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Wicknell Chivayo Exposed In $40 Million Corrupt ZEC Tender!

ZEC Wicknell Chivayo
Picture Supplied By Zimetro News

Controversial businessman Wicknell Chivayo, known for his close ties to President Emmerson Mnangagwa and other high-ranking government officials, illicitly secured a US$40 million tender from the Zimbabwe Election Commission (Zec) to supply electoral materials for the 2023 general elections.

This tender was marred by inflated invoices, with some marked up by as much as 235%, according to an investigation.

The investigation, which began following last year’s elections, revealed that Zec, led by chairperson Priscilla Chigumba, entered a dubious agreement with Chivayo and his associates to provide biometric voter registration kits.

The total value of the procurement deal was US$40 million, with an advance payment of nearly US$20 million, accounting for half of the contract value.

The tender process was notably closed and selective, bypassing competitive bidding due to time constraints for the elections and possible favoritism. This deal, authorized by the Office of the President and Cabinet, implicates both President Mnangagwa and Chigumba.

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As the country prepared for the August elections, Zec initiated a procurement process in February, directly involving Chivayo and his partners in supplying essential electoral materials. These included biometric voter registration kits, polling day materials, and various voting equipment.

Also read: Wicknell’s Car Donations Rattle Zanu PF Bigwigs

Documents and testimonies indicate that Chivayo, together with local businessmen Mike Chimombe and Moses Mpofu through Better Brands Security (Pvt) Ltd, partnered with South African company Ren-Form CC to engage in Zimbabwe’s election tenders. Ren-Form, based in Johannesburg, specializes in digital, commercial, and security printing. Better Brands Security, part of a group of companies owned by Zanu PF gold dealer Pedzai “Scott” Sakupwanya, lacks the expertise in procuring election materials.

The agreement specified that Ren-Form would supply, install, train, and support a solution to meet Zec’s needs, including new biometric voter registration kits.

The deal included provisions for mark-ups and commissions to inflate prices, thereby funding hidden parties and individuals.

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Thomas Michael Du Sart of Ren-Form and Everson Chatambudza of Better Brands signed the agreement, which indicated that Better Brands would remain behind the scenes while Ren-Form formally engaged with Zec. This setup facilitated inflated pricing and concealed costs.

Investigations revealed hidden parties and high-profile individuals involved in the deal, with some names dropping President Mnangagwa’s involvement, either truthfully or as leverage.

The arrangement obscured the actual costs and terms, preventing transparency and leading to corruption, overpricing, uncompetitive tendering, and potential money laundering.

Also read: Wicknell Buys Chihuri’s Mansion For R130-Million

Chivayo later altered the agreement to exclude his partners, securing 66% of the payments for himself, according to a complaint from Chimombe and Mpofu. Payments were routed through South African bank accounts to evade scrutiny, violating anti-money laundering regulations in both Zimbabwe and South Africa.

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The initial proposal from Ren-Form to Zec outlined specific payment terms, with significant portions paid in advance and upon delivery. Subsequent invoices and payments directed by the Ministry of Finance to Ren-Form extended into the current year.

Chivayo’s actions have sparked outrage from his partners, who accused him of fraudulently changing the agreement and diverting funds. They highlighted the inflated invoices and the significant profits Chivayo gained, which he flaunted publicly.

Despite attempts to engage Chivayo and Ren-Form, both parties have remained unresponsive. The investigation continues to uncover the layers of corruption and the roles of various officials in this procurement scandal.

NewsHawk Investigations

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