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Don’t Ask Me About Electricity: Chivayo Boasts As Gwanda Solar Project Lies Idle

Wicknell Chivayo, the director of Intratrek, a company contracted by ZESA to build a 100MW solar plant, has made some boastful remarks on social media sparking a raucous.

Intratrek Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA), inked a contract in 2014 and the company was awarded US$5 million.

ZESA tried to terminate the contract citing that Intratrek had failed to deliver but a 2019 High Court ruling declared that the contract was valid and directed that the feuding parties negotiate a fresh way forward.

ZESA also failed to succeed in attempts to lay criminal charges against Intratrek director, Wicknell Chivayo and ex-Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) chair Stanley Kazhanje.

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Chivayo has today been under fire as the country grapples with an energy crisis. Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono has blamed such “looting” on the crisis being experienced in Zimbabwe. He said on Facebook

Wicknell Chivayo

“The man you see in the mirror looted millions of dollars of public money meant to provide electricity.

He is walking the streets of Harare freely because the system is corrupt.

He posts pictures with hundreds of designer shoes showing off.

That is how Zimbabwe has sunk to the bottom through lack of leadership and corruption.

Where there was supposed to be electricity, Zimbabweans are insulted with pairs of designer shoes.

Energy minister Soda Zhemu was asked back in August by opposition MP about “what practical steps he is taking to resuscitate the Gwanda Solar Project that is lying in limbo?”

Zhemu responded and said that there was no progress because Intratrek was still embroiled in court disputes with ZESA.

“Gwanda Solar Project has been embroiled in some litigation issues which we are still working on. At the moment, there is nothing that is happening with the Gwanda Solar Project but after the court processes, we will resume the Gwanda Solar Power Plant,” he said.

This is despite the fact that in July last year, Zhemu’s predecessor, Fortune Chasi said government had resolved to reestablish the implementation plan for the 100 megawatts Gwanda Solar Project after its contractor, Intratrek vowed to deliver the first 10MW within six months after signing of financial closure agreements.

Chasi said the contract was to be undertaken with a team of renowned power project experts and US$14 million mobilised by African Transmission Corporation, a “ready-made” loan funding commitment for delivery of the first 10 MW under the new phased project plan, but until now, nothing has materialised.

“We have taken a robust and pragmatic stance on the project. It needs to move in earnest upon financial closure to make sure that the first 10 MW are delivered within six months of financial closure; that is in 2021 and the remainder by 2022,” Chasi said last year.

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