Ndabuda Dee My My Focus Now On Gwanda Wicknell Chivayo On His Acquittal
Businessman Wicknell Chivayo says his “spirit is re-energized” after being acquitted together with his company Intratrek Zimbabwe and vowed that his focus was now “re-aligned towards fulfilling our obligations under the Gwanda Solar Project.”
Magistrate Ngoni Nduna on Wednesday cleared Chivayo on allegations of bribing former Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) ex-board chairman Stanley Kazhanje US$10 000 to influence the award of the controversial Gwanda Solar Project.
In acquitting him and his company, Nduna said the State had failed to prove that Kazhanje participated in the decision to award the tender.
“The state is found to have failed to establish a prima facie case against both the accused persons.
“They are both found not guilty and acquitted,” Nduna said in his ruling.
In an interview with Nehanda Radio, Chivayo said he was happy to be acquitted adding that he will make sure the Gwanda Solar Project is completed.
“The court’s ruling is a welcome development and a correct finding that no criminal offense had been committed as alleged by the state. My spirit is re-energized and my focus re-aligned towards fulfilling our obligations under the Gwanda Solar Project.
“I remain steadfast in my commitment towards serving the Nation of Zimbabwe by contributing towards her economic development. I still hold the belief that together with Intratrek Zimbabwe we shall successfully commission 100 MW of clean and renewable energy from Gwanda within the next 18 months. I fully support the vision of our Government and President of attaining a middle income economy by 2030. It is therefore my singular duty to contribute to that vision through implementing this project,”he said.
In his ruling, Nduna said he had no doubt that an accused person whether or not he is represented is entitled to be discharged at the close of the case for the prosecution if there is no possibility of a conviction other than if he enters the witness box and incriminates himself.
He added that failure to “discharge on accused in those circumstances, if necessary mero motu in my view a breach of rights that are guaranteed by the Constitution and will ordinarily vitiate a conviction based exclusively on his self incriminatory evidence.”
Chivayo’s acquittal comes on the backdrop of a major delay for the implementation of a 100 megawatt solar project since its contractor, Intratrek Zimbabwe and ZESA, inked a contract in 2014 and the company was awarded US$5 million.