BUSINESSMAN and socialite, Wicknell Chivayo, has promised to fast-track and complete his controversial Gwanda solar project that had stalled for years following a protracted legal battle between his company, Intratrek Zimbabwe Pvt Ltd and the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC).
This follows a High Court ruling Wednesday that the US$173 million project should go on as it is still valid.
Chivayo and his company had sued ZPC for causing malicious prosecution against them, which resulted in Intratrek losing out on business deals internationally owing to a soiled reputation.
The courts cleared Chivayo of wrongdoing resulting in the businessman suing for damages.
Chivayo had demanded US$25 million from ZPC for defamation and expenses he incurred but in an interview said he will not pursue the damages for now.
“We receive the High Court judgement as highly commendable as it is a vindication of the position that we have always advanced, particularly that the EPC Contract was unlawfully terminated by ZPC,” he said.
“It allays the regrettable misinformation about the project and aspersions that Intratrek did not perform its contractual obligations.
“We applaud our judiciary for seeing this matter for what it is, applying the law impartially to the dispute and not being swayed by the court of public opinion.”
Chivayo said Intratrek’s primary objective from the onset of the Gwanda solar project was, and remains, that of ensuring that Zimbabwe has 100MW of clean energy.
“This is the focus and economic drive of the Second Republic under President ED Mnangagwa. We remain resolute to ensure that with the legal impediment removed by the courts, the solar project will be implemented expeditiously and in the national interest,” he said.
“I wish to reiterate and set the record straight that we are not overly concerned with receiving damages from ZESA yet the country is reeling under prolonged hours of load shedding.
“It will be a dereliction of duty as citizens of Zimbabwe to pursue a remedy that will impoverish a State utility and prejudice the generality of Zimbabweans, ourselves included.”
Chivayo added; “We shall therefore prioritise and emphasize to our partners at ZESA that the demand for power be immediately resolved by allowing the project to be implemented, as opposed to a payment of the damages awarded by the Courts.
Chivayo said Intratrek Zimbabwe is ready to implement the project once all the security for payment agreements have been availed to the company by ZESA as required under the EPC Contract and per international best practice.
“Our financiers and technical partners are ready and willing to implement the project within the shortest possible time.”