Chivayo prosecution takes new twist

Chivayo prosecution takes new twist
Published: 20 December 2018
Intratrek Zimbabwe managing director Wicknell Chivayo's criminal case is on the brink of collapse after High Court judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi last week ruled that the contract between his company and the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) for the Gwanda Solar Project was valid.

Chivayo is on trial on charges of fraud emanating from the manner in which he won the 100-megawatt (MW) Gwanda Solar Project contracted by ZPC.

He is accused of receiving $5 million advance payment for the project from ZPC without a bank guarantee. However, ZPC stated during the civil trial that they were not a complainant in the matter. Justice Chitapi's ruling last Thursday means the row between ZPC and Intratrek is essentially a civil matter, giving a fresh twist to the criminal charges Chivayo is facing.

"It is noted in passing that section 49 of the Constitution provides that, 'No person may be imprisoned merely on the ground of inability to fulfil a contractual obligation," said Justice Chitapi adding, "The sanctity of contracts therefore enjoys constitutional   protection."

Intratrek Zimbabwe sued ZPC for breach of contract. ZPC denied ever filing a report against the businessman to either the police or the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.

The power company 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 it.

In his 25-page judgment, Justice Chitapi condemned ZPC for causing the arrest of Chivayo on trumped up fraud charges arising from a civil matter.

He said ZPC's duplicity in causing the arrest of Chivayo was evident and smacked of bad faith.
- the herald
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