Controversial businessman Wicknell Chivayo is reported to have received an advance payment of US$7 million from the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) and not the widely reported US$5 million. Chivayo received the US$7 million under irregular circumstances after his company, Intratek, won the tender for the Gwanda Solar Power Project. Former Energy Minister Samuel Undenge, who has already been arrested and is facing charges related to the deal, is alleged to have directed the power company to pay the businessman the money in advance. Chivayo is yet to start work on the project more than a year and a half since receiving the advance payment.
Chairman of the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) Stanley Kazhanje revealed this information when he appeared before the Mines and Energy Portfolio Committee. Said Kazhanje,
The total amount that was released was around $7 million, including Value Added Tax; it was disbursed in tranches.
The amount was paid by management and the figures were within their threshold as it did not require board approval. As a board, we discovered it from Press reports. There was no need for the issue to come to the board.
Minister of Energy Simon Khaya Moyo promised to fire those responsible once the investigations and the audit are complete.
We were told of $5 million and I do not know about the $7 million. What we heard was that it was a directive from the Minister (Undenge), but now ZPC is not clear on what happened, and I am quite surprised.
… after the forensic audit, whoever is responsible heads will roll. We can even dissolve the board; I do not think it is quite fair to take action when there are these investigations.
The Auditor-General will look into all these issues, including the faulty pre-paid meters that we were reading about in the newspapers.
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