Chivayo’s Gwanda solar project impasse rages on

BY CHARLES LAITON

Businessman Wicknell Chivayo, who is embroiled in an impasse with the Zimbabwe Power Copany (ZPC) over a US$5 million Gwanda solar power project, has approached the High Court seeking to rectify a record of appeal.

The record was prepared by the Registrar of the High Court and submitted to the Supreme Court for determination.

In his chamber application filed on Monday this week, Chivayo accused the Registrar of having forwarded the court record without his affirmation as required by law.

“This is an application for the rectification of the record of appeal prepared by the Registrar of the High Court in respect of the appeal by the first respondent (Intratrek Zimbabwe) pending at the Supreme Court under case number SC422/2019. The said Registrar subsequently forwarded the said record of appeal to the Supreme Court without the applicant’s affirmation as required by rule 17(11) of the Supreme Court Rules, 2018. This followed the applicant’s protestation at the inspection of the record that the same was not adequate for its intended purposes,” Chivayo said.

“A copy of the record, the rectification of which is sought, herein is attached in whole as Annexure A. It will be immediately noted that the joint certificate of the Registrars has not been executed, and that at record page (i) the applicants have not affirmed the record. The applicants seek the rectification of the record of appeal by the inclusion of the documents that the learned judge had regard to by reference to related matters. It is important that such documents be part of the record.”

According to court papers, sometime this year, Chivayo and his company appeared at the Harare Magistrates Court for trial on charges of fraud and contravening the Exchange Control Act.

When he made an application for exception to the charges, provincial magistrate Lazini Ncube dismissed the application, prompting Chivayo and his firm to approach the High Court for a review.

It was after the review that High Court judge Justice Owen Tagu acquitted Chivayo and his firm, a decision which did not go down well with the Prosecutor-General (PG) Kumbirai Hodzi, who then appealed to the Supreme Court.

In his appeal, the PG said: “The honourable judge (Justice Tagu) misdirected himself in finding that the facts do not disclose an offence of fraud when it was apparent from the State outline that the Respondents (Intratrek and Chivayo) misrepresented to the ZPC finance director that a total of US$5 624 130 had been paid to subcontractors for a feasibility study and pre-commencement work on the Gwanda project when such money had not been paid to subcontractors and when, in actual fact, the respondents had used the money for their own benefit to the prejudice of ZPC”.

The matter is still pending.