Ex-con tenderpreneur Chivayo now owns exiled police boss Chihuri’s US$7m house

Source: Ex-con tenderpreneur Chivayo now owns exiled police boss Chihuri’s US$7m house |

  • A US$7 million mansion in Harare now belongs to Wicknell Chivayo, a tenderpreneur and ex-convict.
  • It used to belong to Augustine Chihuri, the Zimbabwean police chief who remained loyal to Robert Mugabe.
  • The wealth of both has not been adequately explained. 

Exiled former Zimbabwe Republic Police commissioner Augustine Chihuri’s US$7 million mansion in Harare has been snapped up by Wicknell Chivayo, a convicted criminal-cum-tenderpreneur with access to President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

When tanks rolled into Harare in November 2017, as the putsch to remove Robert Mugabe gathered full speed, Chihuri was the only security chief aligned to the late former strongman.

He was arrested, and later fled to Malawi.

In 2020, his mansion was attached by Zimbabwe’s National Prosecuting Authority as part of the “unexplainable wealth” the police chief had amassed over the years.

In court papers, Chihuri sensationally claimed that he had a long-standing personal feud with Mnangagwa over a woman, and that his matter was more of a “politically targeted persecution” because he refused to play a part in the coup.

But, in 2022, he won a bid to reclaim the palatial home, among other properties, when the state failed to prove that he had siphoned some US$10 million from the state.

Now, the eyesore mansion in the Gletwyn suburb of Harare is in Chivayo’s hands.

The house was recently furnished by South African high-end firm, Norman Bakos.

Those close to Chivayo estimate that the work done by the firm could run well over US$100 000.

Chivayo’s lawyers, Messrs Manase and Manase, instructed advocate Lewis Uriri to tell News24 that he was a beneficiary of the house bought by a trust.

“Mr Chivayo is a beneficiary of the owner of the property, having purchased the same. The owner, whose title is being processed, is a trust that, for now, cannot be named,” said Uriri.

Chivayo confirmed that it was his house.

Since last year, Chivayo has been a feature among the who’s-who in Zimbabwe’s political elite, particularly Mnangagwa and family.

In April, at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, Chivayo was spotted with Mnangagwa when he hosted Kenya’s President William Ruto.

Reports in Zimbabwe say Chivayo’s closeness to the president does not sit well with some in the ruling Zanu PF.

Chivayo has been dishing out cars, which range from luxury Mercedes Benz, Toyota Hilux and smaller cars, such as the Toyota Aqua, to those who supported Zanu PF during the run-up to last year’s general elections.

In some cases, he has also given cars to dancers at Zanu PF rallies.

His wealth is unexplainable, and he has even been investigated by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.

It came up with nothing.

In 2004, Chivayo was sentenced to three years in prison for neglecting to pay a South African, who had entered into a rands-for-Zim-dollars deal with him.