By Shame Makoshori
Flamboyant property magnate, Frank Buyanga, has written to President Robert Mugabe requesting him to push officials to act on his appeal for intervention in a property deal that has gone sour.
Confidential documents exclusively obtained by this newspaper indicated that Buyanga has been fighting to get authorities’ support in the transaction, which resulted in him losing a mansion that was recently auctioned for US$535 000.
His decision to approach President Mugabe came after he entered the transaction with a Harare couple, which ended in a wrangle over payment.
The matter was subsequently referred for arbitration.
Buyanga claims that the couple “alleged before the arbitrator” that they had paid him in full, yet he never received the money.
He claims that the couple had also failed to produce proof of payment.
“The last time I fervently convened with you was at the 18th annual African Union conference in Addis Ababa, 2012, wherein I informed you that I had been placed on international warrant of arrest. But I did not fully communicate my issues with you as you were about to enter a session,” Buyanga said in the letter to President Mugabe.
“I have since returned to Zimbabwe and operating several businesses thanks to polices advocated under your administration. I have not only served the First Family but been an advocate for human development and employment creation in Zimbabwe.
Buyanga highlighted his family’s contribution in the liberation struggle , which he believes warrants the President’s attention.
“My father’s family was a victim of the liberation struggle. His family was tortured by the Rhodesian Special Forces when he left the country en route to Russia during the liberation struggle. He was officially in exile from Ian Smith government for several years, hence one of the reasons I was born in the United Kingdom,” Buyanga said.
State media reported last month that Buyanga had sued the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and a retired judge who presided over the arbitration, in his bid to have the award that resulted in the auction set aside.
He said police did not act after he requested them to look into the matter, according to several documents seen by this newspaper.
Instead, he alleged, the ZRP had acted swiftly to detain him where complaints had been raised against him.
In the letter to President Mugabe dated August 1, 2016, Buyanga praised him for his track record in building a good investment climate.
He then turned to his family’s sacrifice during the liberation war, saying they had played a significant role.
The young entrepreneur, who is known for his love for fast and expensive cars, informed the President that he paid one of the biggest gifts on his daughter’s wedding day last year.
He said he has been working with the Office of the President and Cabinet, offering advice on how to deal with the economic crisis, while his investments, which include a portfolio of over 100 properties, had created jobs.
He said he had been working flat out in the fight against sanctions imposed on government officials by the European Union (EU).
The EU has, however, relaxed most of the measures.
This paper can report that in February last year, Buyanga was making frantic efforts to rope in an Israel-based advocate to advise several authorities slapped with the EU sanctions.
He says he has also been at the forefront of drumming up support for foreign direct investment.
Buyanga says he is a deacon in ZAOGA.
Buyanga indicates that in spite of his personal sacrifices for the country, he has continued to face injustice from a number of State agencies.
“I am a victim of crime and have no one to go to, including (the) National Prosecution Authority, hence my approach to you as the final ray of hope,” said Buyanga, who was named among Africa’s top 10 millionaires under the age of 40 last year.
Several documents seen by this paper this week revealed that the arbitral action invoked bitter memories for the businessman.
In one of the letters, he tells a government official that when he was placed on the Interpol’s wanted list, “high-ranking civil servants serving in the high echelons (applied pressure) for warrants of arrest to be instigated against me”.
He said in the case that led to the Interpol action, he had used foreign capital to purchase over 100 properties in Zimbabwe through the banking system.
He said in 2008, he was stung by mosquitoes in remand prison over alleged vehicle fraud, only to be proved innocent.
Documents seen by this paper revealed that on June 27, he also wrote to the police saying he had lost confidence in their ability to protect him.
He said as a result of his “perceived” wealth, he had suffered setbacks due to countless investigations against him.
He said no government agency had found incriminating evidence against him.
The letter said his decision to write to authorities had been caused by his disappointment with police during the case of the failed property transaction.
“It is the above sequence of events that have led to my continued loss of confidence in the ZRP,” he said.
“It is startling that when a complaint is made against me, it is dealt with the uttermost serious of attention and officers speedily visit homes and offices to make arrests. You may recall that at one stage, I was listed on Interpol as a wanted person. The allegations stemmed from one of my property establishments that own a few 100 properties which were purchased by foreign capital directly imported into Zimbabwe through the traditional banking system. However, due to pressure from (people) serving in the high echelons, arrest warrants were instigated against me and my subjects due to… my refusal to compromise to their self seeking demands. This led to loss of profit and rentals spanning a period of over half a decade. This loss is totally unrecoverable together with the fact that my name was defamed beyond calculable quantum. The bottom line really is the police’s refusal to act, neglect and failure to bring to account the accused and loss of my assets,” he said.
In a display of his flamboyance, Buyanga told the Click programme on Africa Magic in 2012 that he had lost count of the fast and expensive cars that he owns.
“I don’t know how many cars I have, of course I don’t. How am I supposed to know? It’s not like I wake up in the morning and start counting how many cars I have everywhere,” he said.
Last year, Buyanga was listed among Africa’s top 10 millionaires under the age of 40.
At that time, his personal fortune was estimated at about US$20 million.