Can Mnangagwa really crack down on the big-spenders?


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Prosperity preacher, Prophet Walter Magaya, who last month claimed to have found an HIV cure that could kill the virus in a space of two weeks is also being investigated. He is on record saying that he is worth at least US$500m. To put it into perspective, had he been an American rapper he would rank in the Top 10 of the all-time highest earners’ list.

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) confirmed it was investigating the prophet’s source of wealth and tax compliance saying the issue was “highly sensitive”.

“You don’t get access to state resources without a power behind you. All these money-flaunting guys have their inside men, hence convicting them of any money related crime is nearly impossible,” said a ZANU- PF insider.

This narrative was last week laid bare by Mnangagwa’s former special advisor, Christopher Mutsvangwa, who told an independent weekly that Zimbabwe was being run by cartels. He claimed these cartels had political pawns in the highest offices.

“He [Kudakwashe Tagwirei] is dividing the presidium. How can a businessman have preferences in the presidium? That is trying to turn the country into a banana republic. Tagwirei’s business gets about US$80m to US$90m every month for fuel from the RBZ [Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe], yet many companies, some of them the largest fuel dealers in the world, want to come and invest in the fuel industry in the country,” he said.

Tagwirei is the chief executive officer and director at Sakunda Holdings Group, a company that controls the majority of the fuel industry in the country.

Prophet Magaya, despite being probed, has been also rubbing shoulders with the political elite through parcelling out gifts. In 2015 he bought former First Lady Grace Mugabe’s autobiography for US$50 000. In September this year he donated goods worth US$1m to 10 000 households in Harare to step up the fight against cholera.

Millionaire Frank Buyanga fled the country during the Mugabe era after numerous cabinet ministers and high-ranking politicians – whom he gave loans to, but which they failed to repay – reported him to police. He is back in the fold – last week he went to meet President Mnangagwa in his high powered red Ferrari F12 Berlinetta that turned heads at the government offices.

Buyanga has since offered government a US$34.8m facility to procure drugs as the forex shortage bites.

“There is nothing for free. These guys are trying to get a foot in but it’s up to the President to show them he means business – no to corruption,” added the ZANU-PF official.

With the highest office in their corner, tenderpreneurs tend to bully cabinet ministers. In 2016 Chivayo, then close to the First Lady Grace Mugabe, barked at Professor Jonathan Moyo for being a bully used to having his way around “people with no money”.

Former ministers such as Ignatious Chombo, Dr Samuel Parirenyatwa, Supa Mandiwanzira, Saviour Kasukuwere and Samuel Udenge have appeared in court facing corruption charges but their cases are dragging.- TimesLive

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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