Businessman Wicknell Chivayo who is the USA was actually paid $7 million, not $5 million by Zesa for the Gwanda solar project.

ZPC board chairman Engineer Stanley Kazhanje told Members of Parliament that the money was released in tranches with the highest instalment being $2 million at one point.

“The total amount that was released was around $7 million, including Value Added Tax; it was disbursed in tranches,” said Eng Kazhanje. “The amount was paid by management and the figures were within their threshold as it did not require board approval.

“As a board, we discovered it from Press reports. There was no need for the issue to come to the board.” Eng Kazhanje failed to tell the committee of the threshold that needed board approval.
ZPC has since suspended managing director Eng Noah Gwariro over the Gwanda solar deal to pave way for an audit. Making submissions before the same committee, Zesa Holdings chairman Mr Herbert Murerwa said the Chivayo case was never brought to the full board of Zesa Holdings.

In a separate exchange with Zesa Holdings chief executive officer Eng Josh Chifamba, Mr Mliswa rapped him for asserting that payments to Chivayo, which were made before any work was done at the site, were normal.

Eng Chifamba indicated that the only anomaly was that the payments were made without any Government guarantee.