HARARE, February 12 (The Source) – The drama around the ownership of controversial firm Intratrek, which the government of Zimbabwe awarded energy contracts worth over $600 million, played out in Parliament on Monday with the managing director Wicknell Chivayo and company lawyer Bruce Tokwe in open conflict.
The flamboyant Chivayo appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Mines and Energy to answer questions on the $202 million Gwanda Solar Project which was awarded to Intratrek Zimbabwe in 2015.
The contract was among several power projects awarded to the firm between 2015 and 2016, including the $73 million refurbishment of Harare power station; a $163 million project to restore Munyati power station; a new $128 million hydropower station at Gairezi.
On a day of controversy for Wicknell Chivayo, read our Special Report from 2016 that lifted the lid on the scandal behind the awarding of $600m worth of power deals to Intratrek:
Intratrek lawyers also turned up for the hearing, but Chivayo told the committee that they had come of their own accord.
Several ZESA Holdings executives attended, including the chief executive, Josh Chifamba.
Chifamba and other Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) members were later chased away by the committee after other board member did not turn up.
The Gwanda solar project is yet to take off and in December last year, it emerged that the Zimbabwe Power Company had extended the contract for completion of pre-commencement works by six months until April 23 this year after the initial two year period had expired. The extension was provided for in the original contract, according to ZPC.
Chivayo said he owned 50 percent of Intratrek, with Ibrahim Yusuf owning the other half.
But the Intratrek lawyer Bruce Tokwe told the committee that Chivayo was only serving as managing director and no longer a shareholder in the company because he had ceded his shareholding in 2014 to Intermillion Investments, which is also owned by Yusuf, and accused him of having no regard for good corporate governance.
“In 2014 Mr Chivayo borrowed some money on the understanding that he will cede the rest of his shareholding in Intratrek Zimbabwe, which he did to a company called Intermillion Investments. As things stand now Mr Chivayo is not really a shareholder in Intratrek,” said Tokwe.
Chivayo countered that Yusuf had given him his 50pct back in 2015.
“I am a 50 percent shareholder, I stand by that,” said Chivayo.
Tokwe, however, said that Intratrek is currently probing Chivayo’s work at the company to determine the damage which was done to the company but said shareholders are ready to complete the Gwanda project.
There would be changes afoot at Intratrek because the political “dynamics have changed,” Tokwe added, suggesting that Chivayo may have been benefiting from political protection.
Other Intratrek shareholders, Tokwe told the lawmakers, do not know how the money paid to Intratrek was used but were happy to fund the project ‘to do whatever needs to be done’ to complete the project.
The shareholders, Tokwe added, had invested $2mln-$3mln, an amount Chivayo said he had matched.