Now Daily Investigation
- Close to the mark: Chivayo with Mugabe
Flamboyant ‘businessman’ Wicknell Chivayo is a spy for the South African secret intelligence service who has been splashing money around to buy influence with president Robert Mugabe and his gullible wife Grace Mugabe, investigations by Now Daily revealed.
Chivayo is part of an intricate web of espionage targeting Mugabe, Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai leader Morgan Tsvangirai, politicians, business and civic leaders, celebrities as well as the media, it emerged.
The spy network uncovered by Now Daily involves mostly members of the former Zapu, some Zanu PF members opposed to president Robert Mugabe and Zimbabwean businessmen based in South Africa.
The spy cell from which Chivayo operates was set up in Zimbabwe in 1994 by Ibrahim Sildky Yusuf, a Zambian exile living in South Africa. Yusuf had close connections to African National Congress ‘comrades’ he had taken care of when they were refugees in Lusaka, including Jacob Zuma, the former ANC head of intelligence and Billy Masetlha, who was National Intelligence Agency boss.
To make it easier for Yusuf to enter Zimbabwe and report back to Masetlha without being detected
Setting up a spy ring in Zimbabwe was easy. It was done mostly with the help of former Zapu cadres who had been in contact with Yusuf in Zambia in the 1970s during the war. The syndicate used the services of former Zapu cadre and Wicknell Chivayo’s relative Isaac Chivayo to set up a front company called Intratrek Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of Intratrek Properties which Yusuf was operating in South Africa.
Upon setting up shop in Zimbabwe, Yusuf recruited former Zapu leader John Nkomo, who was designated as a director of Intratrek. Nkomo was later to become home affairs minister and vice president. Other Zapu leaders who became associated with the syndicate were former ambassador to South Africa Simon Khaya Moyo and Matabeleland South state minister Angeline Masuku who helped Chivayo and Yusuf get controversial energy contracts.
Information at hand shows that Chivayo’s spy network are remnants of a South African espionage ring operating inside Zanu PF and close to Mugabe, that involved another shady businessman, Phillip Chiyangwa. Chiyangwa’s network was busted by the authorities who arrested South African spymaster ‘Andrew Brown’. Chiyangwa himself survived jail on the technicality that he was tortured during interrogation and also because of his close links to Mugabe. However, his associates Itai Marchi, the then Zanu PF director of security, Godfrey Dzvairo, a diplomat based in Mozambique and Tendai Matambanadzo, Mugabe’s Metropolitan banker were jailed for up to six years each.
Chivayo remains close to Chiyangwa, under the guise of sponsoring football, where Chiyangwa is Zifa president. However, Chiyangwa has been disowned by Mugabe, who asserted that he was not related to him after the businessman was accused of having sex with his wife Grace Mugabe.
Chivayo is now on the run from Zimbabwe, where his energy contracts are under probe. He has vowed to return, but might face additional charges of spying.
This week Chivayo confirmed buying houses in South Africa. Sources revealed that he kept an unusually large amount of SA rand from unknown sources.
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