- Chivayo with ‘Billionaire Boss’ and security minister Kembo Mohadi
A close associate of dictator Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace Mugabe, Wicknell Chivayo has said he will return to Zimbabwe where legislators are waiting to interview him over alleged tender corruption.
Chivayo is believed to be on the run after tender fraud and bribery was uncovered in the award of $600 million energy contracts to shady characters linked to him. He has posted on Facebook claiming to be “on vacation” or “attending business meetings” in different parts of the world, including London, Paris and Monaco.
“Just tell them Sir is coming. I love my country because I’m a pure Zimbabwean by birth,” Chivayo said.
The flamboyant hustler has admitted that he is a front for a Singapore billionaire he refers to only as ‘Billionaire Boss’.
In an angry post on his Facebook account registered illegally as ‘Sir Wicknell’ Chivayo boasts that ‘Billionaire Boss’ gave him $2 million which he collected this week, and encouraged him to continue pursuing the deals that have thrown him into controversy with the authorities in Zimbabwe.
Chivayo, who caused a sensation recently by publishing dinner pictures of himself with first lady Grace Mugabe claimed he was in Monaco “attending business meetings”.
He took pot shots at the Zimbabwean media, accusing them of trying to bring him down. The media has published stories challenging the award of $600 million energy contracts to Intratrek, a firm Chivayo runs on behalf of a fugitive Zambian drug dealer.
The ex-convict who served two years in prison for money laundering said he expected to make $60 million from deals this year but would not disclose how, only saying he made more money outside Zimbabwe than inside it.
“While you are busy attacking me to comfort myself I’ve bought houses in South Africa and now in the process of buying in America and now I also want to buy here in Monaco. No disrespect to anyone but sorry to say my projections this year are I will make 60 million dollars from my companies worldwide rain or sunshine whether you like it or not which is exactly 10 times what I made last year,” Chivayo said in the post, which was accompanied by pictures of him carrying bags presumably at an airport.
He confirmed his close ties to ‘Billionaire Boss’, buttressing the claim that he was front for foreign interests evading taxes, violating tender procedures and flouting black empowerment laws.
“Last week I got a call from my billionaire boss in Singapore and he said, ‘Wicknell I see the Media back home were trying to fight you in the last weeks.’ I said, ‘Yes Boss but you know I refuse to lose in any game I choose to play.’ Then he said, ‘I’m sending you 2 million dollars just to make sure you don’t lose focus,’” Chivayo said.
He admitted receiving the money “in my UOB SINGAPORE account on Monday morning”. The money is believed to be payment for introducing ‘Billionaire Boss’ to senior government officials who reportedly facilitated the award of controversial energy contracts to his firm. Tax authorities are anxious to verify Chivayo’s earnings to see if he is paying full tax amid a string of donations to causes that range from sponsoring the national soccer team to bailing out women stranded in Kuwait.
The dealer said he had “buried the hatchet” with the media but said journalists had made him $2 million richer.
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