State requested time in Chivayo case 

Source: State requested time in Chivayo case | The Herald

State requested time in Chivayo case
Wicknell Chivayo

Nyore Madzianike Senior Court Reporter

THE State is not yet ready to prosecute businessman Wicknell Chivayo and his company, Intratreck Zimbabwe, on fraud charges over the Gwanda solar station and yesterday sought more time to look into issues he raised with the National Prosecuting Authority before his trial opens.

Chivayo and Intratrek Zimbabwe are charged with fraud involving US$5,6 million allegedly paid by Zimbabwe Power Company towards feasibility studies for the Gwanda station.

Through his legal team, Chivayo and his company wrote to the Prosecutor General contesting the resumption of a criminal prosecution, with the lawyers arguing that the entire US$5 111 224 paid by Zimbabwe Power Company was used in accordance with the requirements of the engineering procurement and construction contract.

His lawyers attached a report on the valuation of the pre-commencement works which was jointly carried out and ratified by ZPC, Intratrek and Chivayo on July 13, 2020.

Chivayo and his company aver that they fulfilled the contract and even used their own money complete some of the required works.

Faced with these issues, the National Prosecuting Authority was then forced to re-engage stakeholders involved before deciding on what course of action to take against Chivayo and his company.

Yesterday, the State said the authority was still in this engagement process and asked that the matter be postponed to February 13 next year pending results from the consultations.

Mr Tafara Chirambira, appearing for the State, said there were a number of stakeholders, including Government departments, that were being engaged.

“I will make an undertaking that the process will be complete by the time we return to court,” he said.

Advocate Sylvester Hashiti, representing Chivayo, then notified the State that he will mount an application challenging further placement of his client on remand if the trial failed to open on February 13 next year since Chivayo and the defence had been attending court without progress on the part of the State.

Intratrek Zimbabwe representative Advocate Wilson Manase indicated that they will apply for refusal of further postponement of the matter and have the charges dropped.

Adv Manase said the letter was written to the prosecuting authority in August this year and the State should have already had an insight into the issues raised.

“One witness has already testified in this court,” he said. “Today’s date had been agreed on the basis that we would proceed with trial. If the court is inclined to grant this application, we will consent on the State undertaking. In the event that the State is not ready, we will make an application for refusal of further postponement and pray that they be found not guilty and acquitted.”

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