The high profile legal battle pitting flamboyant businessman and director of Intratrek Zimbabwe Wicknell Chivayo and the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) keeps on taking dramatic twists and turns.
The latest development is the US$25 million lawsuit that Chivayo has slapped the power utility company with for breaching their contract and bringing up malicious criminal charges of fraud against him.
He also alleges that ZPC was frustrating his company Intratek from performing its obligations at the Gwanda Solar Power Project.
The matter was heard before High Court on Monday and presided over by Justice Tawanda Chitapi.
Chivayo is represented by Advocate Lewis Uriri instructed by Wilson Manase.
The claim follows a dispute that erupted between Intratrek and ZPC arising from an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract signed between the parties for the construction of the Gwanda solar plant. In or around 2013, the State Procurement Board (SPB), now Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ), flighted a tender for construction of the 100MW photovoltaic solar power plant in Zimbabwe, which Intratrek submitted and won above board.
ZPC then started frustrating Chivayo through cooking up corruption charges which they later made a dramatic u-turn last week and said they had no hand in Chivayo’s arrest and subsequent prosecution.
According to an application made by Chivayo, he prayed that ZPC pay him $15 million for loss of profit from the contract among other demands.
Part of the application read: “Respondent be and is hereby ordered to pay the claimant damages in the sum of US$25,000,000 (Twenty Five Million United States dollars) arising from the prejudice suffered by Respondent consequent to the Respondent’s repudiation and breach of the terms of the EPC Contract and set out in the submissions.”
Chivayo also demanded that ZPC allow him to complete the pre-commencement works within a period of 180 days from the day of the order
The $25 million that Chivayo demanded included $15 million for damages that arose from the costs that he engaged
in syndicating the technical partnership with CHiNT Electric and sourcing of project financing from China Exim Bank and other credit financing Institutions.
He also accused ZPC of wantonly frustrating the contract and publishing false and malicious allegations thereby damaging his reputation that led to loss of business
“As a direct result of the malice thereof, the applicant’s reputation and corporate good standing was materially tarnished and led to certain business undertakings being either suspended or terminated,” further read the application.
Chivayo also submitted that after a series of meetings to explain their position and lament over the delay caused by ZPC, the power utility would not play ball, either negating or rejecting, implementation of an alternative funding model it had proposed to minimise the impact of delays to the project even after Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa had directed so.