Businessman Wicknell Chivayo and his company, Intratrek Zimbabwe, have been acquitted of US$5.6 million fraud charges related to the Gwanda Solar project by Harare regional magistrate Mr. Lazini Ncube.
The magistrate granted Chivayo’s application for refusal of further remand and requested a not guilty verdict, citing unreasonable delay in prosecuting the case since Chivayo’s last court appearance.
The State had opposed Chivayo’s application, arguing that the delay was not solely attributed to the State but also to Chivayo himself, who had made various applications in the upper courts.
However, the magistrate ruled in favor of Chivayo and his company, stating that the delay had violated their constitutional right to a fair trial.
The Gwanda Solar project was launched in 2015 to address Zimbabwe’s electricity deficit. Intratrek Zimbabwe was awarded the tender to construct the project, but the company was accused of inflating the contract value and failing to deliver on the project.
The case against Chivayo and Intratrek Zimbabwe has been ongoing for several years, and their acquittal marks the end of the legal battle.