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Comedians target 'wealth' around Wicknell Chivayo

by Staff reporter
31 Mar 2024 at 16:30hrs | Views
COMEDIANS Doc Vikella and Bhutisi, known for their ties to Zimbabwe's ruling party Zanu-PF, are trying to get a piece of the action from big spender Wicknell Chivayo.

Doc Vikella is known for imitating President Emmerson Mnangagwa since his rise to power through a coup, which toppled the late Robert Mugabe.

Bhutisi has been actively involved in comedy skits that mirror society and the lives of the common men in the economically crippled Zimbabwe.

The two comedians are currently on a tour titled Comedy Junta that kicked off last night (Saturday) in Triangle before moving to Harare, Mutare, Bulawayo, and Masvingo.

A junta is a military or political group that rules a country after taking power by force and Zanu-PF has been described as a Junta after the ousting of Mugabe.

In the comedy world, Doc Vikella and Bhutisi represent an earlier generation facing stiff competition from new skit makers and stand-up comedians. Their tour can be seen as an attempt to regain popularity amidst criticism and competition from a new wave of comedians.

The duo of Bhutisi and Doc Vikella represents an older generation, which seeks to maintain power in their sector, which is threatened by the young turks.

Just like how the older generation in Zanu-PF, who supported Mnangagwa (Lacoste) felt threatened by the young turks, the G40.

The older generation had to stage a military assisted coup, paving the way for the Junta which is at home today.

Ironically, the duo has publicly expressed their support for Chivayo who of late, has been on a spending spree, showering millions of dollars on Zanu-PF-affiliated artists. This has prompted many artists to publicly declare their 'love' for the party and Chivayo, who recently divorced his wife Sonja.

Bhutisi followed in the footsteps of other artists like Seh Calaz and Sniper Storm who publicly sought Chivayo's attention so that they could be gifted with cars and money.

Bhutisi shared a skit on his Facebook page where he expressed support for Zanu-PF.

Critics believe that Chivayo's spending is a way for Zanu-PF to channel money to its supporters. They allege that Chivayo's funds were not his own, but rather belonged to the ruling party.

Exiled musician Thomas "Mukanya" Mapfumo criticised Chivayo's spending, calling it a Zanu-PF project.

"There are people, including artists, who are being spoiled by Chivayo," he said.

"We are watching them. It's not his money; that's Zanu-PF money.

"He is being used to splash money on cars for party loyalists by a force working in the background.

"People shouldn't adore him and think he's wealthy and a hard worker because it's not his money."

Critics argue that the money being splashed by Chivayo could have significantly improved the lives of Zimbabweans by funding essential services like dialysis machines.

Zanu-PF has been challenged to address the country's basic needs like healthcare, education, and employment, instead of a show off parade by gifting party loyalists.

Chivayo has been implicated in the "failed" Gwanda solar power scheme.

The Gwanda solar project aimed to generate 100 megawatts of electricity.

Chivayo, through his company Intratek, was awarded the tender. He was accused of receiving an advance payment of US$5,6 million without delivering any significant work.

Questions arose regarding the tender process and potential conflicts of interest, leading to Chivayo facing charges of fraud related to the project funds.

In 2023, Chivayo and his company were acquitted due to unreasonable delays in the prosecution. However, the acquittal doesn't necessarily imply Chivayo's innocence regarding the project's progress.

While Chivayo was acquitted on technical grounds, the project's shortcomings and the initial accusations of financial mismanagement remain a cause for concern.

The Gwanda solar project remains unfinished, while Zimbabwe grapples with persistent power shortages.

Source - the standrad