Opposition fury as $200m govt project given to Bona Mugabe

By: 
Staff Reporter

THE opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has accused President Robert Mugabe of corruption and nepotism after a $200m State power project was awarded to daughter Bona’s in-law.

The Dema Diesel Power Station project, which is being supervised by the Office of the President and Cabinet, was awarded to Sakunda Holdings and Derrick Chikore.

Derrick is the brother of Simba Chikore who is married to Bona Mugabe the daughter of Mugabe.

Led by former finance minister Tendai Biti, the PDP party said the project has “all the hallmarks of a corrupt arrangement” as it was “awarded without going through the tender process thereby disregarding the country’s statutes.”

In a statement, the party said the deal was emblematic of “how senior Zanu PF and government officials’ cronies continue looting billions of dollars from the country’s coffers at the expense of the people and improved service delivery”.

“As PDP, we directly hold Mugabe guilt of nepotism and we denounce such cronyism when the country’s economy is struggling,” the party said.

“It is clear that Mugabe is behind the illegal awarding of the tender to Derrick Chikore in order for his in-laws to join the looting gravy train. 

“It is also clear that Derrick is being used as a front to protect Simba and Bona’s financial interest.”

Amid reports that power from the project will cost nearly twice that generated at Kariba Dam as well as at other coal-powered plants in the country, PDP said the Dema deal was not beneficial to the country.

The project will “result in the increase in electricity tariffs while leaving the financially burdened Zimbabwe Power company (ZPC) and the ordinary people in a worse of position,” the party said.

“It is worrying that instead of benefitting the people better access and affordability to power, the Dema power project will instead see the already suffering majority being charged more in electricity charges.”

The revelations also come at a time Harare dealer and convicted fraudster Wicknell Chivayo – an associate of Mugabe’s family – has been accused of fleecing power utility ZESA of about $5million.

“We are further concerned with the links that the First Family has with dubious characters such as Wicknell Chivayo,” said Biti’s PDP.

“Recently, Grace Mugabe was pictured having dinner in Dubai with Chivayo, a convicted fraudster and director of Intratek, a company which was awarded $400 million worth of tenders by ZPC.

“Chivayo is also embroiled in another ZPC scam in which he is being investigated for unprocedurally receiving a down payment of $5 million for pre-commencement works on the $200 million, 100 megawatt Gwanda solar power project without a performance guarantee.

“As PDP, we find it not normal for Mugabe and his wife to be involved in such murky deals and interacting with shady characters such as Chivayo at a time when reports of high level corruption are on the increase.”

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