Wicknell Chivayo’s Luxury Car Splurge Backfires Badly
24 February 2024
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Wicknell Chivayo’s Philanthropic Gesture Backfires Amid Political Tensions and Social Media Drama

By Dorrothy Moyo | As allegations of money laundering rise, Zimbabwean businessman Wicknell Chivayo’s recent spree of luxury car donations, initially intended as grand gestures of philanthropy, has spiraled into controversy, casting a shadow over his intentions.

The move, aimed at generating goodwill, has instead opened a Pandora’s box of political intrigue and social media skepticism, leading to public embarrassment, particularly highlighted by the dignified rejection from renowned human rights activist, Godfrey Karembera, also known as Madzibaba WeShanduko.

Chivayo, associated with the ZANU PF party, had been gifting top-of-the-range vehicles to various individuals, directing them to Victor Matiyenga’s Exquisite Cars Dealership for collection. This pattern of generosity inadvertently thrust Matiyenga into the limelight and led to the creation of an X account under his name, which became a source of controversy.

While investigators probe suggestives of money laundering, Victor Matiyenga himself has spoken out against what he said was a misuse of his identity, emphasizing the negative impact on his reputation and business. “This unfortunate incident has forced me to take legal action to protect my name,” Matiyenga declared, highlighting the seriousness of the situation. The scheme took a sour turn when an offer made through the contentious X account to Karembera, implied he could receive a car in return for publicly renouncing his political leader, Nelson Chamisa.

Karembera’s response was a resolute show of support for Chamisa, a move that not only refused Chivayo’s perceived manipulation but also signaled a broader resistance against attempts to politicize philanthropy.

The X offer to Karembera has since disappeared overnight in a huge embarrassment to both Victor and Chivayo. Karembera’s stance serves as a sreminder of the potential for backlash when philanthropy is entangled with political motives. “These tactics will not deter us from our path,” Karembera stated, his loyalty unwavering amidst the unfolding drama

On Friday businessman, the “Victor” X account publicised a message saying Madzibaba WeShanduko (Godfrey Karembera) must travel to his offices to collect a car, but only after denouncing his leader, Nelson Chamisa. The temptation was huge, but Godfrey Karembera stood fort.  

Instead of responding, Karembera posted pictures of himself in blue colours demonstrating his undying loyalty to his leader, Nelson Chamisa. 

Godfrey Karembera

This is not the first time ZANU PF has done this. In October 2022, 

In October 2022, Zanu PF Youth League National Deputy Political Commissar Taurai Kandishaya claimed Karembera has joined ZANU PF

“Madzibaba Weshanduko said “Commissar let’s go to my house so that we talk.” He said “madzibaba hupenyu hwakandiomera kuCCC vakuru vanodya vega (Life is difficult for me. My leaders do not care about us.) Buy me a battery for my incubator. Voting day I will do what changes my life,” said Kandishaya.

Karembera dismissed the allegation and a year later remains loyal to Chamisa.

Advisory: Beware of Unaccounted Money It’s crucial to exercise caution when receiving money from any source, particularly if you or your donor cannot account for its origin. This practice poses significant legal and ethical risks, especially in light of proceeds of crime laws enforced globally.

1. Legal Ramifications: Accepting funds without a clear understanding of their origin can implicate you in criminal activity, regardless of whether you were aware of the funds’ illicit nature. Many jurisdictions have strict proceeds of crime laws that hold recipients accountable for knowingly or unknowingly benefiting from criminal proceeds.

2. Money Laundering: Unaccounted money often involves money laundering schemes designed to conceal the illicit source of funds. By accepting such funds, you could inadvertently become a party to money laundering, subjecting yourself to severe penalties, including imprisonment and hefty fines.

3. Reputational Damage: Being associated with tainted money can tarnish your reputation irreparably. Even if you are not criminally charged, the mere suspicion of involvement in illicit financial activities can harm your credibility, professional standing, and personal relationships.

4. Financial Consequences: Authorities may freeze or confiscate assets obtained through illegal means, leaving you without access to funds and facing financial hardship. Additionally, legal fees and other expenses incurred in defending yourself against accusations of complicity can be exorbitant.

5. Compliance Obligations: Businesses and individuals are obligated to adhere to anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) regulations. Failing to conduct proper due diligence on the source of funds can result in regulatory penalties and sanctions.

Conclusion: Protect yourself and your interests by exercising vigilance and due diligence when dealing with financial transactions. Always verify the legitimacy of funds and ensure full transparency regarding their source. If you have any doubts or suspicions about the origin of money, seek legal advice immediately to mitigate potential risks and liabilities. Meanwhile, the backfire of Chivayo’s campaign, rather than elevating his status, has instead subjected him to public scrutiny and criticism, with more individuals likely to follow Karembera’s lead. This episode underscores the complexities of mixing business ventures with political ambitions in Zimbabwe’s charged atmosphere, where the line between generosity and manipulation appears increasingly blurred.