The Mystery: Wicknell Chivayo on faith, philaphropy, fortune and controversy

Wicknell Chivayo, a flamboyant Zimbabwean businessman, is no stranger to the spotlight. He is well-known for his lavish lifestyle, luxury vehicles, watches, and clothing, which he frequently flaunts on social media, as well as his generous philanthropic efforts.


He recently spent over US$400 000 and gifted 50 members of his congregation Toyota Aqua vehicles.

Each car is valued at US$7,500 and he personally handed them out to the beneficiaries. He pledged to spend US$3 million on members of his church.

In June last year, Chivayo made a generous donation to the Catholic Church’s St Gerard’s Parish in memory of his late mother.

The donation included a brand-new Toyota Hilux D4D vehicle worth US$40 000, a home solar system, and US$100,000 in cash.

But Chivayo has also faced criticism and accusations, ranging from corruption, public theft, and use of Juju (black magic) to amass his wealth.

In an exclusive interview with Nehanda Radio, Chivayo opened up about what motivates his philanthropy, lavish lifestyle and how he deals with his critics.

He said that his faith in God is the driving force behind his generosity.

“It is a widely known fact that Sir Wicknell is a devout member of the Johane Masowe eChishanu Apostolic Sect, and I am proud of that nekuti ndinonamata Mwari anoita zvishamiso pasi pezuva. Kumasowe tinoti chinotanga rudo, kotevera tsitsi nekunamata.

“This is also Biblical. 1 Corinthians 13:13 says “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love,” So every donation or benevolence is motivated and inspired by the need to show love for others.

“I believe that if I can bless others through giving, God will richly bless me in my own personal or business endeavours. Love is the answer,” said Chivayo.

Chivayo also addressed the accusations that his wealth is a product of Juju. He dismissed these claims as “nonsense” and said that his success is due to hard work and prayer.

“Those who suggest that my lifestyle is funded by juju suffer from financial dementia.

“They must not project their poor mindset and cynicism on any successful business person like myself by suggesting that I am a multi-millionaire on account of juju.

“I have spent nights on end ndichinamata mumakomo for God to give me breakthroughs in life and bless me with riches,” said Chivayo.

Chivayo said he prayed in silence but publicises the manifestation of God’s answers to his prayers as testimony to his faithfulness.

“God is my only juju and those who want to see how powerful and faithful He is must just pray without ceasing and show love unto others,” added Chivayo.

Chivayo also spoke about his family and how they support him.

He said that he would never be drawn into proving to the world what he has done for his family members because he owes them a natural duty to do so.

“People who want such evidence – which in any case are not entitled to it – must wake up from their docility, pray for the spirit of minding their own business and work harder in life so that they can also take care of their own families,” he added.

When asked if he was involved in gold smuggling or tenderpreneurship cartels, Chivayo replied, “absolutely rubbish.”

“The only things containing pure gold I take with me when travelling abroad are my multi-carat gold watches.

“I have no time to smuggle anything out of or into the country. I am a businessman of international repute with business interests globally. I am not employed by anyone, worse off for smuggling purposes.

“I am a law-abiding citizen enjoying the business environment created by the 2nd Republic under the visionary leadership of His Excellency, President E. D. Mnangagwa.

“I am a businessman of international repute with business interests globally,” he said.C

Chivayo also addressed the criticism he receives on social media. He said that he has learned to ignore the negativity and focus on his own goals.

“With the advent of social media, everyone is now highly opinionated even on subjects that they have absolutely no idea of,” he said.

“We have sadly become a generation of idle-minded loud talkers with the highest levels of ignorance.”

He further told Nehanda Radio that his lifestyle allows haters, critics, and content creators to make headlines and create content on their social media pages, and that if he continued to live his lavish lifestyle in secret, their source of income would be severely harmed.

Chivayo went on to reveal that the “bellowers who spread falsehoods” about him in public secretly begged me for cash gifts disguised as start-up capital for their projects.

Despite the criticism, Chivayo remains confident in his success.

He boasted that he is on his way to becoming the youngest billionaire in Africa.

“This is just the beginning,” he said.

“I will get to a time when the world will stand in awe and turn their lives to God through mabasa emasowe.”

It remains to be seen whether Chivayo will achieve his goal of becoming Africa’s youngest billionaire.

But there is no doubt that he is a complex and fascinating figure who is not afraid to live life on his own terms.Chivayo was in March last year acquitted together with his company Intratrek Zimbabwe (Private) Limited of misappropriating US$5,6 million for the abortive 100MW Gwanda Solar Project.

Chivayo had been facing a multitude of charges including fraud, money laundering, violation of exchange control regulations and confiscation of profits.

Although he was cleared almost two years ago, the then Prosecutor General Kumbirai Hodzi appealed the decision and got the matter back on trial.

Chivayo’s lawyers led by Advocate Sylvester Hashiti argued that the state was dragging its feet in prosecuting him and the magistrate agreed.

In early December, the tycoon and his company again in the Supreme Court after ZPC had filed an appeal against his earlier victory.

The total value of the contract awarded to Chivayo’s company Intratrek Zimbabwe is US$172 848 597.60 and his lawyers argue that USD$ 5 811 224.00 paid by ZPC was partly used to carry out pre-commencement works as agreed under Schedule 11 of the EPC Contract.

While the businessman is certainly not holding back on buying luxury vehicles, many are now putting pressure on him and his company to deliver on the Gwanda Solar Project, whose contract was the subject of the court case in the first place.

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