Wicknell Chivayo Pleads Not Guilty To $5,6 Million Fraud

Not guilty plea … Chivayo and his lawyer arrive in court on Wednesday where the businessman pleaded not guilty

HARARE – Businessman Wicknell Chivayo has pleaded not guilty to defrauding the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) of over $5,6 million in a tender deal.

At the start of his trial on Wednesday, Chivayo pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud, money laundering and breaching the Exchange Control Act.

The charges stem from a $5,6 million ZPC payment to Intratrek Zimbabwe, in which Chivayo is a director, for pre-commencement works in the construction of a $200 million solar power plant in Gwanda.

Venerandah Munyoro, prosecuting, said ZPC had paid money to Intratrek without any advance payment bank guarantee.

Once the money was paid to Intratrek, several withdrawals were made and money moved to various accounts in personal transactions that had nothing to do with the solar project.

Shanghai Electric Power Design Institute Co. Ltd, a company that Intratrek claimed to have engaged for the feasibility study, said it had never been paid to carry out such work.

Other companies that Intratrek listed as having been subcontracted either did not exist, could not be found or had signed no contract with Intratrek, the prosecutor said.