A 100MW Gwanda solar project deal, which was signed in 2015 between the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) and businessman Wicknel Chivayo’s Intratrek Zimbabwe (Intratrek), has been deemed legally enforceable by a Harare court.
High Court judge Paul Musithu ruled that ZPC should not attempt to renege on the agreement.
“The procurement contract for the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC contract) of the 100MW Gwanda solar project… between the plaintiff (Intratek) and the defendant (ZPC) as amended is valid and binding between them,” Masithu said.
“Consequent to the declaration of the validity of the EPC contract, an order for specific performance of the said contract is hereby granted. The defendant’s claim in reconvention is hereby dismissed with costs. The defendant shall pay the plaintiff’s costs of suit in the claim in reconvention,” he added.
A procurement and engineering procurement and construction contract was signed by Intratek and ZPC in October 2015, according to court documents.
Intratek approached the court in order to request a declaration that the agreement was binding following a disagreement between the parties.
As an alternative, ZPC had asked for $25 million in contract breach damages.
In a prior criminal prosecution at the Harare Magistrates’ Court, Chivayo’s company was charged with paying ZPC CEO Stanley Chizhanje a US$10,000 bribe in order to secure the Gwanda project.
In 2021, regional magistrate Ngoni Nduna ruled that the charge against Chivayo and his company was “poorly framed” before acquitting the two.
“No direct evidence was placed before the court to show that the money followed some illicit agreement between the accused persons and… Kazhanje.
“It would be wrong for the State that an inference must be drawn that the US$10 000 made by the accused persons to… Kazhanje should be viewed as a bribe.
“The decisions being fouled were not made by the recipient of the alleged bribe and there is no evidence that… Kazhanje influenced the decisions.
“The totality of the evidence is that the board of directors was not responsible for the conclusion of the tender which awarded the two accused persons the contract,” Nduna ruled.