THE Supreme Court has dismissed the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC)’s appeal and reinstated businessman Wicknell Chivayo’s contract to construct a 100 megawatt (MW) solar project in Gwanda.
Supreme Court judges Justices Joseph Musakwa and George Chiweshe dismissed the ZPC appeal with costs.
The power company had launched an appeal complaining that Chivayo did not fulfil the contract, hence the High Court erred when it ruled that the contract was binding and valid.
ZPC lawyer Daniel Tivadar said the project was supposed to have been completed in 2019.
Chivayo’s lawyer advocate Lewis Uriri insisted that evidence by his client before the lower court was not contested.
Chivayo, through his company Intratrek Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd, had filed a US$22 million defamation lawsuit against ZPC.
He also demanded US$3 million as compensation for expenses incurred in funding the project between 2013 and 2018.
Chivayo also argued that ZPC tarnished his integrity by getting him arrested on fraud allegations emanating from the project.
In January this year, High Court judge Justice Siyabona Musithu upheld Chivayo’s application before slapping ZPC with costs on a higher scale.
“Resultantly, it is ordered that: The procurement contract for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC contract) of the 100MW Gwanda Solar Project (ZPC 304/2015) between the plaintiff and the defendant as amended is valid and binding between them,” Justice Musithu ruled at the time.
Aggrieved by the judgment, ZPC filed an appeal at the Supreme Court complaining that the lower court erred when it ruled in favour of Chivayo.