Friday, 22 March 2019

CHIVAYO ACQUITTED


The High Court has acquitted Harare businessman Wicknell Chivayo of any criminal liability in the alleged US$5.6 million fraud and violation of the exchange control charges. 

Harare High Court judge Justice Ephraim Tagu has upheld an application for exception to the $5.6 million fraud charges against the Intratek Zimbabwe Director. In his 21-page ruling, Justice Tagu held that the judgement of Harare Magistrate Lazini Ncube given on 19 January 2018 dismissing Chivayo’s application for exception to the charges of fraud was faulty as the facts could not sustain a criminal suit. 

He proceeded to dismiss the state case for lack of merit and upheld Chivayo’s application for exception, quashed the charges and acquitted both Chivayo and his company.

  Advocate Lewis Uriri said the findings of the court had been in sync with their argument that the matter was purely a contractual one which should not be turned criminal as all contractual disputes are dealt with in civil proceedings.

 Chivayo said he was apologetic for the inordinate delay in the 100 megawatt solar generation project necessitated by the legal battle and also said Intratek Zimbabwe will now proceed to work on the project immediately. 

The Gwanda Solar Power Project deal generated a lot of public emotions with the disbanded Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy breathing fire on the alleged violation of good corporate governance practice, tender manipulation, corruption and fraud. The ruling of the High Court puts a lid on all criminal proceedings at the Harare Magistrates Court over the Gwanda Solar Power Project deal. zbc

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