Gwanda Solar Project Gets a Second Shot: ZPC and Chivayo's Intratek Re-Engage After Legal Wrangling

The 100MW Gwanda Solar Project in Zimbabwe is set to be revived after years of legal wrangling between the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) and Intratek Zimbabwe, a company owned by businessman Wicknell Chivayo. 

The project, initially awarded to Intratek in 2015, was met with delays and accusations of fraud, ultimately stalling its progress.

A Project Mired in Controversy:

The initial stages of the project were marred by controversy. Intratek was awarded the US$200 million tender but failed to meet set targets after receiving US$5 million for preliminary works such as site clearance and feasibility studies. 
Gwanda Solar Project Gets a Second Shot: ZPC and Chivayo's Intratek Re-Engage After Legal Wrangling
Gwanda Solar Project Gets a Second Shot: ZPC and Chivayo's Intratek Re-Engage After Legal Wrangling
These delays led ZPC to terminate the contract and report Chivayo to the police for fraud. However, the courts sided with Chivayo and Intratek, ruling that the contract remained valid and ZPC was obligated to uphold its end of the agreement.

Picking Up the Pieces and Moving Forward:

With the legal battles settled, both ZPC and Intratek are committed to reviving the project. ZPC, abiding by the Supreme Court's decision, is prepared to honor the original contract signed in 2015. However, both parties acknowledge the need for adjustments to reflect the significant changes that have occurred since the project's inception. 

Most notably, global solar power prices have dropped considerably due to technological advancements. To address this, ZPC and Intratek are discussing revisions to the original contract price and working methods to ensure the project is completed efficiently and cost-effectively.

Uncertainties and Concerns Remain:

While the project appears to be back on track, some uncertainties linger. Lawyers representing ZPC clarified that the company is not required to pay the US$22 million previously claimed in damages by Intratek. No court ruling mandated such a payment. 

Additionally, some legislators remain critical of the initial US$5 million disbursement to Intratek, questioning the value received for those funds.

The Road Ahead: Transparency and Collaboration are Key

The success of this renewed effort hinges on the collective efforts of ZPC, Intratek, and the Zimbabwean government. Transparency and collaboration will be crucial in ensuring that the project is completed efficiently and within budget. Furthermore, addressing the concerns raised by legislators regarding the initial stages of the project will be vital in regaining public trust and ensuring the project's long-term success.

The Gwanda Solar Project has the potential to be a significant source of renewable energy for Zimbabwe. Its revival represents an opportunity to move forward and harness clean, sustainable power for the country. 

Whether this project delivers on its promise remains to be seen, but its renewed progress marks a significant step in that direction.

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