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More Woes For Wicknell As Another $9 Million ZEC Transaction Is Unearthed

ZPC & Chivayo's Intratek Zimbabwe to Resume Gwanda Solar Project Image via Zimlive

HARARE, Zimbabwe – Wicknell Chivayo, already mired in corruption accusations, faces fresh allegations implicating the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). According to revelations, ZEC ordered 2,000 non-flushable toilets on the eve of the August 2023 elections for a staggering US$7.6 million.

Investigations by ZimLive revealed that these toilets, priced at an astronomical US$3,800 per unit—despite retailing for about US$300 in South Africa—were only delivered in April this year, eight months post-election.

The finance ministry’s chief paymaster, permanent secretary George Guvamatanga, who approved the payment on September 7, two weeks after the election, is also under scrutiny.

At the core of the alleged corruption in ZEC’s 2023 election procurement is the South African company, Ren-Form CC. ZimLive has discovered that Ren-Form CC was paid over US$100 million, more than double the previously reported US$40 million, in several contracts.

Ren-Form CC was awarded these contracts without a public tender. Legal documents suggest Ren-Form CC was a conduit for controversial businessman Wicknell Chivayo and his associates Mike Chimombe, Moses Mpofu, and Scott Sakupwanya to siphon millions from the public purse through inflated invoices.

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Ren-Form transferred millions of dollars in “commission” to accounts linked to these four associates, who then used the funds to purchase luxury cars and finance lavish lifestyles.

Before Ren-Form CC’s appointment, ZEC chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba allegedly met with the company’s executives alongside Chivayo, Chimombe, and Mpofu, according to documents that surfaced following a fallout among the businessmen.

A series of leaked voice notes sent by Chivayo to his business associates suggest that Chigumba, Guvamatanga, CIO director-general Isaac Moyo, and chief cabinet secretary Martin Rushwaya all received bribes for facilitating corrupt contracts or expediting payments. All involved parties deny any wrongdoing.

By August 17, 2023, ZEC had secured most election materials. However, on that day, the elections body inexplicably placed a new order for 125,000 reflective vests and 2,000 non-flushable portable toilets for election use.

The bill for the vests, at US$13.50 each, amounted to US$1,687,500, while the toilets cost taxpayers US$7.6 million, according to invoice number 1557-2 sent to ZEC by RenForm CC. Justice Chigumba who was listed as the contact person on the invoice.

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The invoice also billed ZEC for an outstanding amount for “security paper” for US$44,511.79 and US$623,000 in “extra charges for air charter to deliver V11 Light Boxes due to late payment and to meet deadline.”

The total on the invoice came to US$9,955,011.79.

Also read: Three Suspected Land Barons in Court for Fraud Linked to Sunungukai Housing Co-operative

ZimLive understands none of the items on the order had been delivered when Zimbabweans went to the polls on August 23. ZEC did nothing to cancel the order, and the finance ministry, on September 7, 2023, settled the full invoice by instructing its bankers CBZ to debit treasury’s account number 107-21537300105 and pay Ren-Form CC’s Standard Bank account number 002742659 the full amount of US$9,955,011.79.

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) says it is investigating ZEC’s election procurement and the three businessmen Chivayo, Mpofu and Chimombe for money laundering.

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