HARARE – Amid swirling rumours about the fate of his energy contracts with the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), controversial businessman Wicknell Chivayo says he “will not bow down to pressure” and there was“nothing unusual about a measly $5 million payment” from the organisation.
This comes as the self-styled investment broker and his Intratrek Zimbabwe (Intratrek) backers have been the subject of intense media scrutiny over their 100 megawatt solar project with the ZESA Holdings subsidiary.
“Contrary to all these malicious reports, l remain tirelessly committed to deliver my mandate…. Be that as it may, l will not give in to any pressure… from vindictive newspapers during or after implementation of this project,” Chivayo said, noting he was “happy his critics had accepted the projects were irrevocable and irreversible hence they have shifted their focus… to dwell on implementation”.
“I know common sense is (uncommon)… but clearly where anyone has been paid the process should take a week or a month (and) not three years unless… the person who is supposedly paying is very foolish. With regards to this project, the contractor and the employer are both well aware of their contractual obligations, and know how to seek remedy should any misunderstandings arise,” he said.
“At this level of business… there is absolutely nothing… unusual about a small payment of $5 million where there is a signed engineering, procurement and contracting agreement (worth)… $173 million,” Chivayo thundered, adding “who in their right mind… would honestly be… so stupid to focus on peanuts leaving the bigger cake”.
As the Intratrek-ZPC saga rages on, Energy minister Samuel Undenge has not only been spotlighted about his role in the intriguing affair, but flip-flopped about the validity of the contracts.
On his part, Chivayo said yesterday that a “focus on his past was not only irrelevant”, but his critics must know that “the actions and responsibilities of an agent are ascribable, and construed to their principal, with the use of the word technical partner being illustrative”.
In the highly-emotional public statement, the rotund businessman spoke at length about how Zimbabwe’s public tendering system was “incorruptible”and that he could not comment further on the nature of his relationship with Noah Gwariro’s firm “as I am restricted by an explicit confidentiality clause in the contract with strictly liability”.
“Only and until you participate in a tender will you appreciate that the highest decision-making body… the State Procurement Board comprises of level headed (people of) unquestionable integrity. Their slogan reads ‘fair and square’ (and) that is why it took me three years to win this tender (after) it was cancelled on four different occasions for various irregularities,” Chivayo said.
A colourful and swaggering character, the youthful businessman further said that “me and my reputable partners will continue to participate in all public tenders in, and out of Zimbabwe”, and "whenever decisions go against their proposals – based on the lowest bidder principle or system – the Administrative, and Supreme Courts will help them".