Wicknell chivayo and Mnangagwa

In the final days of Robert Gabriel Mugabe’s rule, his wife, Grace, became increasingly erratic.

She frequently antagonized key figures who had supported her husband for decades, even before he became Zimbabwe’s leader.

Grace publicly insulted and humiliated top government officials, including then Vice President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.

Her behavior spiraled out of control as she considered herself invincible.

Those around Mugabe had reached their limit.

The only way to diminish her influence was to remove Mugabe himself.

When Mugabe made the fateful decision to fire Mnangagwa on November 6, 2017, it was the final straw.

Shortly after, military tanks rolled into Harare, and Mugabe was held hostage by his own generals and forced to resign.

Mnangagwa soon assumed the presidency.

Even before these events, tensions within the ruling party and government were high due to intense power struggles.

Mnangagwa had previously pushed Mugabe to sack the former Vice President, Joice Mujuru, on December 9, 2014, positioning himself as the next in line.

Given Mugabe’s advanced age, Mnangagwa might have been willing to wait for a natural succession.

However, Grace’s increasingly brazen actions made it imperative to expedite the process.

Her antics made it impossible to wait.

Without Grace, Mugabe might have remained in power until his final days.

History seems to be repeating itself.

As the saying goes: Those who do not learn from history are likely to repeat it.

We are now witnessing with concern the rise of the dubious businessman and convicted criminal Wicknell Chivayo, who has become notably close to Mnangagwa.

The ex-convict appears to be Mnangagwa’s closest ally, possibly stepping on the toes of those around the president.

Chivayo is being treated with higher regard than Mnangagwa’s two deputies, Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi.

He was even present at a meeting between Mnangagwa and visiting Kenyan President William Ruto in April 2024, where the three were photographed together.

Chivayo was at Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Airport in Bulawayo to welcome the President, a role typically reserved for the vice presidents.

Just yesterday, Chivayo was at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport to see off Mnangagwa as he departed for the South Korea-Africa Summit.

Reports of questionable contracts involving Chivayo and various state institutions abound.

Who can forget the US$173 million 100MW Gwanda solar plant tender he was awarded in 2015 by power utility ZESA, which has made no progress?

Last year, Chivayo entered into another dubious deal with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) for US$40 million to supply voting material for the August 2023 elections.

The deal, involving Chivayo and his partners – ZANU PF sympathizers Mike Chimombe and Moses Mpofu, through Scott Sakupwana’s Better Brands Security – was approved by the Office of the President and Cabinet and ZEC chair Priscilla Chigumba, despite their lack of expertise in procuring election equipment and materials.

This is where it gets interesting.

Chivayo is reportedly undermining those around Mnangagwa, much like Grace did with Mugabe.

He allegedly signed a fraudulent agreement behind his partners’ backs in the ZEC deal, securing all the money for himself at the expense of Chimombe, Mpofu, and Sakupwana.

Additionally, Chivayo is suspected of orchestrating the arrest and repeated denial of bail to Neville Mutsvangwa, son of ZANU PF heavyweights Chris and Monica Mutsvangwa, to prevent him from entering a deal with Starlink, Elon Musk’s SpaceX satellite internet provider.

source – Bulawayo24