The Parliamentary Portfolio committee on Mines and Energy will tour the site of the proposed Gwanda Solar Plant in Gwanda today as MPs widen their probe into the contentious deal signed by the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) and Intratrek, a company owned by flashy businessman Mr Wicknell Chivayo.
The visit comes barely two weeks after Mr Chivayo was taken to task by the committee over the $5 million he received from the ZPC for the Gwanda solar project. He was paid without the requisite bank guarantee.
Chairperson of the committee, Mr Temba Mliswa said the visit was meant to enable Parliament to assess progress made on the ground.
“The Gwanda one is to do with ZPC and Intratrek, the Wicknell Chivayo company. We are going to verify what’s on the ground vis a vis what has been paid,” said Mr Mliswa.
During his appearance before the committee, Mr Chivayo was also grilled over the manner in which he won the tender for the project in 2013.
Mr Mliswa asked Mr Chivayo to explain why there was a disparity on the amount he received from the $7 million that was mentioned by ZPC Board chairman Mr Stanley Kazhanje.
“Just tell us how much you got and where the money went to. We had ZPC here and they said they gave you $7 million. Just tell us how much you got and we break it down,” Mr Mliswa said.
The businessman admitted that he had been paid by the company without a bank guarantee and had sought assistance from former Minister of Energy and Power Development Dr Samuel Undenge after suspended ZPC managing director Noah Gwariro had refused to pay him the money without the guarantee.
Mr Mliswa said after Gwanda they will tour Hwange Colliery and Kamativi Mine on Thursday before rounding off with Shabanie Mine on Friday.
“We are going to look at Kamativi, we hear there is an investor. We also hear of things being stripped off by the Chinese investor and we’ll also look at its resuscitation. We will proceed to Hwange as well to look at the problems which are there and also to look at the production, the challenges that they are facing. It’s not really about problems but challenges and as Parliament to see how best we can also intervene,” said Mr Mliswa.
He said the revival of the country’s economy was dependent on the resuscitation of these mines.
“All those are critical in resuscitating the economy. You cannot talk of Zimbabwe without Ziscosteel, without Kamativi without Hwange without Shabanie Mine. So we have to understand the investors that are coming in, how serious are they because we have been taken for a ride by other investors,” said Mr Mliswa.
He said the committee yesterday visited Zisco which, he said, needs about $1 billion to revive.