CONTROVERSIAL businessman, Wicknell Chivayo yesterday apologised to Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo and offered to donate education material worth $50 000 to a Tsholotsho school of his choice, a development that is likely to see him being accused of supping with the G40 faction of Zanu PF.
Chivayo also apologised to Sports minister Makhosini Hlongwane, reportedly on the advice of First Lady Grace Mugabe, all seen as members of Zanu PF’s G40 faction.
“She (Grace) also strongly reprimanded me for recently attacking an Honourable Cabinet minister on social media,” he wrote in his grovelling apology.
“Regardless of their size, complexion or financial status, by virtue of being a minister, who was appointed by the President (Robert Mugabe), they all equally deserve utmost respect, no matter their views or opinions in any situation.
“Just as my own small indirect way of apologising to him (Moyo), I will identify a school of my choice in Tsholotsho and donate textbooks and stationery worth $50 000.”
Chivayo blew a fuse last week after Moyo, the Tsholotsho North legislator, suggested Zifa needed a corporate rather than an individual sponsor, after the young businessman had thrown a tantrum and announced he was withdrawing his sponsorship to the national football team.
Moyo uncharacteristically did not respond to the rant.
Chivayo then posted he was leaving the country for a while and he resurfaced in Dubai, where he had dinner with Grace and her son.
“Based on her polite request as an amazing mother, I would like to bring this confusion to rest and assure everyone that I am fully behind the Warriors, till the end . . . Who am I to disregard advice from the mother of the nation?” the eccentric businessman posted on social media site Facebook.
There had been reports that Chivayo was under investigation, with police last week calling NewsDay to ascertain the origins of a picture of the businessman carrying assault weapons, which accompanied a story about him.
The picture was taken from his Facebook page, where it is used as his cover photo.
Others have speculated Chivayo receives protection from senior political figures and his meeting with Grace in Dubai is likely to fuel further speculation.
“Having said that, I want to overemphasise that my sincere apology is directed to these three people (including Grace) specifically and further, I also want to take this opportunity to give all the journalists in the world permission to write anything they want about me,” he said.
Chivayo said he had tried to explain his decision to walk out of sponsoring football, but Grace had begged him to stay on.
Last week, Chivayo announced he had severed ties with the Warriors, after stories emerged that coach Kalisto Pasuwa had not been paid for two months.
Moyo, Hlongwane and Zifa president, Philip Chiyangwa are said to be key figures in the G40 faction, which reportedly is bitterly opposed to Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s bid to take over from Mugabe.