Energy Minister, Fortune Chasi has recently come under fire for suggesting that the criminal charges levelled against businessman and ex-convict, Wicknell Chivhayo be thrown away.
Chasi said it would be in the best interest of the country as that would allow Chivhayo to complete the Gwanda Solar Project whose tender he and his company, Itratek, won in 2015.
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Prosecutors responded to his suggestion saying they were going ahead with the trial adding that Chasi should not interfere with the trial.
We present below Chasi’s twitter thread in which he further explains why he wants the case thrown away.
My thanks go to all who have given their views on the Gwanda project. I have endeavored to express myself on this project. But I do think that I may not have adequately expressed myself. Let me clarify an issue which has attracted criticism.
There are essentially 2 issues which must be separated & dealt with that way. Mr Chivhayo faces criminal prosecution. Never have I even thought about that process. It’s of no consequence to the execution of the project.
The other issue is a civil matter between the parties. Zesa has lost twice and there’s an appeal before the Supreme Court.
In the criminal appeal recently the court ordered that Mr Chivhayo goes back for trial in respect of which he had been acquitted in the lower court.
Simultaneously zesa had lodged an appeal in respect of aspects of the contract with Mr Chivhayo. That appeal is still pending. It was this appeal that has drawn my ire. It constitutes an albatross around the project. I was also concerned about the fact that.
whilst employees got no increases, lawyers would always be paid. Legal issues & fees together suggest the parties sit down & talk. In doing so Chitapi J spoke on our behalf as Zimbabweans. Added to this the fact that ZESA IS INSOLVENT. Staff have not had salary reviews since 2012.
Appoint has been that I have reposed trust in individuals to the detriment of institutions. The Judicary is a key institution. It ordered that the parties settle. It was exasperated. I am asking that that order be respected. From the day of the court order the parties never spoke
This is contemptuous of the court. I have pointed this out in very clear terms to zesa, where gvt is sole shareholder. Their attitude was too dilatory given the exigencies of power in the country.
Subsequently, I called them to the table and told that the disrespect of the order was simply unacceptable. I need to “develop” power as minister of Energy & Power Developmént.
There has also been a very curious suggestion that I may be interfering with witnesses in the Chivhayo trial. This is preposterous. This is an acute case of overzealousness.
However, for what it’s I can assure you that that is not the case. I’m focusing on the civil matter. As I said whilst zesa must protect the “national interest” thru the courts, it can not afford protracted LITIGATION.
I used the word “litigation” in my letter. No reference whatsoever to the PROSECUTION of Mr Chivhayo. The dramatics personae (the players” in the PROSECUTION are the State and the accused. It’s not zesa and Intratek or Mr Chivhayo. Only the Prosecutor can stop. Not even zesa.
Some, maybe out of genuine ignorance, or mischief, say I have directed that the PROSECUTION ends. No, I haven’t & I can’t at all.