Connect with us


Zim socialites laying low as the government cracks down on big-spenders



Ginimbi Genius Kadungure

Following the decision by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to fight corruption – particularly in government and the business sector – several public figures have been either briefly caged‚ released on remand or summoned by the police for questioning.

But for many‚ this is just a show.

Last week the “Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) (Amendment of the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act and Exchange Control Act) Regulations‚ 2018”‚ which empower the government to seize assets of people who fail to disclose the source of their wealth‚ was gazetted.

In no time‚ Harare socialite Genius “Ginimbi” Kadungure‚ 34‚ whose razzmatazz lifestyle is known far and wide – and who has a penchant for supercars and heavy spending in Africa’s richest square mile‚ Sandton – was nabbed for tax evasion over a period of nine years. It is alleged that he owes the tax man at least US$22m.

Kadungure‚ who at one time was the only person in southern Africa to own a 2016 Rolls-Royce Wraith‚ mocked another fellow socialite-come-tenderpreneur‚ Wicknell Chivayo‚ on national radio for driving a “car for civil servants” when he boasted about driving the then latest S-Class Mercedes-Benz.

Chivayo‚ 39‚ has also been in and out of court and even spent time in remand prison in relation to allegations of corruptly receiving US$5m from the government-owned Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) and also being awarded a US$200‚000 tender illegally.

Known for running alcohol tabs that went well into thousands‚ before Mnangagwa came into power‚ the who’s who of the boys club was only rivalled by the Mugabe boys‚ Chatunga‚ Robert and Russell.

With the trio keeping a low profile‚ spending most of their time in South Africa‚ some tenderpreneurs have also fled the country fearing the arrests currently underway.

“These guys [new government] can pick up anyone just like that. Even if you can prove yourself later‚ you will spend time behind bars because you have been leading a flashy life.

Most of us are dealers and obviously, there’s no straight path in our trade and‚, to be honest‚ in the Zimbabwe situation no legitimate business can stay afloat without cutting corners because corruption is all over‚” said one dealer‚ who has since set up base in Johannesburg until tempers cool.

Many of the “hustlers” whose lifestyles attract probes are allegedly involved in smuggling fuel‚ gas‚ minerals and getting government tenders controversially.

Soon after Operation Restore Legacy in November last year‚ many that benefited from being aligned to the former First Family or its auxiliaries switched allegiance to those close to the new order.

“You had guys now looking for new sources to feed off‚ some were offering services like‚ ‘I know such and such a mineral dealer we can work with’‚” he added.

Prosperity preacher‚ Prophet Walter Magaya‚ who last month claimed to have found an HIV cure that could kill the virus in a space of two weeks is also being investigated.

He is on record saying that he is worth at least US$500m. To put it into perspective‚ had he been an American rapper he would rank in the Top 10 of the all-time highest earners’ list.

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) confirmed it was investigating the prophet’s source of wealth and tax compliance saying the issue was “highly sensitive”.

“You don’t get access to state resources without a power behind you. All these money-flaunting guys have their inside men‚ hence convicting them of any money related crime is nearly impossible‚” said a Zanu PF insider.

This narrative was last week laid bare by Mnangagwa’s former special advisor‚ Christopher Mutsvangwa‚ who told an independent weekly that Zimbabwe was being run by cartels. He claimed these cartels had political pawns in the highest offices.

“He [Kudakwashe Tagwirei] is dividing the praesidium. How can a businessman have preferences in the praesidium? That is trying to turn the country into a banana republic.

Tagwirei’s business gets about US$80m to US$90m every month for fuel from the RBZ [Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe]‚ yet many companies‚ some of them the largest fuel dealers in the world‚ want to come and invest in the fuel industry in the country‚” he said.

Tagwirei is the chief executive officer and director at Sakunda Holdings Group‚ a company that controls the majority of the fuel industry in the country.

Prophet Magaya‚ despite being probed‚ has been also rubbing shoulders with the political elite through parcelling out gifts. In 2015 he bought former First Lady Grace Mugabe’s autobiography for US$50‚000.

In September this year, he donated goods worth US$1m to 10‚000 households in Harare to step up the fight against cholera.

Millionaire Frank Buyanga fled the country during the Mugabe era after numerous cabinet ministers and high-ranking politicians – whom he gave loans to‚ but which they failed to repay – reported him to police.

He is back in the fold – last week he went to meet President Mnangagwa in his high powered red Ferrari F12 Berlinetta that turned heads at the government offices.

Buyanga has since offered the government a US$34.8m facility to procure drugs as the forex shortage bites.

“There is nothing for free. These guys are trying to get a foot in but it’s up to the president to show them he means business – no to corruption‚” added the Zanu PF official.

With the highest office in their corner‚, tenderpreneurs tend to bully cabinet ministers. In 2016 Chivayo‚ then close to the First Lady Grace Mugabe‚ barked at Professor Jonathan Moyo for being a bully used to having his way around “people with no money”.

Former ministers such as Ignatius Chombo‚ Dr Samuel Parirenyatwa‚ Supa Mandiwanzira‚ Saviour Kasukuwere and Samuel Udenge have appeared in court facing corruption charges but their cases are dragging.

Sowetan Live

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Barbara Rwodzi’s Alarming Encounter with an Assistant Inspector in the ZRP



Barbara Rwodzi Zanu PF

Chirumanzu South Member of Parliament (MP) Barbara Rwodzi has been recorded threatening to deal with an Assistant Inspector in the ZRP for daring to investigate a criminal case against one of her supporters.

In the audio recording the Deputy Minister of Environment, who is seeking a second term in office, is heard threatening to deal with the Charandura stationed officer and promising to take the matter as high as Police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga.

The officer is reportedly investigating one Fidelis “Danger” an ardent supporter of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) member accused of tearing CCC posters in the area.

Describing the officer as a dog, idiot, and fool, Rwodzi fails to demand evidence against her supporter.

“You are the one handling Danger’s case? What is his crime? Do you have evidence, I want it and when did he commit this crime,” asked Rwodzi.

“I am following everything you are doing. I am unlike all the other people you are used to talking to.

“You are failing to do your job as a police officer, on 12 July I was with him. As an Assistant Inspector and your seniors can you not sit and discuss matters before presenting them to Law and Order?

“You are a stupid idiot, you are an idiot, a dog. I want to finish you, I want to take you as far as Matanga’s office.”

Rwodzi’s conduct follows rape allegations placed on her PAP colleague and President Fortune Charumbira earlier this year.

The Assistant Inspector however stands his ground, telling her she has no legal right to demand that adding any other information in Danger’s defence can be used in court.

He explains why her Zanu PF supporter is being investigated and begs to understand the vitriol directed at him.

“Danger is accused of tearing CCC posters. I am working on this document so that I present it in court and do not know why I would give you all this information,” responds the officer.

“We have a witness and that he was not there on the day can be used as a defence in court. I do not understand stand what you say by ‘sitting down with my superiors before passing the matter to law and order.’

“I do not know why you are insulting me because I do not know how I am failing to do my job. You have to understand my mandate as a police officer.”

Chirumanzu is another one of Zimbabwe’s political hotbeds, with frequent attacks on opposition supporters recorded particularly towards elections.

Already party officials in the Mapiravana area are said to take down villagers’ names and mark registers with the assistance of Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) backed Forever Associates of Zimbabwe (FAZ).

Continue Reading


Acquittal for Former Manchester City Star Benjamin Mendy in Rape Trial



Benjamin Mendy
Image: Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror

The 28-year-old was accused of attacking a 24-year-old woman at his £4m mansion in Mottram St Andrew, Cheshire in October 2020.Mr Mendy was also accused of the attempted rape of another woman, aged 29, who said he had also molested her at his home two years before.It comes after he was cleared of six rapes at an earlier trial in January.

The France international broke down in tears as the not-guilty verdicts were read out by the jury foreman following a three-week trial at Chester Crown Court. The jury of six men and six women deliberated for about three hours and 15 minutes before reaching their conclusion. Judge Steven Everett said: “Mr Mendy can be discharged from the dock.”

The footballer, whose contract with Manchester City expired this month, was cleared at the earlier trial of six counts of rape and one count of sexual assault, relating to four young women or teenagers. But jurors failed to reach verdicts on two counts of rape and attempted rape, prompting a re-trial.

Benjamin Aina KC, prosecuting, claimed he had enjoyed parties at his home and on two occasions “took advantage” of female guests, while his wealth and celebrity status turned him into a man not used to being told “no”.The first complainant, woman A, a 29-year-old student, first met Mr Mendy while in a nightclub in Barcelona in late 2017 and she became intimate with one of his friends, the trial was told.

They kept in touch and a year later she arranged to visit Mr Mendy’s friend at the footballer’s house, where they stayed after they all went with other girls for a night out. The woman told the jury that the morning after, when she took a shower in the en-suite bathroom, Mr Mendy appeared uninvited, wearing just boxer shorts, and he was visibly “aroused”.

She alleged Mr Mendy then grabbed her and tried to rape her on the bed, despite her repeatedly telling him to stop. Mr Mendy told the jury the two were “flirting” during the night out and the next morning he went to her room and they began hugging on a bed. He said she told him she would not have sex with him because she was with his friend.

Mr Mendy said she then got upset when he told her he had already asked his friend who had told him it would be “OK”.He denied trying to rape her. Another complainant, woman B, told the trial she was out with friends at a bar in Alderley Edge, Cheshire, near Mr Mendy’s home when they were invited back to the footballer’s house in 2019.

The 24-year-old alleged Mr Mendy took her phone from her, which contained “intimate” photos, then led her to his locked bedroom, as she asked for her phone back. She told the jury Mr Mendy told her “I just wanna have a look at you” and told her to take her clothes off, which she did.

She said he threw her phone on the bed and when she went to retrieve it he raped her despite her telling him she did not want to have sex. The woman told the trial that afterwards Mr Mendy said to her: “You’re too shy. It’s fine. I’ve had sex with 10,000 women.”

Mr Mendy told the jury the woman had agreed to “play around” on the bed and denied raping her saying afterwards they swapped details to connect on Snapchat. Mr Aina, prosecuting, claimed Mr Mendy was not used to women saying no to him. He said: “You wanted women who came to your house to party, get drunk and have sex?”

Mr Mendy replied: “If they want.”I will never force to have sex with a woman.”After the hearing, his solicitor, Jenny Wiltshire, said: “Benjamin Mendy would like to thank the members of the jury for focussing on the evidence in this trial, rather than on the rumour and innuendo that have followed this case from the outset.

“This is the second time that Mr Mendy has been tried and found not guilty by a jury. He is delighted that both juries reached the correct verdicts.”She said Mr Mendy had “tried to remain strong” but the process had “inevitably had a serious impact on him”.He now wanted to ask for his privacy to be respected “so he can begin rebuilding his life,” Ms Wiltshire added.

Continue Reading


Breaking News: E-Creator Fraud Ring Leader Apprehended by Police



Zhao Jiaotong

The Zimbabwe Republic Police is requesting that individuals who have been deceived by E-Creator, Zhao Jiaotong come forward and report to the nearest police station.

According to police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, the kingpin of the E-Creator Ponzi scheme has been arrested on charges of fraud. The suspect is identified as Chinese national Zhao Jiaotong, who is said to be the founder of the notorious platform that has scammed people out of thousands of dollars.

Nyathi stated, “The Zimbabwe Republic Police confirms the arrest of Zhao Jiaotong, 39, in connection with a case of fraud in which unsuspecting members of the public were duped through the E-Creator Ponzi scheme.”

The police are urging anyone who may have fallen victim to E-Creator to report to their nearest police station. Additionally, the public is encouraged to exercise caution and perform thorough research before investing in any Ponzi or pyramid schemes that promise quick returns.

Continue Reading