work,” said Mnangagwa without saying more.

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.

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