BUSINESSMAN Wicknell Chivayo, who is accused of swindling the Zimbabwe Power Company of $5 million in a botched Gwanda solar power deal, yesterday had his charge amended for the fourth time.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Chivayo, who is represented by Lewis Uriri and Wilson Manase, had filed a 42-page document stating that the facts in the State outline do not disclose an offence when he appeared before Harare magistrate Lazini Ncube.
The businessman challenged the State to read the amended allegations in court to enable him to plead.
But the State refused to read the charges for fear that Chivayo would plead not guilty and subsequently file an application for exception of the charges, which will likely go in accused’s favour.
The State, represented by Veneranda Munyoro, told the court that Chivayo gave her a 42-page document in which he gave a notice to apply for exception to the charges.
She said she would need more time to prepare a response to the notice before she could ask Chivayo to plead.
Munyoro said the trial dates for Chivayo had been set for November 7, 8 and 9 and she will read the charges and ask him to then plead.
Chivayo’s document challenged the facts of his allegations, saying they do not disclose an offence.
He said all the charges emanate from the procurement contract, of which the contract is regulated by the Procurement Act.
Chivayo further said the criminal law could not be an enforcer or remedy of alleged breach of contract and the State does not need the help of the criminal law as a remedy or enforcer of the breach of contracts.
The businessman said in the charge sheet there were no allegations that he did anything pursuant to the contract alleged in his own capacity.
He also said there were no allegations that his firm Intratrek was abused for a criminal enterprise.
Allegations are that sometime in 2012, ZPC awarded Chivayo a $172 848 597 tender to construct the Gwanda solar project after his accomplice former Energy minister Samuel Undenge interfered with the tender process and directed ZPC managing director Noah Gwariro to award the tender to Chivayo.
ZPC later released $5 607 814,24 into Intratrek’s bank account for the project to take off, but Chivayo allegedly did not implement the project and, instead, converted or transferred the money into various individual and company accounts.