HARARE – The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) is taking steps to recover part of the money it advanced to Intratek for the construction of a massive $200 million solar power plant after the company failed to deliver, three years after being awarded the contract.
Intratek, fronted by controversial businessman, Wicknell Chivayo won the tender to develop the 100 megawatt Gwanda solar power plant in 2015, but the project is yet to take off although Chivayo was paid $5 million for pre-commencement works.
The $5 million, which was reportedly paid without a bank guarantee as required, covered activities such as feasibility studies, topographical surveys, borehole sinking, site clearance, geo-technical surveying, site fencing and construction of administrative structures.
Zesa Holdings chief executive officer Josh Chifamba said to date, Intratek had only cleared about 80 hectares of land instead of 200 hectares.
“Today is d-day, today is the day we say look we have been with you and things have not happened. Some clear legal steps have been taken and today is the 23rd of April when the contract is supposed to run out, what we should be seeing on the site was all the work we paid for but it is not done,” he said while giving oral evidence before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy.
“They have done 75 to 80 hectares out of 200 hectares, whatever is left is the exposure, so that is what we will demand money for.”
Chifamba described the contractor as delinquent, having failed to turn up at the project site to commence work without any plausible explanation.
He said the contractor only started moving recently after a visit to the site by the Themba Mliswa-led parliamentary committee, which was left shocked at the lack of progress.
“In the first place the contractor was not expelled from site. What happened was the contractor did not turn up at the site to do his work that is why there was no work done but thanks to all the noise that was made the contractor is now saying I must do something.
“(However) that completion of the work does not necessarily have any influence on this legal process that has started, it does not preclude ZPC, should they so desire, to cancel the contract but what we are saying is work was already paid for and the contractor did not do the work and if the contractor comes and does the job or compensates our money its one and the same thing so by him going back to work he is actually compensating the money that we have already paid for and we are losing nothing.,” he said.
Chifamba added that ZPC was eager to see the project take off. – New Ziana