Chivayo to Be Charged over $5,6m Gwanda Fraud

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HARARE – TENDER businessman Wicknell Chivayo is to be prosecuted for fraud, the Acting Prosecutor General has said.

Chivayo, the managing director of Intratrek Zimbabwe Private Limited, received $5,6 million in 2016 from the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) to commence work on a $200 million solar project in Gwanda but had failed to deliver.

Now, Acting PG Kumbirai Hodzi, who only assumed office last week, has instructed the police to take Chivayo to court.

“The Acting Prosecutor General having considered criminal dockets pertaining to one Wicknell Chivayo has directed the police to bring him to court for a formal court appearance at Harare Magistrates Court immediately,” the National Prosecuting Authority said in a statement on Friday.

When complete, the Gwanda Solar Plant was expected to add 100 megawatts to the national power grid.

But prosecutors are now preparing to charge the former inmate with fraud, and say they will demonstrate that his company never had the capacity to carry out the project and probably should have never been awarded the tender.

ZPC signed an engineering, procurement and construction contract with Intratrek Zimbabwe – whose directors were Chivayo, Tinashe Marvin Chavi and Yusuf Ahmid – and its Chinese technical partner Chint Electric on October 23, 2015.

 

The agreement would have seen ZPC advance $4 million to Intratrek, who in turn were obligated to contribute $1 million for pre-commencement works.

By early 2016, prosecutors will say, Intratrek had raised a string of fake invoices for work they claimed had been done at the site, prompting ZPC to release $5,3 million.

Prosecutors say the money was inexplicably released without any advance payment bank guarantee.

In the months that followed, prosecutors say 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.

JTL Equipment, Makumimana Private Limited, Pietznack Plant and Earthmoving Services, Geoearth Minerals and Interpine Modular Structures Private Limited were some of the companies whose invoices Intratrek forwarded to ZPC claiming they had paid out $1,9 million for services.

Makumimana, prosecutors say, turned out to be a fictitious company, while Pietznack cannot be located.

Prosecutors will allege only $48,000 of a total amount of $5,6 million released to Intratrek had actually been spent clearing the site of the solar plant.

Chivayo was jailed for three years in 2004 for theft by false pretences involving R837,000. He served his sentence at Chikurubi Maximum Prison.

In 2009, he was charged over a R2 million con targeting six people. He spent several weeks at Bulawayo Prison but was acquitted by a magistrate despite his accomplice’s evidence.

Despite not delivering on the Gwanda Solar Plant after getting public money, Chivayo has not slowed down in posting boastful videos on social media parading his “wealth”.

He posts pictures of himself in exotic places either shopping or counting bundles of cash. He has a fleet of expensive cars at his home in Harare, including a $200,000 Rolls Royce.

On Friday, he posted a picture of himself outside the New York Intercontinental Hotel urging Zimbabweans to vote for Zanu PF leader Emmerson Mnangagwa in elections on Monday so that the country can be “fun to live in like the 1980s and 1990s.”

If Mnangagwa wins, per Chivayo’s wish, he will have that fun from behind bars if prosecutors have their way.-Zimlive

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