Chivayo, Undenge in joint trial

HARARE - Former Energy minister Samuel Undenge and businessman Wicknell Chivayo will now be tried together in a case they are alleged to have defrauded Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) of $5 million.

Yesterday, Undenge was represented by Alec Muchadehama when he appeared before Harare magistrate Rumbidzayi Mugwagwa.

Chivayo will appear in court today.

A representative from Presidential Special Anti-Corruption team Zivanai Macharaga advised the court of intentions to marry Undenge and Chivayo’s records for purposes of trial.

The State is alleging that Undenge, without following requisite procedures, awarded a tender for ZPC’s Gwanda project to Chivayo.

Undenge was last month jailed for two-and-half years over criminal abuse of office relating to a $12 650 tender that was illegally awarded Fruitful Communications by ZPC and is currently out on bail pending appeal.

The duo is being charged with fraud, money laundering, contravening two sections of Exchange Control Act.

The complainant is Zimbabwe Power Company represented by board member Thandiwe Mlobane.

It was alleged that sometime in 2012 ZPC resolved to increase its national grid.

A feasibility study was carried out and a tender process done in August 2013 for installation of a 100 Megawatt solar power plant in Gwanda which was awarded to a Chinese company China Jianxi at a cost of $183 million.

The court heard Chivayo participated in the tender with a bid of $248 million being the third lowest.

However, it was alleged, Chivayo’s accomplice Undenge interfered with the tender process and directed ZPC accounting officer Noah Gwariro to award tender to Chivayo and his company.

He allegedly misrepresented that he had capacity to implement the project.

Chivayo reportedly won the tender at $172 848 597.

The court heard on October 23, 2015 ZPC acted on the misrepresentation and signed a contract with Chivayo for implementation of the project.

It was alleged that ZPC released $5 607 814, 24 into Intratek bank account for the project to take off.

Chivayo allegedly failed to implement the project but converted or transferred the money into various individual and company accounts.

The court heard he was also authorised by RBZ to load $849 479 into his visa cards for importation of earth moving equipment in America for construction at Gwanda Solar Project.

However, it was alleged, Chivayo failed to notify the Exchange Control Authority of all material particulars relating to importation of said equipment into Zimbabwe and nothing was imported.

ZPC suffered prejudice of $5 607 814, 24 and nothing recovered.

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