THE Office to the President and Cabinet (OPC) yesterday threw businessman Wicknell Chivayo (pictured) under the bus, denying in a letter to Parliament that they had any dealings at all with him or his company, Intratrek.
by VENERANDA LANGA
Chief Secretary to the OPC Misheck Sibanda, and his deputy Ray Ndhlukula had been invited to appear before the Temba Mliswa-led Mines and Energy Parliamentary Committee to give oral evidence but they did not turn up.
Instead, a letter from Ndhlukula was dispatched to the committee, which insinuated that Chivayo had misled the committee when he claimed that he had exchanged letters with the OPC concerning the awarding of the $200 million Gwanda Solar Project tender to Intratrek.
“The alleged involvement of the OPC in the National Solar Project in Gwanda would be at the level of the office engaging the secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development and not beyond,” read the letter from Ndhlukula. The onus is on the Intratrek management to prove that indeed they met with chief secretary to the OPC or myself (Ndhlukula) or both where this project was discussed.
“As far as we know, we have never engaged directly any person from Intratrek. The person alleging this meeting must confirm to the committee where and when he did meet OPC officials,” the letter reads.
The OPC said their office plays an oversight role in the implementation of government projects, be it in ministries or State-owned enterprises in liaison with the relevant ministries to carry out the mandate.
“There is therefore no basis for this office to appear before the Portfolio on Mines and Energy,” Ndhlukula said.
In the committee, Mliswa also read a letter where former Energy minister Elton Mangoma who denied claims of any involvement in Chivayo’s shady deals and asked Parliament to invite him for a hearing in order to clear his name.
“We will give Mangoma a chance to appear before the committee to explain his case. The committee will invite all former Energy Ministers to give oral evidence on what part they played on the Chivayo issue,” Mliswa said.