Wicknell Chivayo trial date set

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FLAMBOYANT businessman Wicknell Chivayo, accused of bribery emanating from the Gwanda solar deal that he signed with the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), will now stand trial on November 24 after the High Court dismissed his bid to except to the charges.
Chivayo, who is jointly charged with former ZPC chairperson Stanley Kazhanje, approached the High Court on review after the Harare Magistrates’ Courts dismissed his application for exception to the charges.

Chivayo and his company Intratrek are accused of having bribed Kazhanje to make decisions in their favour.

The State, represented by Brian Vito, claimed that sometime in 2013, ZPC called for bids for the construction of the Gwanda Solar Project plant and Chivayo’s company, Intratrek, applied.

It is alleged that on October 22, 2015, the ZPC board held a meeting where Kazhanje allegedly directed management to proceed in signing a contract with Intratrek Zimbabwe.

Further claims are that the following day, a contract was signed between ZPC and Intratrek Zimbabwe.
On January 21, 2016, Chivayo allegedly transferred $10 000 from Intratrek Zimbabwe’s bank account into Kazhanje’s personal Barclays Bank account.

It is alleged that after the payment, Kazhanje influenced the ZPC board to pass resolutions in favour of Chivayo and Intratrek in connection with the ZPC contract.

Chivayo, however, said his company participated in a public tender and won, before being awarded a contract.
He said that following certain breaches, Intratrek sued for specific performance in the High Court in a process which stalled the works.

Chivayo told the court that they were first charged with fraud and placed on remand, with the High Court stating during the bail hearing that the State’s case was “patently weak and did not disclose an offence”.

At the High Court, Kazhanje argued that the State was attempting to charge him twice for one offence having been previously convicted for concealing the bribe to his principals.

4He had objected to pleading to the current bribery charge. However, the High Court dismissed his objection.

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