DODGY businessman and Intratrek Zimbabwe director Wicknell Chivayo apparently relies on mutually beneficial political networks and influence peddling to corruptly get tenders without following procedures, his associations suggest.
A visit to the photo gallery of Intratrek’s website which is under the headline “our story told in pictures” tells a revealing tale of a businessman who relies heavily on close connections to politicians and other persons of influence. At the top of the photo gallery is Chivayo with President Robert Mugabe. In the picture, captioned “His Excellency President R.G. Mugabe congratulates Intratrek Zimbabwe on the solar initiative”, Chivhayo is clad in a black three-piece suit with white shirt and black tie, and wears a wide grin as he poses for a photo with the president.
The next photo features former Zanu PF chairman and Policy Co-ordination minister Simon Khaya Moyo holding hands with a grinning Chivayo.
Chivayo also features on other photographs with First Lady Grace Mugabe, Zanu PF political commissar and Local Government minister Savior Kasukuwere. He was also pictured with Grace and tycoon Mutumwa Mawere at the First Lady’s orphanage in Mazowe. He has previously posted pictures of him and Grace having dinner in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on social media.
Former Energy minister Dzikamai Mavhaire, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, State Security minister Kembo Mohadi and former Matabeleland South resident minister Angeline Masuku also feature on photographs with either Chivayo or some Intratrek representatives.
The late vice-president John Nkomo is also featured under the company’s heroes’ section and referred to as a former director and patron of Intratrek. Chivayo reportedly claims to be Nkomo’s nephew.
Former Botswana vice-president Ponatshego Kedikilwe also appears on the company’s website. Despite being an ex-convict, Chivayo has been awarded several multi-million-dollar deals by the Zesa through its subsidiary Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC). The contracts were awarded despite Intratrek and its partners lacking capacity and resources to implement the projects.
Intratrek, which has no previous experience or proven record in power projects, was awarded a contract on November 12 2015 to rehabilitate and modernise the 61-year-old Munyati thermal energy power plant to bring its generated capacity to 100 megawatts at a cost of US$113 182 627.
Intratrek is also leading a consortium awarded to construct the 30 megawwatt Gairezi Hydro Power project in Manicaland at a cost of US$128 million. This is in addition to the US$200m 100-megawatt solar power plant in Gwanda, Matabeleland South province, in which Chivayo was paid US$5m without a required bank guarantee.
In February, Energy minister Samuel Undenge forced ZPC to unprocedurally pay Chivayo an advance of US$5m for the Gwanda project. The payment was made in the absence of a bank guarantee, a minimum requirement to protect public funds.
Undenge, who was struggling to pay US$350 maintenance for his daughter as recently as of December 2015, has of late seen his financial fortunes improve dramatically in the aftermath of payments to Chivayo.