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Chivayo’s $400m deals face probe

Controversial businessman Wicknell Chivayo’s multi-million energy deals with the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) are in jeopardy, as Zesa Holdings has reportedly started a process to review the tenders because of his criminal record.

By Everson Mushava

According to documents seen by The Standard last week, some Zesa board members have started querying how Chivayo was awarded deals worth $441 million, given his 2004 conviction for fraud.

The board members want an investigation to establish whether there were no violations of the Companies and State Procurement Board (SPB) Act when Chivayo was awarded the contracts.

Former Finance minister Herbert Murerwa’s board is worried that ZPC’s association with an ex-convict could pose financial and reputational risk to the organisation.

“In the past few days, the media has been awash with articles about this gentleman and of concern is that ZPC, during our term, has awarded various multi-million dollar tenders to a convicted fraudster,” a document copied to all board members reads.

Zesa chief executive officer Josh Chifamba and ZPC board chair Stan Kazhanje were some of the many people copied in the email.

Chivayo was sentenced to five years imprisonment with labour, with two years suspended to three, after being found guilty of stealing $37 665 000 through false pretence in 2004.

“I think this poses various questions to which we must have answers and take corrective action to contain the financial and reputational risk which this situation presents as the shareholder of ZPC.According to the Companies Act, can a convicted fraudster be a director and a shareholder for a company?” the document queries.

“Was the conviction disclosed to us at tender stage and if so, did we make a deliberate decision to overlook this?”

The document further asked if ZPC did a proper job to award Chivayo the tender under the circumstances and what corrective measures the company could take.

The procurement policies, the document added, lacked checks and balances as it focused on financial and technical compliance, overlooking the need to engage with reputable individuals and companies.

“We owe the people of Zimbabwe a better deal than Intratek. If we have integrity, how do we align ourselves with such a company?

“No doubt due to the recent articles, heads will also roll from our principal who has somewhat been dragged to the foray. In my view, the ZPC board and management have a case to answer and so do we as Zesa Holdings,” reads the leaked document.

“I believe that the reputation of ZPC, ZH, board and management and Zesa at large is at risk as a result of this and as a board, we urgently need to address this matter. It would be a serious lapse in judgment or unwise of us if we were to ignore it or wish it away.”

It added: “In our role, we hold the nation’s hopes to bring desperately needed power solutions to the nation of Zimbabwe.

“I feel it is only our duty to have a position and solution on how we can possibly get ourselves out of this situation where we have placed such a huge responsibility on Intratek to deliver those hopes not on one occasion, but on several of those opportunities.”

Kazhanje referred all questions to Zesa spokesperson Fullard Gwasira.

Gwasira promised to respond by last night but had not done so at the time of going to print. Chifamba’s phone was not being answered yesterday.

Chivayo’s Intratrek was given a ZPC tender to set up solar power stations.

7 Responses to Chivayo’s $400m deals face probe

  1. Fraud! April 10, 2016 at 11:02 am #

    Was KYC policy ever followed? And in any event why are the reports of Wicknell Chivayo not revealing exactly what he does as a business person beyond being connected to VIPs? Which companies does he run? For how long has he been doing this? Where did he get his capital from? What goods does he sell? Where are his shops and other properties and what is his net worth?

    Reporters need to apologize to the public for acting like they have just graduated from journalism college and are still teetering on their wobbly feet like toddlers beginning to learn how to walk!

  2. Widza April 10, 2016 at 12:28 pm #

    During my time with ZESA previous experience and the ability to demonstrate that the tenderer was a bona fide entity registered with all regulatory authorities was essential before we even looked at the tender prices. The question is how and why was Intratek awarded $400m worth of tenders without a proper due diligence check? The ZPC MD and all those involved have a lot to explain. It has always been common knowledge that Wicknell is an ex-convict, he even confirmed as much on his FB page.

  3. Jamengweni Godonga April 10, 2016 at 12:42 pm #

    Those that have clean money do not go about displaying their money. Wicknell and his handler at ZIFA have a lot to answer for. It is no secret that Philip is a fraudster running a dodgy entity whose networth cannot be measured. Sadly these are the people we entrust with national projects so that they can continue fleecing the unsuspecting nation.
    The list of such individuals is endless in our country but we hero worship them as if we do not have anything between the ears. The culture of ‘chef’ is bad for the economy and the country. I am happy that all I have is God given

  4. Gilbert April 11, 2016 at 9:47 am #

    What else do you expect,corrupt country,corrupt people,corrupt media,if he is spelling out cash let him do so,thats how people in zimbabwe are earning a living.the point is at the end of the day is that project going to be a success or not.we can not judge a person on his previous scandals,he may be a better candidate because he knows the after effects of misappropriations of funds

  5. Moyo G. April 12, 2016 at 8:51 am #

    A fool and his money will soon part.let’s wait and see, those who approved a fraudster are also fraudsters.

  6. Elman Joel April 15, 2016 at 3:20 pm #

    i don’t think its wise to judge people because of their past wrongs. At the end of the day no one is perfect in this world. If he can deliver the job let him do it.

  7. Stephen Drew April 22, 2016 at 2:53 pm #

    If any one’s interested I sell solar energy to Zimbabweans. You can contact me via Ebay to organize what system would work for you.

    The pay back takes about 4 years for 250w panels at 7cent per Kilowatt. That is significantly cheaper than purchasing ZESA power!

    260W(250W) Blue\White solar panel, DIY, motorhome/caravan, boat, Africa

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