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Sir Wicknell Chivayo arrested



Wicknell Chivayo

Wicknell Chivayo has been arrested over the Gwanda Solar Power Project. Chivayo received a US$5 million advance from the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC)

Sir Wicknell was yesterday picked up by police detectives for questioning in relation to his dodgy business deals.

An elite corruption-busting unit, the National Economic Conduct Inspectorate (NECI), has been on Wicknell Chivayo’s case since December last year.

Police spokesperson Charity Charamba confirmed Wicknell Chivayo’s arrest yesterday.

“I do not have all the details at the moment, but I can confirm that he has been arrested and is currently assisting police with investigations. I will give you the full details when I get them,” she said.

The Zimbabwe Independent has established that Wicknell Chivayo’s company, Intratrek, will not continue with the project following the expiry of the contract as ZPC is not satisfied with how he used US$5 million meant for payment for pre-commencement work.

Last month, Chivayo wrote to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa and Energy minister Simon Khaya Moyo seeking political intervention so he could be allowed to continue with the project.

The government responded by giving Wicknell Chivayo the green light to access US$52 million payment in order to continue with the doomed solar power project envisaged to feed 100 megawatts to the national grid and help ease the country’s power woes.

Chivayo blamed ZPC for lack of progress on the project but ZPC — a division of power utility Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) Holdings — is sticking to its guns and says it will not release any further funds to Wicknell Chivayo.

Energy ministry permanent secretary Partson Mbiriri also confirmed the development this week, saying the contract that bound the two parties was no longer of any force or effect.

He said in addition to the expiry of the contract, funders had blacklisted Chivayo’s Chinese business partner, CHiNT Electric, implying avenues have been shut.

This puts Intratrek’s partners in a highly unenviable position as no other company could deal with them in the future, Mbiriri said.

“The fact of the matter is that ZPC has written to Intratrek indicating that the contract on the Gwanda Solar Power Project has lapsed and there are of course implications when a contract has lapsed,” Mbiriri said, adding ZPC had not made any moves to renew the contract.

He also said Chivayo, in a recent correspondence to the government, had not mentioned anything about the renewal of the contract.

“There is no mention of ZPC wanting to extend or renew the contract.

They have simply indicated that the contract has lapsed and that is where we are.”

Mbiriri revealed that the questionable dealings between Intratrek and ChiNT have also had repercussions on ChiNT’s standing in the eyes of the African Development Bank (AfDB) which had been the major source of funding for the project.

“At the same time, the AfDB, a very important financial institution (in financing Zimbabwe-related infrastructural development projects) has blacklisted ChiNT.

ChiNT is the technical partner of Intratrek. When a company is blacklisted by World Bank, IFC, AfDB, you can only do business with that company at your own risk. This is very critical to note,” Mbiriri added.

In his letter, Chivayo tried to request a meeting with Mnangagwa, hoping to convince him the project still had a life.

“Based on that, Intratrek has been lobbying and literally writing to every office wanting to meet those that matter and are influential, and at the same time has been conveying messages about itself and its capabilities.

“The fact of the matter is the funds that are being referred to (as funds meant for the project) have been funds where Intratrek has been asking ZPC to pay and that tells you the extent of the situation that this deal is in.

There have been contradictory messages on the project, it’s funding and its progress, and we need to be wary of what we are told is obtaining with regard to this solar project,” he added.

In the wake of the scandal, Moyo has since ordered ZPC to review its procurement processes and manage all its contracts to close gaps for some unscrupulous individuals in the company.

He told the ZPC board and management during its Integrated Management System certification ceremony recently that government had its eyes on the company and instructed the entity to follow procurement rules.

He added that the level of tender-flouting scandals in the entity was overshadowing a “very functional entity”.

“ZPC has had some form of embarrassing moments. Today is not the day to talk about these, but clearly, ZPC must improve on its procurement and management of all contracts, even the small ones.

“ZPC must follow to the letter all procurement regulatory requirements and manage all, I mean all, contracts diligently.

That way, there will be no embarrassing moments on what is generally a functional statute enterprise. It’s a very functional state enterprise,” he said.

Moyo said corrupt individuals in the company were tarnishing the entire organisation.

“In a home where there are seven siblings who are all at school and there is only one thief in that home, people say that in that home there are thieves.

They ignore all the good ones and focus on the bad one. So let’s avoid a single person tarnishing our image,” he said.
The Independent


African Union’s Inclusion in G20: A Significant Acknowledgment of a Continent with 1 Billion Inhabitants




The world’s most powerful economies, the G20, have welcomed the African Union (AU) as a permanent member, recognising Africa’s more than 50 countries as important players on the global stage. US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi both expressed support for the AU’s permanent membership.

The AU has advocated for full membership for seven years and, until now, South Africa was the only African country in the G20. The AU represents a continent with a young population of 1.3 billion, which is set to double by 2050 and make up a quarter of the world’s population.

Africa’s 55 member states have long pushed for meaningful roles in global bodies, including the United Nations Security Council, and want reforms to the global financial system. The continent is increasingly attracting investment and political interest from global powers like China, Russia, Gulf nations, Turkey, Israel, and Iran. African leaders are challenging the framing of the continent as passive victim and want to be brokers instead.

They seek fairer treatment by financial institutions, delivery of rich countries’ long-promised $100 billion a year in climate financing for developing nations, and a global tax on fossil fuels. The AU’s full G20 membership will enable it to represent a continent that’s home to the world’s largest free trade area and abundant resources needed to combat climate change. The African continent has 60% of the world’s renewable energy assets and over 30% of the minerals key to renewable and low-carbon technologies.

African leaders want more industrial development closer to home to benefit their economies. Finding a common position among the AU’s member states, from economic powers to some of the world’s poorest nations, can be challenging, but Africa will need to speak with one voice to influence G20 decision-making. African leaders have shown their willingness to take collective action, as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a high-profile G20 member, Africa’s demands will be harder to ignore.

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Forging Strong Bonds: Iran and Zimbabwe Deepen Economic Ties in Raisi’s Africa Tour



Zimbabwe and Iran

On Thursday, Zimbabwe and Iran signed 12 memorandums of understanding to strengthen their bilateral ties during Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s visit to Africa. Raisi had previously visited Kenya and Uganda before meeting with Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Harare. Among the 12 MOUs is a plan to establish a tractor manufacturing plant in Zimbabwe with the help of an Iranian company and a local partner. The two countries also signed agreements for cooperation in energy, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and telecommunications, as well as research, science, and technology projects.

Mnangagwa expressed his appreciation for investments in several sectors of Zimbabwe’s economy to reporters after the signing ceremony. However, he did not disclose the amount of investment Zimbabwe is expecting from Iran. Raisi mentioned the economic challenges facing Iran and Zimbabwe due to U.S. sanctions but emphasised his country’s efforts to build closer economic ties.

According to Iran’s foreign ministry, trade with Africa is expected to exceed $2 billion this year, but there was no comparison to the previous year’s figures. This African visit is the first by an Iranian leader since 2013, following a visit to three Latin American countries in June, all of which are also affected by U.S. sanctions.

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Breaking News: E-Creator Fraud Ring Leader Apprehended by Police



Zhao Jiaotong

The Zimbabwe Republic Police is requesting that individuals who have been deceived by E-Creator, Zhao Jiaotong come forward and report to the nearest police station.

According to police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, the kingpin of the E-Creator Ponzi scheme has been arrested on charges of fraud. The suspect is identified as Chinese national Zhao Jiaotong, who is said to be the founder of the notorious platform that has scammed people out of thousands of dollars.

Nyathi stated, “The Zimbabwe Republic Police confirms the arrest of Zhao Jiaotong, 39, in connection with a case of fraud in which unsuspecting members of the public were duped through the E-Creator Ponzi scheme.”

The police are urging anyone who may have fallen victim to E-Creator to report to their nearest police station. Additionally, the public is encouraged to exercise caution and perform thorough research before investing in any Ponzi or pyramid schemes that promise quick returns.

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