PHILLIP Chiyangwa is never shy to celebrate his success and publicly flaunt his wealth. Â And in keeping with that tradition, the flambouyant Harare businessman and politician has just taken delivery of a monstrous custom-made limousine, adding to the already large and expensively assembled list of luxury cars in the garage of his Borrowdale mansion.
by Gilbert Nyambabvu
âIâm living my life … this car probably cost me more than half a million dollars â¦ and this is just a transformer – I have also acquired a jet,â Chiyangwa told NewZimbawbe.com in an interview Sunday.
âThis is the first of its kind â¦ and the last one; they (manufacturers) only made this one.â
He mounts a robust defence when asked whether it is not insensitive for a politician to be splashing millions on luxury cars when the majority of Zimbabweans are barely managing to get one meal per day.
âIf I have knocked out a bank the police will come after me. No one is stopping you from making your own money,â he said.
âHow many years have I been driving nice cars to then stop now; under whose instructions? And whose money am I using, is it public funds?
âWhy shouldnât I celebrate? You should not forget that Iâm a businessman first and a politician second.
âI donât work for the country, I work for myself and my family first and those who work for me; you understand?
âThis (public show of wealth) shows you that this politician is working and I have no apologies to make.
âItâs a narrow mentality; and if you write about narrow things it means you too have no cash. Ndonyaya yacho umwe wangu; the narrower you become the more finished you are.
Chiyangwa named his pricy limousine the Transformer after the Hollywood blockbusters featuring robots which mutate into various objects as they seek the key to ultimate power.
The controversial tycoon shows off his latest acquisition in a selfie video making the rounds on social media.
But in one of the ironies of modern Zimbabwe, Chiyangwa unveils his pricy acquisition on a road in a terrible state of despair, right in front of his White House mansion.
Perhaps he too suffers the consequences of his Zanu PF partyâs incompetent, say critics, administration of the country.
Of course, cocooned in the soft and cushy trimmings of the limousine he is unlikely to be jerked and jolted as it passes over potholes.
But Chiyangwa said the incongruous road would soon be fixed.
Still, the monstrosity must use the same terrible roads as everyone else.
âItâs going to be dualised by the way; remember itâs the same road which goes to the Presidentâs residence.
âIâm one of the people contributing his own money to the project. I want the road which comes to my house to be private.â
Chiyangwa claims to be a self-made multi-millionaire who started as a vegetable vendor in Chegutu.
But Zimbabweans are convinced that the fact President Robert Mugabe is his uncle cannot have been a disadvantage.
He however insists he has grafted for his riches.
âI donât wait, like others are waiting in Zimbabwe for someone else to solve their problems,â he said.
âYou wait for politicians to give you food in your house?! Anybody who does that should hang themselves.
âAnyone who waits for politicians can go and hang. That message I have said it for a number of times.
âMy latest public message has been that there is no need to wait for politicians. So Iâm now practicing what I have been preaching.
âWe must stop making news over narrow issues. If you see (Nigerian billionaire Aliko) Dangote you are happy that he is making money, or (South African mining magnate Patrice) Motsepe.
âYou donât want to see Chiyangwa making money; you donât want to see (telecoms mogul) Strive Masiyiwa making money? If you hear that he has bought a plane or a flat in Switzerland you start asking questions.
âThis requires people who have got â¦ you know â¦ an open mind and who are a bit more magnanimous; not shallow and so forth.
Asked when he would take delivery of the plane, Chiyangwa said: âWhen you see it you will see it, just as I did not announce the arrival of the Transformer and the Mercedes GL63 AMG.
âI donât stop my friend; I had a big party where I celebrated my birthday and I am making money; this (the car) is the sign of it.
âI am not going to wait and Zimbabweans must know that this guy ainât waiting. We must stop waiting; waiting for who?â – Newzimbabwe.com