Source: Chivayo takes bail bid to High Court | The Herald August 9, 2018
Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
Businessman and Intratrek Zimbabwe Private Limited director Wicknell Chivayo’s lawyers have approached the High Court seeking bail pending appeal, arguing bail is a statutory right, which derives from the Constitution and cannot be denied unless they are compelling reasons.
Chivayo, who is being accused of defrauding Zimbabwe Power Company of over $5 million, money-laundering and violating exchange control regulations, was denied bail by Harare magistrate Mr Elias Singano.
Denying Chivayo bail, Mr Singano said the businessman was a flight risk.
Lead defence counsel Advocate Lewis Uriri confirmed filing the application for bail pending appeal at the High Court yesterday.
“We contend that there is no prospect whatsoever for a conviction,” said Adv Uriri. “To hold, as the magistrate did, that a remand court is only concerned with the allegations, which by description are serious, is such a gross misdirection that no court acting properly would have reached that conclusion.”
Adv Uriri said the finding that Chivayo was fleeing was not supported by evidence.
“The finding that surrendering of the passport and reporting conditions would not serve the interests of justice because of the porous nature of Zimbabwe’s borders and the overall determination that the applicant is a flight risk are on the facts, the evidence and the law, so grossly unreasonable as to suggest that the learned magistrate must have taken leave of his senses,” he said.
“The misdirection is so gross that it has to be vacated in the interest of justice and the applicant admitted to bail on the terms set out in the draft order.”
In his ruling, Mr Singano said Chivayo was a globetrotter and could skip the country to dodge prosecution.
Mr Singano also noted in his ruling that Chivayo attempted to flee the country when he was fully aware that the police were looking for him.
Chivayo, he said, never tried to surrender himself to the police despite knowing that the police were looking for him.
Chivayo was remanded to August 17, pending trial.
The State said the charges arose after Chivayo’s company, Intratrek Zimbabwe, was corruptly awarded the Gwanda Solar Power plant tender by ZPC at the instigation of the then Minister of Energy and Power Development, Samuel Undenge.
It is alleged Chivayo failed to execute the project despite getting $5 607 814, 24 from Government.