Tuesday, May 8, 2018

AfDB bans Chivayo’s partners

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AFRICAN Development Bank (AfDB) has banned Wicknell Chivayo’s partner in the controversial Gwanda solar project for three years due to fraudulent practices such as misrepresentation of experience to qualify for contracts.
BY FIDELITY MHLANGA
Chivayo’s Intratrek is working with Chinese engineering firm, CHINT Electric, with executives from the firm expected in the country this week for discussions with government and Zesa to unlock funding for the Gwanda solar project, state media reported yesterday.
In a notice yesterday, AfDB said the blacklisting of CHINT qualifies for cross-debarment by other multilateral development banks under the agreement for mutual enforcement of debarment decisions, including the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank Group.
The Chinese electrical engineering firm has tendered for several AfDB-funded projects in Zimbabwe, chief among them, the supply of substation equipment in the bank-financed emergency power infrastructure rehabilitation project.
“An investigation conducted by the bank’s office of integrity and anti-corruption established that CHINT Electric engaged in a multitude of fraudulent practices: In bidding for contracts in the context of numerous bank-financed power projects, the company misrepresented its experience with similar assignments in order to meet qualification requirements,” AfDB said.
During the debarment period, the company is ineligible to be awarded contracts under any African Development Bank-financed project or to be a subcontractor, consultant, supplier, or service provider of an otherwise eligible firm in the context of a Bank-financed project.
The company has participated in a tender for works and equipment for the Prince Edward Dam substation and others through a bank-financed emergency power infrastructure rehabilitation project phase two.
The Chinese firm also participated in tenders the rehabilitation of the phase two Marvel and Chertsey substations equipment in a bank-financed project.
The company also took part in the tender on the transmission rehabilitation of the phase two Sherwood and Orange substations.
AfDB will verify the adequacy of CHINT Electric’s compliance framework and the robustness of its implementation prior to any release decision. In addition, CHINT Electric commits to co-operate with the Office of Integrity and Anti-Corruption in its investigations of unrelated cases of misconduct in African Development Bank-financed projects. The period of debarment may be reduced to 24 months if CHINT Electric complies early with all conditions of the agreement.
ZPC acting managing director Joshua Chirikutsi said he had not received any information pertaining to the ban.
“You have given us new information and we try to look at it. We were not privy to it,” he said.
Chivayo’s Intratrek was in 2013 awarded a tender in 2013 for the Gwanda solar project and was paid $5 million without a bank guarantee. The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy is investigating the project and in February hauled Chivayo and former Energy and Power Development ministers to appear before it.
Contacted for comment, Chivayo said: “CHINT is a listed company. They have $12 billion annual revenue they can’t be blacklisted nezvima bank zvakaita se (low rated banks) like AfDB. That’s a false story.”