Controversial businessman Wicknell Chivayo has set tongues wagging on video and picture platform – Instagram where he bragged about splashing R20 000 (nearly $1 900) on a brand new pair shoes – despite failing to put meaningful structures on a $200 million Gwanda solar project which is now under government probe.
The burly businessman, who is often referred to by his associates as Sir Wicknell, was awarded a $200 million tender for the Gwanda Solar Project but has done nothing meaningful except putting up two shacks which recently drew the ire of MPs who had visited the site of the solar project.
He was also awarded a further $73 million for the refurbishment of the Harare Power Station, $163 million for the restoration of the Munyati Power Station, and $248 million for the Gairezi power project by the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) – a subsidiary of Zesa Holdings.
ZPC senior management stands accused of advancing $5 million to Chivayo for the Gwanda Solar project’s pre-commencement works, despite him not providing a performance guarantee as required by law.
The performance guarantee acts as financial security and is supposed to be presented by the contractor before commencement of works. It insulates the client if the contractor fails to fulfil obligations set out in the contract.
In his yesterday’s post shared with thousands of his followers, Chivayo revealed he had just splashed on a new pair of shoes.
“Even Adolf Hitler said I had too many shoes. It’s a new pair everyday 100 (percent),” he wrote as he posted a R20 750 shoe, also refereeing to a parody video of former German chancellor and Nazi party leader Hitler making fun of government for giving him the tender.
“My son had to be American coz ma Zimbo too much ma jealous neruvengo. Tsika yenyu haife yakachinja so ne mari inenge ine mwana wangu mungazomunetsa. Munotoda isu boyz rekughetto ma tapland tine thick skin… tisu tinokugonai kusvika maneta (Zimbabweans will never change, with the money that my son is going to be having you will trouble him. You need people like us, the hard cores).”
He also posted a video with the song Going Nowhere playing in the background while he showed off crisp $100 United States Dollars sprawled in his car.
The high-living businessman is under probe over the ZPC tenders and last month told Parliament how former president Robert Mugabe’s office and two ministers had used their influence to have him awarded multi-million power deals which are now under investigation by government.
Chivayo told the committee on Mines and Energy chaired by fiery Norton MP – Temba Mliswa that former Energy ministers Dzikamai Mavhaire and Samuel Undenge – who both served at different times in Mugabe’s government, had used their influence to have his company Intratek awarded the tenders and receive the subsequent $5 million.
The jet-setting convicted fraudster revealed that while Mavhaire facilitated his awarding of the tender despite losing the bid, Undenge arm-twisted the ZPC to pay him $2,1 million in feasibility study fees notwithstanding his failure to provide surety.
Recently, ZPC board chairperson Stanley Kazhanje told the committee that Chivayo was in fact paid $7 million, instead of the $5 million for the Gwanda Solar Project.
Energy minister Simon Khaya Moyo recently appeared before the same committee and promised that government will descend on all involved if a forensic audit it ordered proved there was corruption.
Khaya Moyo said several companies had submitted bids to conduct the forensic audit.
The flashy Chivayo often sets tongues wagging with Facebook posts of his expensive apparel, something that he does not make apologies about.
Chivayo, who once served a jail term for fraud, has also in the past been pictured with Mugabe in his offices, as well as with his then powerful wife Grace and son Robert Junior while on holiday in Dubai.
He has also been previously pictured with President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the late MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, when he was still prime minister during the inclusive government era.
Chivayo was said by his critics to be sympathetic to the Generation 40 (G40) faction, whose leadership was decapitated politically in November when the military intervened to remove some of its kingpins from power, claiming that they were criminals.