In a Shocking twist, Wicknell Chivhayo’s Gwanda Solar Project has been awarded to a non existent SA Company owned by former ESKOM Executive Matshela Koko

This was disclosded in an official statement issued  by Matsela Energy on Twitter.

About Matshela Energy

A Search of the CIPC Database in South Africa did not reveal any company with the name Matshela Energy.

An ID number check on Mr Koko also did not reveal any other active company registered under Mr Koko in South Africa except for Eskom related companies.


Koko was embroiled in a very public corruption scandal involving the Guptas at ESKOM


He was also involved in a conflict of interest investigation involving his step daughter.

For the Gwanda Solar Project

Matshela Energy was awarded the licence to set up a Solar power plant by the ZERA on July 17. The Generation licence will expire in July 2044.

The plant will produce 100 megawatts and will reportedly create 1000 jobs.

The total investment expected in the project is $250 million. Matshela energy claims that they will bring this amount into Zimbabwe.

This is a new and controversial twist to the Gwanda Solar Project which has stalled for over 4 years due to Fraud , Corruption and Mismanagement.

Funding

Previously, the Solar Project in Gwanda was awarded to Wicknel Chivhayo’s intratek.

Intratrek and  ZPC signed an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract for the 100-megawatt solar project in October 2015.

Wicknel Chivhayo has in the past explained that he intended to fund the US$200 million project from international funders such as the China Export and Import Bank of China.


Chivhayo also proposed to request CBZ to issue bonds as a mechanism of funding the project

Corruption

Wicknel Chivayo was allegedly assisted by Robson Chikuri who was the projects and technical director of the Gwanda solar project to defraud ZPC.

Intratrek was paid US$7 million to carry out a feasibility study and for site establishment works, ground clearance and construction access roads at the project site.

All this was done without a bank guarantee.

To by-pass the board, the $7 Million was paid in tranches of $200 000 which is below the amount that needs to be approved by the board.

Termination

Wicknell Chivhayo Blames ZPC for causing the failure to deliver. He reportedly won a $25 Million Lawsuit against ZPC.

Chivhayo is known for flaunting his riches and many people feel that he should pay back the money.

With reference to Matshela Energy

It is Doubtful that Matshela energy is a genuine company with the capacity to raise US$250 Million

With Reference to wicknel Chivhayo

200 Million is a lot of Money for a Solar Project. Wicknel Chivhayo, the management of ZESA and Ministry Officials have done a great dis service to Zimbabwe and many people feel that they should rightfully be in Jail.


Instead of allocating a $200 Million project, the ministry and ZERA should have allocated 10 smaller projects of $20 Million each which will provide 10 Megawatts and which will be run by many independent power producers.

Conclusion

– There should be a strategic plan underlying Clean Energy in Zimbabwe. Currently there is National Energy Policy which does not have any associated plans and programs.


– A Clean Energy project such as this one is a strategic project and should not be handed over to a foreign company. Once it is set up it is almost running at no cost. This is a missed opportunity to empower local industries.


– The Chivhayo and Matshela Energy cases are a sign that corruption is a big problem in this sector.


The selling of power to end uses in Bond Notes prices and the regulated nature of electricity supply makes it almost impossible to make money with this Solar project.


The Corruption Allegations hanging over Matsela Koko from his Eskom days will yet prove to be a factor in the future of this project.

Written by Local Correspondents