The parliamentary committee on Mines and Energy questioned Intratek (Pvt) Ltd Managing Director, Wicknell Chivayo on how he influenced the decision to acquire a tender for the National Solar Project.
Intratek’s tender of $250 million lost to the winning bid from Chinese firm Xianching of $174 million, but through Chivayo’s back-dealing with the then Minister of Energy Dzikamai Mavhaire, Intratek ended up being awarded the tender.
Chivayo started Intratek company in 2012 with the aim of applying for various energy tenders released by the government through the State Procurement Board (SPB) and first partnered with a German firm, Greenfield Solar and applied for the tender for the National Solar Project. But despite many allegations of corruption and back dealings, Chivayo maintains that he won the bid on merit.
By Pearson Mbendera
“I won the tender on merit because I had partners with the technical and financial ability to fulfill the requirements of the contract. It wasn’t about me, but my partners and their credibility mattered,” said Chivayo.
During the deliberations in the Senate Chamber at the Parliament chaired by Norton MP Hon Themba Mliswa, the committee failed to make sense of the bidding process of the National Solar Project that started in 2012 and ended in 2015, considering that Intratek had initially lost the bid.
Six companies participated in the bid, with three of the six being disqualified for non-compliance and Chivayo’s Intratek, one of the three who were compliant with the SPB requirements, lost the tender to a Chinese firm, Xianching, resulting in Chivayo, appealing the SPB’s decision to the then minister of Energy Hon Mavhaire.
Feeling that the nation required about 1500 megawatts of energy and yet had only awarded a tender of the supply of 100 megawatts, it was later decided that the three compliant companies all be given tenders provided they were able to match the $174 million of Xianching, the original winning bid.
After the three companies had been awarded tenders, disagreements on certain contractual issues soon followed, forcing the SPB to cancel the tenders and re-advertise, and it was after the subsequent tender process that Intratek finally won the tender.
But Chivayo’s influence didn’t end there, the pompous businessman went ahead on influencing the minister to force the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) to pay him for the feasibility study that he had carried out and some precommencement work, despite his inability to produce an Advance Payment Guarantee after local banks denied to grant him one since he was unable to pledge the $350000 that banks were asking for.
The case is dragging ZPC Stanely Kazhanje, former SPB chairman, the late Charles Kuwaza, former energy ministers, Dzikamai Mavhaire and Samuel Undenge and the members of the former first family particularly the former First Lady, Grace Mugabe.
The committee is yet to make its decision as they are yet to hear from ZPC following allegations from Chivayo that he only received $5 million from ZPC, while ZPC argues that they paid him $7 million. Internal boardroom squabbles within Intratek company have also jeopardized the operations of the company, with Chivayo’s original partner arguing that Chichayo seeded his shareholding in Intratek and is now just a Director and Managing Director of the company but not co-owner.
Chivayo’s criminal record for having served 24 months in prison from financial crimes including money laundering were brought to the attention of the committee as the dealings with ZPC doesn’t seem to add up.