3.1.2 Vetting of Bidders
A second tender was then floated and Intratrek won the bid in 2015. Despite winning the tender the Committee noted that this was done in violation of the law.
Section 34 (f) of the State Procurement Act, outlined the need for the Board to conduct vetting of participants based on criminal record and previous conviction of both the company and its directors. Mr. W. Chivayo, the Managing Director of Intratrek, in his own submission mentioned that he was once convicted and imprisoned on charges of fraud. The Committee noted that this violated section 34 (f) of the Act read together with section 173 of the Companies. These provisions were not taken into consideration as a basis for disqualifying the bid by Intratrek. Section 173 (1) (d) of the Companies Act clearly states that any person should be disqualified from being appointed a director of a company
“…who has at any time been convicted whether in Zimbabwe or elsewhere of theft, fraud, forgery or uttering a forged document or perjury and has been sentenced therefore to serve a term of imprisonment….”. Furthermore, Section 44 (1) (a) (iv) of the Public Finance and Management Act outlines that an accounting officer for a public entity has to establish and maintain “a system for properly evaluating all major capital projects prior to a final decision on the project”. In principle this also entails looking at the eligibility and suitability of the contracting party.
In his evidence to Parliament, Mr. Chivayo’s professed ignorance on regulations barring persons with previous convictions from being Directors of a company. In his own words, he said “first of all when you participate in a tender, there is no clause that specifies or outlines issues of business people with previous convictions. Previous convictions do not mean you cannot go about with your life and participate in business…..At no stage were we ever asked or told that if you want to participate in this tender, make sure you have never gone to jail”. Clearly the procurement authorities were at fault by not invoking these critical provisions in our law in disqualifying Intratrek. These provisions in the law are safeguards meant to protect the interests of all contracting parties and shareholders so there was misrepresentation of facts. The omissions by the regulator proved that no due diligence was done to protect public interest.
3.2 Role and Profile of Intratrek Private Limited in the Gwanda Solar Project
Intratrek was formed in 2012 and the majority shareholders included Mr. Chivayo, Mr. Yusuf and other minority shareholders. Mr. Chivayo was appointed as the Managing Director. The Committee noted with concern that a year after the formation of Intratrek, Mr. Chivayo, who had neither any knowledge nor experience in power projects, submitted a bid to construct a national a solar project. Mr. Chivayo in his oral evidence to the Committee explained that he knocked on the doors of influential people that include, former Ministers of Energy, Mr. Mavhaire, Mr. E. Mangoma, Dr. S. Undenge, the late Mr. C. Kuwaza CEO of the then SPB and the Chief Secretary to Cabinet to persuade them to give the award to his company. The basis for Mr. Chivayo’s argument was that local business people should be given preference over foreign investors. It was very clear to the Committee that Intratrek did not have the technical or financial resources to establish a generation plant but its financial and technical muscle was anchored on a foreign investor known as Chint Electric. The Committee observed that Intratrek was merely a briefcase company and Mr. Chivayo was being used as a front to secure and attract investment. The benefit to the investor, are categorised tax exemptions for partnering with a local business people.
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