THE Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines yesterday claimed it had gathered enough evidence to nail businessman Wicknell Chivayo, after visiting the Gwanda Solar Project only to find two makeshift tin and wooden offices with no solar power being generated.
by VENERANDA LANGA
Committee chairperson, Temba Mliswa said his committee now had enough evidence to prove that there was nothing on the ground pertaining to the project.
He said the committee would produce a report to recommend Chivayo’s investigation for fraud.
“When we went to physically see the project as a committee, we really did not see any structure that relates to a project worth millions of dollars at all,” Mliswa said after visiting the project site, which was expected to cost $200 million and produce 100 megawatts.
“Parliament does not have arresting powers and so what we are simply going to do now after playing our oversight role is to write a report that will indicate in strong terms that there is a prima facie case for Chivayo to be further investigated by law enforcement institutions for fraudulent activities.”
Mliswa said the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commissions (Zacc) and other law enforcement institutions will then be taken to task if they fail to act on the report.
Zimbabwe Power Company chairperson Stanley Kazhanje recently told the Mines Committee that Chivayo was advanced $7 million for the project without a bank guarantee.
But When ZPC acting managing director Joshua Chirikuutsi later appeared before the same committee, he claimed the businessman was paid $5, 6 million.
On Tuesday, social media platforms were awash with pictures of the committee’s visit to Gwanda, which showed two makeshift cabins made out of cheap wooden and tin materials. The structures also looked as though they had been recently erected.
When Chivayo appeared before the mines committee, he told MPs that he had also erected a perimeter fence around the 225 hectares of land for the project. However, MPs said they found that even the perimeter fence was incomplete.