By Abel Karowangoro
The construction at the Gwanda Solar Farm has resumed with significant changes noted on site this week, Zim Morning Post can report.
This development follows High Court judge Tawanda Chitapi’s ruling wherein he ordered Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) and Intratrek Zimbabwe find common ground with view of fast tracking completion of the Gwanda solar power project.
He submitted that ZPC and Intratrek must not “merry dance in board rooms and court rooms but must go to successfully implement the project for the benefit of Zimbabwe”.
He further noted that the power to be generated was not for use by Wicknell Chivayo and Intratrek but for the nation at large.
Intratrek had applied for leave to execute High Court judge, Justice Tawanda Chitapi’s December 2018 ruling, pending appeal, over a contractual dispute regarding the Gwanda solar project, which was delivered in favour of Intratrek.
ZPC is challenging the ruling at the Supreme Court but this week Chivayo dispatched construction workers on the site in a refreshing development especially against the background of the current power challenges facing the country.
ZPC has a pending appeal at the Supreme Court whose motive Justice Chitapi described as “improper.”
“It is disgraceful that national projects are stalled by contracting parties having merry dances in boardrooms instead of project sites and seeing the project to fruition,” the judge said.
Intratrek prayed for an order of specific performance arguing that the State power utility had frustrated the contract after causing Chivayo’s arrest on trumped up criminal charges.
ZPC denied causing the arrest of Chivayo, Justice Chitapi said records of allegations in the criminal case showed ZPC’s managing director was the complainant and as such, “an appeal court by an imagination cannot find otherwise”
The legal battle has been going on for a prolonged period headlined by twist and turns.
Justice Tawanda Chitapi granted a specific performance order sought by Intratrek, ruling:
“The public wants electricity for use at home and in industries. The public is not interested in bickering for self-interest and egos on the part of State actors and their contractors.”
If ZPC wished to cancel the contract, the judge said, it had to pay Intratrek US$25 million dollars in damages.
“It has already been observed that the subject matter of the contract is of national importance. It is of public interest. The public wants electricity for use at home and in industries.
The public is not interested in bickering for self-interest and egos on the part of State actors and their contractors,” Justice Chitapi said.
Chivayo, who visited the Gwanda site this week, told online publication ZimLive that he was moving ahead to implement the project in four phases of 25 megawatts each.
“The power to be generated is not for use by Intratrek or ZPC alone, but for the whole nation,” he said.
“The judgement of the High Court allowed execution pending appeal. Importantly, the judge said the parties must not merry-dance in boardrooms and courtrooms but must go and successfully implement the project for the benefit of Zimbabwe. That’s what Intratrek is doing.”
Zim Morning Post and ZimLive