Zimbabwe: False Start to Chivayo's Trial

Harare businessman Wicknell Chivayo, left with his lawyers (file photo).
25 November 2020

The trial of Intratrek, its director Wicknell Chivayo and former Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) chairman Stanley Kazhanje on fraud involving US$5,6 million over the Gwanda solar project, is expected to start at the Harare Magistrates Courts, today.

It was supposed to start yesterday, but was deferred to today after the prosecutor handling the matter, Mr Brian Vito, failed to attend court after his car broke down in Bulawayo and could not travel back to Harare on time to attend court.

Two days have been set aside for the trial after the Supreme Court set aside the acquittal of Chivayo and his company by the High Court.

This was after the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) had appealed against the High Court decision absolving Chivayo and his company of any criminal liability in the botched solar deal.

Chivayo was facing three counts of fraud when High Court Judge Justice Owen Tagu cleared him of all the charges in July 2018 saying it was a civil dispute.

A three-judge panel comprising Deputy Chief Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza, Justice Rita Makarau and Justice Susan Mavangira unanimously allowed the appeal.

Yesterday, Chivayo, who was also representing his company, and Chizhanje, appeared before Harare regional magistrate Trynos Utahwashe, who deferred the matter to today.

Chivayo and his company were represented by Advocate Lewis Uriri, while Chizhanje was being represented by Advocate Sylvester Hashiti.

Mrs Farirai Undenge appeared for the State.

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