Chivayo Imports Rolls Royce From UK Amid Anger Over Gwanda Solar Project
Wicknell Chivayo, a Zimbabwean businessman, is importing a Rolls Royce from London, United Kingdom amid anger from members of the public over the multi-million dollar Gwanda Solar Project which has failed to take off since 2015.
In a video circulating on social media, an Apostolic Sect preacher is heard saying he had sanctified (blessed/consecrated) Wicknell’s Rolls Royce which was due to be sent to Zimbabwe. The unidentified man also said another car was on its way. Watch the video below for more:
In 2013 Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) — a subsidiary of ZESA Holdings floated a tender for the installation of 100MW solar power stations. Intratek reportedly bid but lost. However, the terms of the tender were changed to allow Intratek (together with Chinese company ZTE) to be accepted and supply the solar stations.
It was alleged that the initial partners, Greenfield Solar of Germany, did not have the financing for such a project, after having been awarded the tender. They would later enter into a partnership with a Chinese company, China Electric Company, to build a now even bigger power station, said to be at the tune of US$750 million in Gwanda.
In 2014, Chivayo’s Intratrek partnered with Green Solar Europa to build a $350 million solar power station. However, China Jiangxi Corporation won the contract with a bid of $184 million.
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ZPC demanded that Intratrek partner with Jiangxi, who had won the contract. Intratrek and ZTE then lowered their initial bid of $248 million to match Jiangxi’s price.
The State Procurement Board later cancelled Jiangxi’s contract, alleging that they had raised their price. Intratrek was eventually awarded the contract for $202 million, although the initial reported price was $171 million, and there is no explanation for the $30 million difference or the multiple changes in the project’s cost.
Intratrek Zimbabwe won the bid for the 100MW Gwanda Solar Project in 2015 and received $5.6 million in advance payment for preparatory work. However, legal disputes have prevented the project from being implemented. ZPC cancelled the tender after Wicknell had failed to meet the set deadlines. He challenged and won the legal battle.
This is happening when Zimbabwe is currently experiencing a severe power shortage caused by ageing power generation equipment, corruption, and irregular rainfall.