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Wicknell Chivayo sues ZPC for US$22m, says he is losing business locally and abroad

Businessman Wicknell Chivayo and his company Intratrek Zimbabwe are suing the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) for US$22 million over defamation and for breaching the Gwanda Solar Project contract.

Chivayo told the High Court on Monday that his arrest on allegations of defrauding the ZPC had tarnished his name resulting in him losing business contracts at home and abroad.

“I can no longer do any projects due to the bad publicity l have received due to the ZPC deal,” he said.

“I have lost potential business in Kenya and Tanzania. l had gone there to do business and l was told l was the person who took money from ZPC and ran away.”

ZPC, prior to being sued, laid charges of fraud against Chivayo, accusing him of taking US$5,111,224 paid by the ZPC in 2015 and 2016 for pre-commencement works on the 100MW project meant for the Gwanda Solar Project which he reportedly failed to implement.

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Intratrek Zimbabwe boss Wicknell Chivayo on the ground at the Gwanda Solar Project in this file photo
Intratrek Zimbabwe boss Wicknell Chivayo on the ground at the Gwanda Solar Project in this file photo

But Chivayo denies the allegations through his lawyer Advocate Lewis Uriri who is arguing that going by ZPC’s own assessment at the site in Gwanda carried out in July 2020, Intratrek has performed the pre-commencement works to specification and is in fact owed over US$600,000 by ZPC.

Chivayo told the court: “We visited the site together, they came back and did a report so it does not make any sense that l failed to deliver on the promises agreed on.

“They have been malicious and circulating falsehoods.”

The trial continues (today) Tuesday.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) last week served summons on Chivayo to appear in court, prompting the businessman’s lawyers to write a letter to the Acting Prosecutor General Nelson Mutsonziwa, arguing that the charges were “clearly excipiable as they are neither founded upon nor do they meet the essential requirements of the crime of fraud.”

“The cause of action arises from a contractual arrangement between one client and ZPC, which arrangement provides for all the applicable remedies in the event of breach, whether actual or perceived.” Chivayo’s lawyers argued.