HARARE – The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has an active investigation into Wicknell Munodaani Chivhayo’s “unexplained wealth,” according to a leaked internal memo.
The wealth-flaunting businessman is in the news after donating over two dozen vehicles to Zanu PF-supporting musicians, Zanu PF activists and even fellow congregants.
But according to ZACC, enquiries were already being made into Chivhayo as early as May 2023.
A memo dated June 23, 2023, from ZACC’s legal officer to Victor Masimba, the manager of the asset forfeiture and recover unit, said Chivhayo “has been purchasing luxurious vehicles of late either for himself, his spouse or church congregants and posting the purchases on his social media which has raised a lot of suspicions that he is involved in illicit activities.”
The memo was first posted by Chivhayo himself on social media on Thursday, apparently in response to people who were prodding ZACC to investigate him. He appeared to be suggesting ZACC has tried and found nothing on him.
ZACC insiders confirmed to ZimLive that the memo was authentic and the investigation was proceeding, but a spokesperson declined to comment.
“I have not seen Chivhayo’s post,” ZACC spokesperson Smiso Mlevu said.
The memo showed that ZACC had served search and seizure warrants for documents relating to vehicle purchases at two car dealerships in Harare – Auto Expo and Exquisite.
The investigation has also roped in the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, which said it had found seven luxury vehicles recently imported by Chivhayo in a nine-month period, six of them in the month of May 2023 alone – a Range Rover Autobiography, a Mercedes Benz S500, a Mercedes Benz C280, a Rolls Royce Ghost, a Mercedes Benz GLS600, a Rolls Royce with private plate CHIBABA and Rolls Royce Ghost with plate SIR.
The vehicles were imported by a company called IMC Plant Hire (Pvt) Ltd which is linked to the 41-year-old businessman. ZIMRA said the company appeared to be behind on its tax payments.
ZACC is also looking into how Chivhayo purchased a house in the Crowhill neighbourhood in Harare.
In 2015, Chivhayo’s company Intratrek Zimbabwe was awarded a tender to build a 100 megawatt solar power plant in Gwanda and paid US$5 million by the Zimbabwe Power Company, but the project has not been delivered after legal wrangles which also saw the businessman arrested, and later acquitted, on fraud charges.
A court recently ruled that the contract between ZPC and Intratrek is still valid, and ZPC has in turn directed Chivhayo to proceed and deliver the project – including raising international financing for the US$173 million project.
“After finalising the investigations,” ZACC’s legal officer said in the leaked memo, “an unexplained wealth order application will be made against Chivhayo and all associated companies.”
Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono claimed last week that Chivhayo’s sudden wealth came after he won a multi-million dollar tender for the provision of an undisclosed service to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) in the run-up to general elections held on August 23, 2023. It has been claimed online that the contract was for the supply of food to all ZEC election officials deployed across the country.
Some of the recent beneficiaries of vehicles donated by Chivhayo include Jah Prayzah, Seh Calaz, Sandra Ndebele, Suluman Chimbetu, Chief Hwenje, DJ Fantan and DJ David Masomere.
In June 2023, ZACC estimated Chivhayo’s unexplained splurge at US$7 million. It is a lot more now.
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