Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter
FLAMBOYANT businessman Mr Wicknell Chivayo whose company was in 2015 awarded a tender and paid US$5 million by the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) for pre-commencement work at the 100 megawatt Gwanda solar power plant, yesterday came off his high horse and admitted his wrongdoing.
Mr Chivayo, who owns Intratek Zimbabwe, yesterday took to his micro-blogging site, Twitter page and apologised for failing to deliver.
“I accept full responsibility for all my wrong doing and if you thought I was perfect I apologise for being human,” he tweeted much to the chagrin of his followers who were quick to lash back at him.
Chivayo is known for flaunting his riches and scorning people who he says do not have money on social media.
A majority of his followers felt the apology was not enough while others seemed to think it was sarcastic.
They demanded that he pays back the money.
“This is not your personal pet project, your apologies mean jack (Sic) . . . it’s a national initiative which requires the seriousness it deserves . . . just payback and we find someone (company) who is competent,” said @sirosnaire.
Another follower @PrinsNathan retorted: “You are not perfect sir but then do what’s right, pay back the money since you did not deliver the services that you have been paid for.”
@NellsNelson tweeted: “Ah but u still have to go to prison.”
@JusticeMabuwa wrote: “But vaChivayo, the US$3,3 million was for a feasibility study chete? Varumeka ngatisadaro so, hona nyika yese irikungochema nekushaya magetsi (Let’s not do that, the whole nation is crying because we don’t have electricity). Just complete the job man.”
@NdiTarwanda quizzed: “Best apology is changed behaviour or in this case paying back the money?”
@Tendayee said: “You are human we all are, just pay back the money tiwane magetsi (so that we get electricity) simple.”
@TinasheBvute responded: “It’s either you pay back the money or there should be repercussions, simple! You can’t hold the whole nation hostage (sic) by prejudicing Zesa.”
@ realmedicaldoc said: “I know you have more money than me, but, I humbly request that you finish the Gwanda solar project if it’s within your means, the cries of most Zimbabweans won’t help you at all, we feel you might have abused the facility.”
Energy and Power Development Minister Advocate Fortune Chasi during his visit to the Gwanda solar power plant site last week, said the Government has suffered a potential revenue loss of about US$50 million as a result of the non-completion of the project, which was supposed to have been commissioned by December 2017.
He said the delays in implementing the project had resulted in the loss of sales by Zesa equivalent to 500GWhs (Gigawatt-hours) and potential revenue loss of about US$50 million as of June this year.
Mr Chivayo was awarded the tender in 2015 and paid US$5 million by ZPC for pre-commencement work at the 100 megawatt Gwanda solar power plant.
After receiving the money without a bank guarantee, no meaningful development has taken place at the site.
Adv Chasi expressed disappointment as no work has been done at the site despite the $5 million payment that was made to Intratek.
He said the solar project was a crucial initiative that would address electricity challenges the country is facing.
Adv Chasi said the Government was going to engage Intratek as they expected a refund or to see an operational solar plant. — @mashnets