THE trial of Intratek Zimbabwe and its managing director, Wicknell Chivayo, failed to get underway again yesterday after the State indicated it needed time to act on a letter written by the two accused.
Chivayo appeared before trial magistrate, Lazini Ncube, who subsequently remanded the matter to February 13 next year.
Magistrate Ncube quizzed the State why it summoned Chivayo to court when it had not yet decided whether or not to proceed with the trial.
“When will this trial ever start?
“We have been coming to court only to hear that the State still needs to make some considerations,” asked magistrate Ncube.
Chivayo’s lawyers, Advocates Sylvester Hashiti and Lewis Uriri, agreed with the court’s sentiments and placed the State on notice.
“We consent to the postponement on condition that the State would have made a decision on the next date.
“Whether they are ready to proceed or not, we will make an application for the court to refuse a further postponement, and demand a verdict for the matter and we will demand a plea of not guilty to be entered,” said Advocate Uriri.
The State intends to make considerations on a letter that was written by Chivayo’s lawyers saying they were shocked to be summoned to court regarding the Gwanda Solar Project.
Chivayo claims that the preliminary work done at the site was conducted using the funds he received from the Zimbabwe Power Company. The businessman, and his company, said they were taken back by the National Prosecuting Authority’s decision to now prefer fraud charges when the work was done to the satisfaction of ZPC.
The lawyers insisted that the issue is a civil matter and the contract between Intratek and ZPC still stands.
Chivayo was summoned to court after the State successfully appealed against a High Court decision that cleared Chivayo of a criminal offence in the botched deal with ZPC.
The matter was taken on appeal after Justice Owen Tagu found him not guilty, ruling that the disagreement between the parties was a civil matter urging ZPC to seek relief in the relevant courts.
However, a three-judge panel at the Supreme Court comprising Deputy Chief Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza, Justice Rita Makarau and Justice Susan Mavangira unanimously upheld ZPC’s appeal.
Writing the judgment, Justice Makarau said the High Court erred in interfering with the unterminated criminal proceedings which were before magistrate Ncube and ruled that the fraud trial must proceed.