Another Wicknell Chivayo audio leaks: Mike Chimombe demands his $17 million payout from the $100 million ZEC deal


The murky waters of the US$100 million Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) tender scandal have deepened with the emergence of a leaked audio recording, revealing a heated dispute between controversial tycoon Wicknell Chivayo and his former business associate, Mike Chimombe. The audio, which has been circulating in hushed tones across the capital, sheds light on the bitter fallout between the two men, a fallout that appears to have been triggered by the flow of money from the controversial deal.

The deal, signed in February 2023 just before the August general elections, involved the supply of election materials by South African printing company Ren-Form. Chivayo, Chimombe, and Moses Mpofu acted as intermediaries in the arrangement, and the initial payments, which began in March, appear to have ignited the conflict.

In yet another leaked audio, Chivayo, who was in Namibia at the time, can be heard rebuking Chimombe for the numerous missed calls on his phone, relating to the deal. He warns Chimombe not to interfere with his other business ventures, boasting of deals that his associates are unaware of. “I have other deals that my friends know nothing about,” Chivayo is heard saying, “Don’t try to stop them.”

Chimombe, in response, accuses Chivayo of lacking communication in business dealings and insists that they had signed a $17 million agreement, adding fuel to the already simmering dispute.

The audio recording, which has been verified by The NewsHawks, provides a chilling glimpse into the underbelly of the ZEC tender scandal. It exposes the cutthroat nature of the deal, where greed and betrayal appear to have taken precedence over any semblance of ethical conduct.

This latest development comes on the heels of another damning audio recording, which surfaced last month, in which Chivayo boasts of his close relationship with President Emmerson Mnangagwa and details payments made to several high-ranking officials, including ZEC chair Priscilla Chigumba, CIO Director-General Isaac Moyo, and gold magnate Pedzisayi “Scott” Sakupwanya.

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has reportedly launched an investigation into the trio, Chivayo, Chimombe, and Mpofu, on charges of fraud and money laundering. However, the political system appears to be protecting Chivayo, who enjoys close ties to President Mnangagwa and other key players in the deal. Chimombe and Mpofu, on the other hand, are currently in jail on fraud charges stemming from the US$88 million Presidential Goats Scheme.

Chivayo, who has amassed a fortune from government contracts, has been on the defensive since the first audio recording emerged. He initially denied that the voice on the recording was his, but later issued a lengthy apology to President Mnangagwa, his wife, CIO Director-General Isaac Moyo, Chief Cabinet Secretary Martin Rushwaya, and ZEC Chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba, for the “adverse impression” created that these officials were involved in corruption.

In response to the allegations, Presidential spokesperson George Charamba, in a statement posted on X, dismissed Chivayo’s claims as “offensive name-dropping” that did not “automatically indict the president and government.” He asserted that “claims don’t become true because they have been made, or because some detractors of the president, in chorus form, wish them to be so.”

The ZEC tender scandal has cast a long shadow over Zimbabwean politics, raising serious concerns about the integrity of the electoral process. The leaked audio recordings, coupled with the ongoing ZACC investigation, have intensified scrutiny of the deal and its players, potentially leading to further revelations that could shake the foundations of the ruling party.

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