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Chivayo’s Zec tender miffs Chamisa

Local News
Chamisa queried a suspected deal between Chivayo and his business acolytes, some of whom participated in the August 2023 elections, whose results he has refused to accept.

OPPOSITION politician and former Citizens Coalition for Change leader Nelson Chamisa yesterday tore into President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his officials for associating with controversial businessman Wicknell Chivayo.

Chamisa queried a suspected deal between Chivayo and his business acolytes, some of whom participated in the August 2023 elections, whose results he has refused to accept.

The comments by Mnangagwa’s main challenger in the 2023 presidential elections were prompted by a leaked audio suspected to be of Chivayo where it was revealed that the tenderpreneur received a windfall from a murky Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) US$40 million tender to supply electoral materials ahead of the polls. Chivaya has, however, denied the claim.

According to reports, Chivayo, working with local businessmen Mike Chimombe and Moses Mpofu, entered into an agreement with South Africa-based Ren-Form CC, on February 13, 2023 to participate in Zec tenders.

Chamisa, in a statement released on various platforms yesterday, said Zimbabwe’s governance system was collapsing, starting with Mnangagwa.

“As they say, a fish rots from the head. An aspiring political candidate is implicated in a transaction involving procurement of election materials by the electoral ‘omission’ together with a well-known ally of the incumbent,” Chamisa said.

“The candidate loses the election. An impostor, who is their proxy and sidekick recalls the winning candidate in the aspiring politician/conman’s constituency.

“The electoral ‘omission’ and Parliament both act on the impostor’s letter and bar the legitimate candidates from contesting.

“The political conmen snatches the seat uncontested. This rottenness must be ended.”

CCC spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi also condemned Chivayo’s involvement in the electoral tender processes.

“The criminal awarding of the elections tender is in itself sufficient to nullify the elections as irregular, not to mention all the other irregularities mentioned and acknowledged by all observer missions that witnessed the grand electoral scandal,”  Mkwananzi said.

“Mr Mnangagwa is corrupt, illegitimate and unfit to govern our country. We continue to call for a fresh, free and fair election as more evidence of the sham election unfolds.”

MDC spokesperson Chengetai Guta said there was no transparency in Zec’s operations.

“The most important issue is about transparency of the whole process and we need that clarity.

“Even the Constitution demands that Chapter 12 institutions are supposed to account publicly to the people of Zimbabwe and that has not happened.”

Election Resource Centre legal and advocacy officer Takunda Tsunga said while the allegations were yet to be substantiated, they raised serious issues around Zec’s conduct.

“The allegations raise issues around gross misconduct of Zec officials, conduct which infringes on the independence of the commission and the transparency of election administration, which are key issues raised by election observer missions,” Tsunga said.

“If proven true, this will have a devastating effect to an already fragile credibility [of the] electoral commission.

“The commission must take clear and tangible steps to address the allegations raised.”

Former Mt Pleasant legislator Fadzayi Mahere said the recent move by Mnangagwa to give himself the power to exempt public entities from the public tender process is meant to benefit people like Chivayo.

“To explain the matter further, the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act is meant to provide for the control and regulation of public procurement and the disposal of public assets to ensure government contracts are awarded in a transparent, fair, honest, cost-effective and competitive manner,” she said on X (formerly Twitter).

She said the Act used to cover all public tenders, but the change made by Mnangagwa meant he has the power to exempt a particular entity from strict tender procedures that are laid down in the Act.

“This then allows the public entity or institution to award a contract to people like ‘my son’ without any public tender or competitive bidding process.”

Chivayo claimed that the audio recording was fake, but went on to apologise to Mnangagwa, his wife Auxillia, Zec chairperson Priscilla Chigumba and Central Intelligence Organisation director-general Isaac Moyo after their names were mentioned as some of the beneficiaries of the Zec loot.

Zanu PF youths said they were not happy that Chivayo was abusing his proximity to the President and called for an investigation into his conduct.

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