Socialites laying low as Zimbabwe’s government cracks down on big-spenders

Following the decision by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to fight corruption – particularly in government and the business sector – several public figures have been either briefly caged, released on remand or summoned by the police for questioning.

But for many, this is just a show.

Last week the “Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) (Amendment of the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act and Exchange Control Act) Regulations, 2018”, which empower government to seize assets of people who fail to disclose the source of their wealth, was gazetted.

In no time, Harare socialite Genius “Ginimbi” Kadungure, 34, whose razzmatazz lifestyle is known far and wide – and who has a penchant for super cars and heavy spending in Africa’s richest square mile, Sandton – was nabbed for tax evasion over a period of nine years. It is alleged that he owes the tax man at least US$22m.

Kadungure, who at one time was the only person in southern Africa to own a 2016 Rolls-Royce Wraith, mocked another fellow socialite-come-tenderpreneur, Wicknell Chivayo, on national radio for driving a “car for civil servants” when he boasted about driving the then latest S-Class Mercedes-Benz.

Chivayo, 39, has also been in and out of court and even spent time in remand prison in relation to allegations of corruptly receiving US$5m from the government-owned Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) and also being awarded a US$200,000 tender illegally.

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