Chivayo’s aura has not only mesmerised ED… as the controversial businessman has also ‘captured’ other leaders in the region

Chivayo recently put Mnangagwa in the spotlight. But who can blame the 81-year-old Zanu PF leader?

WICKNELL Chivayo’s aura can only be enigmatic.

He has held Zimbabwe spell-bound with, not only his flashy lifestyle, but an acerbic tongue that has always landed controversy right on his feet.

He claims to have more than 200 pairs of shoes.

Chivayo also does his shopping in expensive boutiques in South Africa, Dubai and the United States.

His taste for everything expensive has left many Zimbabweans wondering how he has amassed such wealth given his age and short history in business. Chivayo does not hesitate to flaunt his wealth on social media whenever an opportunity avails itself.

The posts started with his pictures next to neatly staked “mountains” of United States dollars.

This raised the ire of many a Zimbabwean when he and his company Intratrek Zimbabwe were at the centre of a fraud, money laundering probe.

This was after Chivayo and his company allegedly received US$5,6 million as part payment from Zesa Holdings for a US$172,84 million 100 megawatt solar plant in Gwanda, whose construction is yet to start.

He has since been acquitted by the courts, which ruled that he be afforded a second chance to complete the project.

But as the ambers of his controversial solar project were dying down, Chivayo shocked many when he posted pictures of himself having dinner with former First Lady Grace Mugabe in Dubai.

The controversial post, when Chivayo was seemingly on the ropes over the Gwanda project, set tongues wagging across Zimbabwe.

These controversial posts prompted NewsDay Weekender to start probing his status, especially when he started appearing alongside President Emmerson Mnangagwa at State functions.

The question was: Is it Mnangagwa alone?

Well, it turns out that Chivayo is like a magnet, worming his way into the elite’s public spaces and later sharing Kodak moments with them.

He has been photographed with the ‘who is who’ of Zimbabwe’s political landscape, including the late former leader Robert Mugabe and his nemesis Morgan Tsvangirai.

Chivayo recently put Mnangagwa in the spotlight. But who can blame the 81-year-old Zanu PF leader?

Yesterday, NewsDay published a story where former Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa seemingly accused Mnangagwa of aiding Chivayo in getting a US$40 million tender to supply the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) with election material.

But analysts warned yesterday that Chamisa should be the last to cast a stone against Chivayo as he has also shared some Kodak moments with the controversial tenderprenuer.

What will never come out in the open is the nature of their discussions.

All speculation has been flying around when he started dishing out posh and average cars as well as money to Zanu PF activists and other social media trolls.

The Zec tender could have partially lifted the lid on his business deals.

But Chivayo is not one person who shies away from the spotlight.

His posts have continued and only recently, he posted photos of himself with Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan and her Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni.

“It was a remarkable pleasure and delightful opportunity to meet the first ever female President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Her Excellency Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan.

“What I found most intriguing about Mama Samia is her unique ability to blend a warm motherly character with robust State authority.

“Full of charisma and an attentive character, the President charmed me with her meticulous understanding of investment financing, infrastructure development and the pivotal role of technology in the transformation of Tanzania into a digital economy.”

He added: “I have no doubt that under her visionary leadership, the Chama Cha Mapinduzi legacy and revolutionary ideology will be preserved and passed on to future generations.

“I also had the pleasure of meeting the young, exceptionally intelligent and amazing Honourable Minister Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation Mr January Makamba.

“As I drove through Dar es Salaam on my way from the Julius Nyerere International Airport, I admired the modern highways and appreciated the Tanzanian government’s efforts in developing its road and railway infrastructure to world-class standards.

“As an ambitious young businessman with a keen interest in renewable energy and telecommunications, Mama Samia articulated how her administration has embarked on a massive renewable energy revolution meant to provide a population in excess of 60 million with access to reliable and affordable energy.”

The statements, fluttering as they are, makes those who would want to stay neutral in the circumstances, wonder how he manages to worm his way into their private spaces.

After meeting Museveni, Chivayo also posted photos on his social media platforms.

“I was most honoured yesterday after paying my first courtesy visit to HE General Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the President of the Republic of Uganda at State House in Kampala.

“The warm and hospitable reception that I received from the head of State led me to the true realisation of our shared parentage as Africans and the inseparable bond that unites us.

“The nuggets of wisdom shared by ‘General M7’, as he is affectionately known, immediately confirmed his rare character as an exceptional Statesman, nationalist, a leader par excellence and unifier.

“His gesture of extending a warm welcome to a young Zimbabwean businessman and sparing time in between your busy schedule to attentively listen, counsel and guide me in the endeavour to expand my business interests in East Africa is not only exceptional, but demonstrates a remarkable attribute of astute leadership.”

He expressed his appreciation of “the modern and rapid infrastructure development which places Uganda in its rightful position” as the Pearl of Africa.

“I was also fascinated by the President’s comprehension of the fundamental role that ICT plays in the 21st century in building a digitally-enabled society through technology-based empowerment.

“Under President Museveni, the Ugandan government has developed a Digital Uganda Vision as part of its Vision 2040, under which modern technology is set to achieve the goals of universal inclusion, sustainable development and economic progress,” he said.

“I was most delighted to note Uganda’s interest in welcoming investors in the digit space in order to improve internet penetration in the country. Uganda is a strategic market in which substantial investment in digital technologies can be deployed in order to improve 5G internet accessibility at highly competitive prices.

“I have the greatest confidence that my visit and fruitful engagements shall yield into multi-million dollar investment in the telecommunication and digital technology sector in Uganda.

“I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to present my interests in Uganda and the considerable prospects in the development of massive digital solutions that will accelerate internet access and promote technological development in Uganda.”

Should we conclude that Chivayo is a crook, blabbermouth, or rabblerouser who cannot control himself?

Well, we leave it to the court of public opinion to give its verdict.

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