Minister In ZESA Deal U-Turn, Attempts To Hide Own Blunders

Minister In ZESA Deal U-Turn, Attempts To Hide Own Blunders
Published: 2016 May 18 06:06:58 (1750 Views)
Energy and Power Development Minister Dr Samuel Undenge has come out guns blazing at the Zimbabwe Power Company demanding that they justify reasons for paying controversial businessman Wicknell Chivayo’s Intratek $5 million for the 100 megawatt Gwanda solar project in the absence of a performance guarantee to safeguard public funds.

Dr Undenge, who was last week quoted as saying ZPC tenders were above board, yesterday made a U-turn in the wake of the exposure of irregularities by a local newspaper saying there was need to get to the bottom of the matter and take action on officials who bungled on the $200 million project.

The performance guarantee would have given ZPC room to recover its money in the event Intratek defaulted on the contract.

As it stands, the Zesa Holdings subsidiary has nothing in place to cover the risk.

Initially, Dr Undenge had been accused of pushing ZPC officials to make the payment in the absence of a bond.

“These are public funds and they must be safeguarded at all costs. Action will be taken on whoever would be found wanting. I have summoned the ZPC management to come and explain how this was made possible,’’ he said.

Zesa Holdings chief executive Engineer Josh Chifamba has also hinted that the power utility’s code of conduct had to be applied against those who defied corporate governance tenets.

In the absence of a performance bond, ZPC management was supposed to inform its board before releasing any cent but the panel was by-passed.

Zesa Holdings and the ZPC board are jointly calling for an audit of all power deals involving Intratek.

The private firm has also been awarded tenders to construct the 30MW Gairezi hydro power station at a cost of $128 million and upgrade Munyati power station for $113 million.



- Herald
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