Columnist/Opinion

Sir Wicknell, real ZANU PF supporters are dying of hunger!

by Tendai Ruben Mbofana

So, self-proclaimed businessman Wicknell Chivayo has, of late, been doling out expensive luxury cars like confetti.

In the past week alone, he has splashed at least half a million US dollars on just five music celebrities.

I will not waste any time on why, if these musicians were genuine celebrities and success stories, they could not afford their own top-of-the-range vehicles.

Does this not point to a failed economy that has been run into the ground by a kleptomaniac incompetent ruling elite?

Is it not embarrassing that so-called celebrities would need ‘blessers’ – who have to buy them luxury vehicles?

In fact, one of them had to beg on social media for a car!

To makes matter worse, the supposed celebrities are being gifted by Chivayo purely for their blind support for the ruinous ZANU PF regime.

I initially penned this article a few days ago but have been sitting on it as I wanted to do more research on Chivayo’s revenue streams.

This has been a source of fervent and fierce debate for quite some time – with his recent ‘donations’ only intensifying this curiosity.

Nonetheless, this morning, I decided to delete the long  narrative I had written on the various scandals surrounding Chivayo and his company, Intratrek.

Some of these include accusations of fraud levelled against him by power utility ZESA, for allegedly taking money meant for the US$173 million 100MW Gwanda solar project, which he reportedly failed to implement.

There are also the resultant legal battles between the two parties.

However, I felt that taking up space with these issues was distracting from the gist of my discourse.

My issue is not on interrogating where Chivayo acquired the wealth to throw around like a little boy who has just been given US$10 and ends up buying all his classmates some sweets.

I will not even bother much on reports that the country’s corruption watchdog ZACC has reportedly instituted investigations into his dealings.

This was after he gifted 50 cars to his fellow congregants at this church early this year, valued at US$400,000.

Maybe I will write an in-depth article on those issues in the near future 

For now, we will simply assume this is his money and get right into what I really want to discuss.

I am more concerned about the mindset of the privileged class, aligned to power, in Zimbabwe.

What troubles me is the way this elitist group are so self-centred such that they do not even care about the suffering masses of Zimbabwe.

I know that should not be a surprise since our poverty is largely a result of the grand looting (for self-aggrandisement) of our national resources by those in power and their allies.

Consequently, the country has been milked dry, in spite of the numerous minerals with which we are endowed.

We have the largest reserves of lithium in Africa, the second platinum deposits in the world, the seventh largest producer of diamonds, and the second largest gold reserves per square kilometre.

This is not to mention black granite, chrome, nickel, copper, asbestos, silver, and any others.

However, each year, the country loses over US$3 billion through smuggling, as well as illicit financial transactions and other corrupt activities.

In other words, the ruling elite does not give a hoot whether we live or die, as long as they themselves are living in abundant opulence.

This is what we are witnessing in Chivayo’s so-called ‘gifts’.

After spending about US$1 million on cars in the past month alone – US$400,000 for his church-mates and around US$600,000 to pro-ZANU PF ‘celebrities’ – the ordinary citizen remains poor.

In fact, these same people whom Chivayo ‘forgot’ to reward are the grassroots ZANU PF supporters who gave President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa the 2,350,711 votes he alleged received in the 2023 presidential election.

It was not Sandra Ndebele, or Sulumani Chimbetu, or Jah Prayzer, or DJ Fantan, or Seh Calaz, who ensured the ruling ZANU PF party’s continued stay in power, albeit fraudulently.

As I write this, millions of Zimbabweans, including those who voted for Mnangagwa, are food insecure and require assistance simply to stay alive.

They have to wait for foreign governments, such as the US (through USAid), for food donations.

Ironically, these are the same countries that ZANU PF wants to portray as ‘against the people of Zimbabwe’.

Yet, they seem to be the only ones who really care that we survive in these difficult times, particularly with an El Nino-induced drought threatening even more hunger.

Where is Chivayo and his ‘gifts’?

Why has he not donated any food to these people, especially in the rural areas – most of whom who even voted for ZANU PF?

Has he ever built them a clinic within walking distance of their villages – further adequately equipping them with essential medications?

Or, are there people still forced to walk kilometres to the nearest health care facilities – with some losing their lives along the way?

This extends to our major hospitals, which lack functional cancer and dialysis machines, not to mention operating theatres, ambulances, and basic drugs.

The same applies to our schools, particularly in rural areas, where children still learn in the open whilst sitting on bricks!

Where are the new classroom blocks or even schools, Mr Chivayo?

Why have you not donated state-of-the-art science and technology equipment to our rural learners since you obviously love flashy upmarket items?

What about funding the construction of decent drivable roads in these communities?

Admittedly, all these things are certainly not Chivayo’s responsibility.

This all has to do with the government of Zimbabwe – which, ironically, is led by the same ZANU PF Chivayo supports – but has failed miserably in improving the ordinary population’s living standards.

If anything, the little that Zimbabweans had at independence from colonial rule in 1980 has been destroyed and ruined through neglect and a dysfunctional economy.

My concern, though, is the seemingly twisted and selfish mentality of those in the privileged class.

If Chivayo is genuinely rewarding (through his luxury car donations) those who have stood by ZANU PF, why is he not targeting the actual voters on the ground?

That is where my problem lies.

Indeed, it is his money, and he can use it in whatever way he deems fit.

However, it is the principle of his donations that pokes me.

Why give to the ‘haves’ at the expense of the ‘have-nots’ – who are the real ZANU PF supporters on the ground?

It paints a much clearer but disturbing picture of how those at the top regard those at the bottom.

The ordinary man, woman, and child are of absolutely no concern to the ruling elite.

They are simply objects that are used at election time to keep the rich in power – where they can continue looting the country for their own enrichment with impunity.

Everyone else is of no significance.

That is the lesson we can draw from Chivayo’s donations.

If only those grassroots ZANU PF supporters would understand these facts and finally wake up.

Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice advocate and writer. Please feel free to WhatsApp or Call: +263715667700 | +263782283975, or email: mbofana.tendairuben73@gmail.com, or visit website: https://mbofanatendairuben.news.blog/

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