Zimbabwe calls for cancellation of Gwanda solar project

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A parliamentary committee in Zimbabwe is calling for the US $202m Gwanda solar project tender to be withdrawn and former ministers to be prosecuted if they flouted tender procedures in awarding the contract following claims over corruptions acts.

According to the committee,the boards of ZESA Holdings and the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC)  failed to follow good corporate governance practices in awarding the contract.

“The committee was informed that the ZPC managing director Noah Gwariro acted without consulting the board because of pressure from politicians that included former ministers of energy, Mavhaire, Mangoma, Undenge and Mutezo. However, Mutezo appeared before the committee and denied the allegations,” said committee chairperson Temba Mliswa.

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“The money paid to Intratek should be recovered after investigations are completed and the award of the tender to Intratek needs to be rescinded in light of violations of the Company’s Act and the repealed Procurement Act,”he added

Intratrek paid in advance

The tender for the 100MW Gwanda Solar Project was awarded to Intratrek Zimbabwe in 2015.After winning the bid, Intratrek is reported to have received US $5,6m in advance for preparatory work on the solar plant.Former energy minister Samuel Undenge is said to have communicated directly with the board to influence payments to the company’s managing director, Wicknell Chivayo.

“It was clear that Undenge used to have direct communication with ZPC management and was the one said to have instructed the ZPC board to make payments to Chivayo without having to provide a bank guarantee,” said Mliswa.

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