Shava’s career built on patronage

There were wild celebrations when Zimbabwean ambassador to the United Nations, Frederick Shava, assumed the presidency of the United Nations Economic and Social Council on Monday, but he is a man with a chequered history and has built his career on patronage and President Robert Mugabe’s benevolence.

Source: Shava’s career built on patronage – NewsDay Zimbabwe September 21, 2016


Shava in the late 1980s was one of the Zimbabwean Cabinet ministers who were arrested, tried and convicted of perjury in the infamous Willowgate Scandal.

The scandal involved ministers who abused their positions to buy then luxurious Toyota Cressida vehicles from the government-controlled vehicle assembler Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries and resold them to corporates at inflated prices, usually double or three times their purchase price.

Shava lied under oath to the Sandura Commission that was investigating the cases of corruption involving ministers.

In its judgment convicting Shava, the High Court said: “The post of minister is a very high office, which carries great status, privileges and powers. It also carries great responsibilities.

“The incumbent of such office is expected to lead by example. His primary duty is to observe the laws of the country. In this regard, the accused failed miserably.”

After his conviction, Shava was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment with no option of a fine, but Mugabe acted swiftly and issued a presidential pardon 24 hours later.

“Who among us has not lied? Yesterday you were with your girlfriend and you told your wife that you were with the Prime Minister. Should you get nine months for that?” Mugabe queried as he freed Shava.

Following this statement, the State immediately halted plans to charge other ministers accused of perjury in one of the first high-profile corruption scandals to hit the newly-independent country.

Among other ministers implicated then were Callistus Ndlovu, the late Enos Nkala, Dzingai Mutumbuka and the late Maurice Nyagumbo., who subsequently committed suicide.

In yet another case, Shava in 2006 tried unsuccessfully to appropriate agricultural implements at a Kwekwe farm owned by Rolling Rivers Enterprises, which he had been allocated under the fast-track land reform programme.

In her ruling, High Court judge Justice Anne-Mary Gowora said: “I will, as a consequence, issue an order in final terms for the equipment to be released to the applicants and further that they may be permitted in terms of this order to retrieve from whomsoever may be in possession of the same.”

Despite Shava’s legal issues, Mugabe still had a soft spot for the disgraced former minister and appointed him the country’s representative to China.

He then later succeeded Boniface Chidayusiku, as the country’s permanent representative at the UN.


  • comment-avatar

    Everyone knows that you have to be a lying thieving corrupt kleptocrat to belong to Zpf or the current government.

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    Mukanya 6 years ago

    If you unravel the history of CORRUPTION in Zimbabwe from THE WILLOWGATE SCANDAL , one can easily detect the failure to walk the talk on the CORRUPTION ideology by ZANU PF because its embedded in the PARTY’s IDEOLOGY programme of action. The PARTY is riddled by CORRUPT stalwarts from its cell unit to the POLITBURO.
    Even the so-called HEROES ACRE needs cleansing after decommissioning when liberation finally dawns on us Zimbabweans.

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    Mugabe has always wanted his lieutenants to have the dirtiest hands possible – so that among them he will appear like or pretend to a saint; despite being the worst of them all. Hence the Shava’s of this world can never be thrown where they belong (i.e. jail) as the chief demon will always come to their rescue.

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    Ryan Oosthuysen 6 years ago

    As a member of the family who he stole from in Kwekwe, i grew up on that farm, i have nothing but pity for the man. How he can walk around as a proud man is beyond me as he destroyed the lives of hundreds of people living there, most of whom are now dead. Its a terribly shameful and empty life to have lived.

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    Smily 6 years ago

    Mugabe himself is corrupt frm way back he was never good. NDOO TSOTSI REMUDHARA MANJE. If people dnt know he is the most corrupt leader. He doesn’t talk much about it and he has dne nthng to curb becoz he is the masterminder we have records. And is the Commander In Chief of corruption

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    nelson moyo 6 years ago

    It would appear with Frederick Shava being promoted way above his station in life proves that the saying that goes “Crime does pay” is true whenever Zimbabwe is being talked about.
    Frederick Shava is possibly the most crooked of all ZANU PF comrades – the UN is proving itself to be a joke of the first order – just like present day Zimbabwe is

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    Xolani 6 years ago

    United nations of scoundrels!!!!