HARARE – The decision by Energy Minister Fortune Chasi to order Wicknell Chivayo fraud charges be dropped and ZESA to work with him instead has been met with intense criticism, TSTnews can report.
By Farai Maphosa
In his letter to ZESA, the energy minister alludes to the involvement of Edward Manikai who chairs the Presidential Advisory Council and is providing legal and technical support to Chivayo’s firm,Intratrek, through his firm Dube ,Manikai and Hwacha(DMH) which he rates among the top-performing firms in the country gives confidence that there will be integrity and professionalism.
He cites the appointment of Wilson Manase as Intratrek’s new executive chairman as worthwhile given the proven track record of Manase as the chairman of Metropolitan Bank for 16 years while also sitting on various boards of reputable companies.
However, internationally acclaimed journalist Hopewell Chin ’ono who has ruffled feathers in the corridors of power owing to his fiery stance on corruption queried Minister Chasi’s reasoning that the electricity utility parastatal works with Wicknell because he appointed a revered businessman and a member of the Presidential Advisory Council as board members of his solar energy company.
“How does Chasi base Wicknell’s capacity to deliver on the fact that he appointed Wilson Manase of Metrobank fame as his Board Chairperson and a PAC member as a lawyer?” questioned Hopewell.
Posting on Twitter, one Soko Murehwa said he had utmost respect for Chasi before he meddled into the Chivayo issue.
“I had highest hopes for you and why are you entangled in this mess,” posted Soko Murehwa.
Another citizen, Tirivingani accused Minister Chasi of using his unbridled influence to let Chivayo not answer to the corruption charges levelled against him.
“Minister Chasi is simply abusing his power and influence. He must let the law take its course. Chivhayo has a case to answer as duly pronounced by court,” said Tirivangani.
TSTnews has gathered the backlash over minister Chasi is coming at a time when the Supreme Court reversed Wicknell Chivayo’s acquittal by the High Court for allegedly defrauding the government of US$5.6 million.
In 2015,Chivayo won a tender for the construction of the US$200 million Gwanda Solar Power Project but dithered on delivering despite receiving a US$5 million advance from the government unclear circumstances which landed the then minister of energy Samuel Undenge in jail.