Prolonged court battle stalls progress at Gwanda solar project

By John Nhandara
THE prolonged legal battle between Power Company (ZPC) and Intratrek Zimbabwe continues to stall progress at the Gwanda solar project, with legal experts calling for the High Court to abide by the recommendations of the Supreme Court.
It is back to the drawing board for the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) and Intrateck Zimbabwe, the company that was contracted in 2015 to implement a 183 million United States dollars solar project in Gwanda.
This comes after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of ZPC’s appeal against a High Court judgement that validated the contract between the two companies on the basis that the lower court did not allow a full hearing on the matter.
With the legal battle having dragged for over three years, a legal practitioner, Cephas Mavhondo, called for courts to expedite such cases and involved parties to s seek alternative and quick remedies.
“The dispute has been going on for quite some time now. We need to adopt other quick ways of dispute resolution such as arbitration especially when we have projects like the ZPC Intratrek, which are of national importance,” observed Cephas Mavhondo , a Legal practitioner

While ZPC Managing Director, Wellington Maphosa declined to comment on the ruling at least for now, Intratrek legal representative, Advocate Lewis Uriri clarified the meaning of the judgement to the company he represents.

“The judgement means there is need to follow proper procedure in the appeal through what is called motion procedure. So there is need to quickly follow proper procedure so as that projects are not stalled. Oral evidence was required as opposed to written evidence to determine the merits of viva voce evidence,” he said.

Intratrek board Chairperson and lawyer, Wilson Manase has indicated that a revised contract that was put on the table last year resulted in the company agreeing to withdraw all pending litigation and is focused on achieving 10 megawatts in six months’ time.

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