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Gwanda Solar Project Awarded To Man Linked To Eskom Looting And The Guptas

The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) has granted a licence to produce solar energy in Gwanda to a company owned by former Eskom acting CEO Matshela Koko, who has been directly implicated in the looting of Eskom. 

Matshela Koko allegedly facilitated the looting of millions of rand from the Kusile power plant construction project, according to South Africa’s Sunday Times.

A Sunday Times report claims that Koko guaranteed Swiss engineering giant ABB future contracts worth R6.5bn if it subcontracted work on Kusile to Impulse International, a company part-owned by his stepdaughter.

The company is one of 11 international engineering giants being investigated by the SIU for their role in looting about R139bn to build power stations.

Zera says Matshela Energy will build a solar plant which is expected to produce 100MW of electricity, in a bid to ease Zimbabwe’s electricity supply crisis which has led to outages lasting up to 18 hours.

In a statement released Sunday, the country’s energy regulator, Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) said the company will “construct, own, operate and maintain the 100MW solar power plant called Matshela Energy” in Gwanda, south of Zimbabwe.

“Subject to the Electricity Act and the terms and conditions of the licence, the licensee may supply electricity to any transmission, distribution or supply licensee who purchases electricity for re-sale and with approval of the Authority to any one or more consumers.”

Matshela Energy’s licence will expire in 2044, said ZERA. Koko resigned from Eskom in February 2018 while the company was in the process of instituting a disciplinary hearing against him.More on ZOOMZimbabwe…  High Court orders ZPC to let Chivayo complete the Gwanda Solar Project

He faced four charges, including misleading Parliament about the McKinsey and Trillian payment, leaking confidential Eskom information to a Gupta associate and accepting flights to Dubai from a Gupta ally.

On Saturday, Koko tweeted a statement from Zimbabwe authorities confirming the contract.

The documents detail how ABB colluded with Koko and senior executives at Eskom to win billions of rands in Eskom contracts.

This is the first time a company with contracts at Eskom has linked Koko directly to corrupt activities at the utility and has given investigators evidence to back up its claims.

Both Koko and Impulse owner Pragasen Pather have denied the claims, saying the contracts were awarded legitimately.

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