BY CHARLES LAITON
The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) has accused Intratrek Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd of breaching the parties Gwanda solar project agreement by not contributing $1 million which it was supposed to inject into the partnership leading to the stalling of the contract signed over four years ago.
The power company has now approached the High Court seeking leave to appeal a ruling that the two parties should work together.
ZPC is, therefore, seeking the intervention of the Supreme Court to resolve the impasse between the parties before it can continue with the multimillion dollar contract.
“The obligation of the respondent (Intratrek Zimbabwe) was to provide partial funding for the pre-commencement activities of $1 000 000 towards the execution of the works. The applicant (ZPC) has already injected $3 310 736 into the project whereas the respondent has not performed its part of the contract,” ZPC acting managing director Zuwaracho Chikuri said in his affidavit.
“As agreed in the main engineering procurement contract, it is for the sum of US$172 848 597. The amount thereof is substantial. I aver that it is best for parties to continue with such an important financial relationship only after their rights have been finally determined by the Supreme Court and not with the uncertainty of a pending appeal hearing over their heads.” The decision by ZPC to seek the apex court’s intervention followed the High Court’s order, which compelled the power company to sit down with Intratrek Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd director Wicknell Chivayo and ensure the completion of the Gwanda solar project.
“This application is accordingly filed to enable the applicant to set aside the judgment on appeal,” Chikuri said.
“The reason why the application was not made orally in terms of Rule 262 of the High Court Rules is that on the date of the judgment, the learned judge did not read out the reasons for his judgment to the parties.”
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Commenting on why the ZPC does not want to continue engaging Chivayo, Chikuri said the total amount involved in the project was quite substantial and ZPC had fulfilled its obligation to the contract, but the same did not happen with Chivayo.
“The amount involved in this matter is by no means trifling. The total cost of the pre-commencement activities was $5 111 224. The parties had come to an agreement that the applicant would contribute $4 111 224 against advance payment guarantee by the respondent,” he said.
Last month, High Court judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi castigated ZPC’s lackadaisical approach to finding common ground with Chivayo, by finding a lasting solution to the parties’ 2015 business impasse.
Justice Chitapi said ZPC’s continued denial to sit down with Chivayo to resolve the issue of discharging the parties’ obligations in terms of the Gwanda solar project contract was a clear indication that the power company’s move was driven by “selfish, self-serving and ulterior reasons”.
The matter is pending.