Hon. Mliswa fumes over Gwanda solar project

Senior Zesa Holdings executives, workers as well as former Energy deputy minister Munacho Mutezo yesterday appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy over the controversial Gwanda solar project.

Parliament was shocked when Mines and Energy ministry secretary Patson Mbiriri revealed that businessman Wicknell Chivayo was back on the site earmarked for the Gwanda solar project at a time legislators were still investigating circumstances leading to his awarding of the multi-million-dollar job without going to tender.

Chairperson of the Committee, Hon Temba Mliswa, expressed shock at the development when Mr Mbiriri confirmed that Chivayo’s company, Intratrek, was back on site clearing land for the project launch.

Other committee members also grilled Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) officials to explain why they had decided to retain Chivayo to deliver the project when it was clear he had failed.

Mbiriri indicated that, as a result of the nationwide concern emanating from the august committee, the contractor had moved back on site adding that unless the contract had been cancelled, the contractor had every legal right to move back on site and is undertaking the work needed.

However, ZPC board chair Stanley Kazhanje said his board had not sanctioned Intratrek’s return to the project site, with managing director Joshua Chirikuutsi admitting that they had allowed Chivayo to resume his project because “his contract was still subsisting, even to this day”.

Hon. Mliswa argued that the Gwanda project was no exception, as government had cancelled other bigger contracts like “Geiger” on the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu Highway because of non-performance.

Earlier Hon. Mliswa had ordered former Energy minister Elton Mangoma to leave the House after the latter declined to introduce himself as an ex-Cabinet minister.