By A Correspondent- The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) has dismissed claims that a payment of US$22 million will be made to businessman Wicknell Chivayo following his victory at the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court on Thursday threw out an appeal by the ZPC against a High Court decision which had found that the Contract for the development of the 100MW Gwanda Solar Project was still valid.
The power utility’s appeal was dismissed after a hearing before Justices Chiweshe, Makoni and Musakwa.
The developments saw speculation that effectively, ZPC will be obliged to pay Chivayo the US$22 million damages.
But in a statement, ZPC dismissed the claims instead arguing that the court order upholds the contract’s validity.
“The Supreme Court judgement has the effect of upholding the High Court judgement granted by Honourable Justice Msithu in January 2023, in which the Gwanda EPC Contract was found to be still valid and binding on both ZPC and Intratrek Zimbabwe (Private) Limited – (“Intratrek”).
“For the avoidance of doubt, the High Court judgment did not award Intratrek damages of US$22 Million as alleged by some online publications or any other sum in damages for that matter,” ZPC said.
To the contrary, said ZPC, the High Court only granted an order for specific performance, which in simple terms requires parties to perform their respective obligations under the EPC Contract.
“Considering that the Supreme Court is the final Court of Appeal in this instance, the legal implication of today’s judgment is that ZPC and Intratrek will revert to the position that they were before the 23rd April 2018 when the EPC Contract was cancelled,” said ZPC.
The power company said it is equally important to highlight that the judgment does not create any further liability on ZPC outside that which is contained in the EPC Contract signed with Intratrek on 23 October 2015.
Consequently, Intratrek is still required to satisfy all conditions precedent to the commencement of the project, which it had failed to achieve as of 23 April 2018.
“In abiding by the Supreme Court judgement, Intratrek is now required under the reinstated EPC Contract to facilitate the financing of the US$172 million contract within the contractual timeframe as the requirement of financial closure is key for the project to commence.
“Should such financing be raised, the borrowing instruments must be approved by the Government before implementation of the Project,” added ZPC.