President Emmerson Mnangagwa is reported to have authorised the release of US$52 million from power utility, Zesa to controversial businessman Wicknell Chivayo.
The money is part of the $140 million which will be released to Chivayo for the construction of the Gwanda Solar Power Project. The Zimbabwe Independent reports that the authorisation came after Chivayo wrote to Mnangagwa pleading for his intervention after Zesa subsidiary, the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) had refused to release the funds.
Part of the letter from Chivayo reads,
Your Excellency, the correct position, to allay fears and rising speculation on Intratrek/CHiNT’s capacity to implement the project, CHiNT advised ZPC on 20 April 2018 that China Exim Bank is ready and willing to issue an internationally backed advance payment bank guarantee to cover an aggregate of US$51 854 579,28 (30% of the contract value) and requested for relevant banking details in order to process the bank guarantee. This overture has been met with a deafening silence from ZPC as have many progressive advances that we have made towards resolving this.
It may be of particular importance to note that the contract value largely consists of the imports from the Chinese technical partner. Intratrek is only entitled to a small commission out of the contract value in keeping with the fair profit envisaged in ZPC’s request for proposals during the bidding of the solar tender.
…Further, the minister specifically directed ZPC to implement this funding proposal immediately. Notwithstanding Intratrek’s proposal and the minister’s strong recommendation, ZPC contemptuously refused to implement the proposed option…Had the funding been readily available through ZPC, Intratrek/CHiNT would only require 6-8 months to implement the contract and feed clean energy into the national grid.