Justice Wadyajena
Justice Mayor Wadyajena
BornMayor Justice Wadyajena
(1980-11-19) November 19, 1980 (age 41)
Bulawayo
NationalityZimbabwe
EducationUniversity of Zimbabwe; University of London
Occupation
  • Politician
  • Member of Parliament: Gokwe-Nembudziya.
EmployerGovernment of Zimbabwe, Mayor Logistics
Home townNembudziya
Political partyZimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front
Partner(s)Rebecca Wadyajena

Mayor Justice Wadyajena is a Zimbabwean politician and businessperson. He was elected to be the Member of Parliament (MP) of the Gokwe-Nembudziya constituency in the 31 July 2018 election. He was the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee Chairman on Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement.

In June 2019, he made the headlines after purchasing a US $400 000 Lamborghini. There was public criticism especially on social media with many accusing Wadyajena of choosing an extravagant lifestyle at a time that Zimbabwe was facing one of its worst economic crises. It was also at a time when his party, Zanu-PF was pushing the "Austerity for Prosperity" message to the population.

Background

Justice Mayor Wadyajena was born in Bulawayo on 19 November 1980, though his home area is Nembudziya, Gokwe. He married his wife Rebbeca at the age of at 21 and together they have 4 children. [1]

Education

He holds an MSc in International Relations from University of Zimbabwe and a BSc (Hons) degree. He is studying for a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) with University of London. Wadyajena has experience in the following fields: ·Law-making and Public Policy ·Local interest and grassroots-level advocacy ·Public Finance Management ·Construction and Infrastructure Development ·Transport and Logistics ·Energy

Certifications, Awards and Achievements

  • Youth Assembly Outstanding Delegate, August 2016, UN - New York City
  • Ranked 2nd, Zimbabwe’s most influential Young Politicians (2016)
  • Youth Assembly Delegate, February 2017, UN - New York City
  • Youth Assembly Outstanding Delegate, August 2017, UN - New York City
  • Founding Member of the Inter-Parliamentary Union - Young MPs (IPU-Geneva, 2014)
  • Member of the Zimbabwe delegation to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

Involvement in Politics

He joined Zanu-PFYouth League while he was in Secondary School following an opportunity to meet Robert Mugabe, in 1995 whilst representing Gokwe North District at the age of 14. He rose from his district of Chinyenyetu, in Nembudziya, to hold the position as Secretary for Administration, Zanu–PF Youth League,Midlands Province.[2] He resigned from the position of Secretary for Administration, Zanu PF Youth League, Midlands Province on 29 September 2020.[3]

He claims that he rose through the ranks and this subsequently led to his election as the MP for Gokwe -Nembudziya in 2013. Wadyajena's bid for parliament was strongly supported by President Emmerson Mnangagwa and he became his mentor. Flora Buka had long been the MP for Gokwe-Nembudziya but as a result of the Factionalism in Zanu-PF 2014, Mnangagwa is said to have turned his back on Buka. Buka was reportedly aligned to the Mnangagwa camp but she later reportedly joined the Joice Mujuru camp.

Mnangagwa is said to have sponsored Wadyajena and he succeeded in the Primary Elections defeating Buka. He has since vocalised his allegiance to Mnangagwa. He has reported that following his election, he was appointed by the former President Robert Mugabe to serve as the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment. Through this role, he mentions that he fought to advance the interests of young people across the political arena.

As Chair, Wadyajena indicated that he took a stance on corruption leading to several clashes and altercations with the former principal of that ministry, Saviour Kasukuwere. He also highlighted that he ordered Patrick Zhuwao, (the then Minister of Youth and Indigenisation) out of parliament after being suspected to have shown up intoxicated. Despite these conflicts, Wadyajena believed that he successfully spearheaded a number of 'fact-finding missions', such as the Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust probe, which culminated in a seminal report on the plunder of Zimbabwe’s diamonds. The report made recommendations, including the investigation and possible prosecution of senior politicians, marking him as a 'fearless and true proponent of transparency and accountability'. He states that he also led the investigation into the disbursement of Youth Funds which unearthed abuse and stealing by the politically connected people at the expense of the youth.

Business Interests

Wadyajena is the owner and founder of Mayor Logistics (Pvt) Ltd. with significant interests in construction, transport and energy. He has been in private business since the age of 18, becoming a 'self-made millionaire'.[1]

Justice Mayor Wadyajena's company Mayor Contracting was awarded a road construction tender by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development. The company was awarded the tender for the rehabilitation of Golden-Valley Sanyati Road and the Ministry said everything was done above board.

The start date was 19 October 2021 to 10 December 2021 and the contract sum US$3 930 397.21, scope of works 15km reconstruction.

The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development said Mayor Contacting won the tender in a competitive bid MOTID/ERRP2/28/2021 in accordance with the public procurement act and the tender was published in the Government Gazette and Manica Post on 10 September 2021 and the Sunday Mail on 12 September 2021.

In February 2022, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development refuted media claims it cancelled the road construction tender after the company reportedly failed to finish the job on time.

In a statement, the Ministry of Transport said it had not cancelled the contract but was only carrying out a contract determination exercise.[4]

Events

Tax Evasion

In June 2014, Wadyajena was accused by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority for evading to pay tax which amounted to over US$3 million for his company, Mayor Logistics Pvt Limited (a company in the business of fuel and transport operations).[5] Wadyajena however vehemently refuted the claims arguing that he paid his taxes religiously and was up to date. He argued that it was the price for him to pay for establishing himself as a relentless pursuer of truth. This was mainly because the charges came after he had an argument with Saviour Kasukuwere over what his Parliamentary Committee deemed was the use of funds under the Youth Fund established to necessitate the indigenisation programme.

Wadyajena appealed to the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) to clear his name from being dragged through mud and in the face of this legal challenge the allegations whittled away .[6]

Wadyajena was been appointed by Robert Mugabe in September 2013 to be the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment. He was thus accusing Kasukuwere of abusing the youth funds amid reports that it benefited those close to him including his brother Tongai Kasukuwere.[5] Fearing for his life, Wadyajena wrote a letter to Jacob Mudenda explaining to him his ordeal highlighting that he was receiving death threats from Kasukuwere.[5] He also highlighted that, there were several attempts organised to silence him for his astute position on corrupt ZANU PF officials.[7]

Maintenance Lawsuit

In 2013, Wadyajena's mother of his child, Wadzanai Mudare demanded US$11 600 from Wadyajena to cater for their daughter. Mudare explained that, Wadyajena regarded himself as a wealthy man who owns a haulage truck company, six states of the art personalised vehicles, a residential property in Borrowdale Broke and someone who could afford to send his three children to Heritage School paying US$2 200 for each child. Wadyajena denied all this arguing that Mudare was just making unsustainable and unfavourable demands. He appealed to the courts stating that in addition to the $2 200 he was already paying for the child he was only able to pay $300 a month for upkeep. The magistrates' court ruled that he was to pay US$1 500.

Wadyajena then appealed to the High Court which heard that Wadyajena only discovered the existence of the child in 2012, following a chance meeting with Mudare.The child was already 10 years old. Mudare confirmed this fact and further affirmed that she and Wadyajena were never married nor had they cohabited. The High Court then set aside the lower court’s decision, ruling that he was not guilty of neglect and was providing sufficiently for the child and therefore not compelled to pay anything to further The case was later settled with Wadyajena re-assuming full custody of his daughter.

Campaigning for Grace Mugabe in 2014

Wadyajena stood at the forefront as the only Zanu-PF youth who publicly campaigned for the elevation of Grace Mugabe when she went into mainstream politics after her nomination to lead the Women's League in 2014. He stated then that, the former First Lady was one of the few people who were capable of uniting the party and thus should not limit herself to the Women's League.[8] He was quoted saying, he did not want Grace Mugabe to end with her post in the Women's League but should even aim for the Vice Presidency.[8] Wadyajena also defended the First Lady's doctorate degree stating that she did her degree in silence and nobody knew that she was going to graduate with a doctorate unlike others who make noise about their issues.[8]

Arrest for

  • Grace Mugabe Insult 2015

At the December 2015 Zanu-PF conference held in Victoria Falls, Wadyajena was arrested for allegedly insulting Grace Mugabe. He was accused of having insulted her by asking another party member, Jimayi Muduvuri, to remove her posters on his car and to have uttered some unprintable insults.

A Zanu-PF disciplinary committee dismissed the allegations saying it did not understand why Wadyajena could have asked Muduvuri to remove the Grace Mugabe’s posters from his car because Wadyajena was one of the first to put the posters on his vehicles including the one that he was using that day. Wadyajena, however, Wadyajena appeared in court.[9]

Wadyajena was acquitted of the charge of denigrating Grace Mugabe by a Victoria Falls resident magistrate on 12 January 2016.[10]

Following the Victoria Falls acquittal, Wadyajena was then arrested on three more occasions.

  • Letina Undenge Insult

Letina Undenge, the wife of Energy and Power Development Minister Samuel Undenge laid charges of criminal insult in Victoria Falls, Gweru and Mberengwa, alleging the youthful MP had insulted her. She later withdrew all charges after failing to provide the court with any acceptable evidence

In 2016, Wadyajena went before a Zanu-PF disciplinary committee, following a recommendation by the Party’s National Commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, for allegedly promoting the ascendancy of President Emmerson Mnangagwa to Vice Presidency. The allegations were later dismissed as factionalism related and Wadyajena was acquitted. It was later established that these accusations were false when the Zanu-PF disciplinary committee singled out the G-40 linked Makhosini Hlongwane, Tapuwa Matangaidze and Annastancia Ndhlovu of seeking to cause disharmony by having raised fabricated allegations with Kasukuwere that they were unable to substantiate.

Cartel Report

In 2021, Wadyajena was mentioned on p26 Cartel Power Dynamics in Zimbabwe under the Case Study 3 The Agriculture Cartels.

Sakunda Lawsuit

Justice Wadyajena was reported to have sued his former business partner Kudakwashe Tagwirei, the owner of Sakunda Holdings. However, Tagwirei challenged the lawsuit saying that Wadyajena had forced him to agree to a settlement through threats of extortion.

It was reported that when the two former business partners fell out Wadyajena initially filed a $7 million lawsuit against Tagwirei. However, while the case was still pending at the Supreme Court, Tagwirei was alleged to have approached President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was a vice president then, to mediate. As a result of Mnangagwa’s efforts, the two came to an agreement in which the Supreme Court appeal was withdrawn in return for Wadyajena receiving $2, 6 million. Tagwirei later paid Wadyejena $616 334 but reneged on paying the remaining $2 million resulting in Wadyajena’s lawsuit in March 2018.

Tagwirei reportedly refused to pay the $2 million and challenged the lawsuit saying that he had entered into the agreement under duress as there were threats of extortion.Mnangagwa Named As Witness In $2 Million Lawsuit In Which Sakunda Owner Says He Was Extorted By Zanu-PF MP

Noise Complaints

On 11 May 2022, Justice Mayor Wadyajena allegedly spent more than three hours making noise with his sports car in Borrowdale Brooke.

Borrowdale Brooke Golf Estate Chairman, Shingi Munyeza wrote a letter of disapproval to Justice Mayor Wadyajena after residents were reportedly woken up with terrified pets yelping because of the noise.

The letter to Wadyajena from Munyeza read:

"VEHICLE NOISE IN THE ESTATE AFTER MIDNIGHT ON 11TH MAY 2022

I would like to bring to your attention that the residents of the Borrowdale Brooke Estate were offended and violated by the noise you were making when you drove around the Brooke in the early hours of the morning between midnight and lam on 11th May 2022.

We appreciate that you are entitled to have the type of car which makes the noise you want but to make that noise that woke up many of the Brooke residents is insensitive and disregards the community rules as set out in the Borrowdale Brooke Home Owners Association Rule Book, Clause 3.3. “The volume of music, electronic instruments, entertainment or activity of domestic employees should be at such level as not to cause a nuisance to any other residents”.

I have reached out to you over the past two months because of your violation of a number of rules and the residents’ outcry on other issues such as the violation of Clause Clause 2.2. : The speed limit within the estate shall be 40 kph and road signs displaying this limit will be placed in and around the road system.

It has become imperative and urgent that we meet so we can resolve these matters amicably in line with our rules and regulations.

Please contact me so that we can meet to resolve this untenable situation that you have created amongst the residents in the Brooke."

[11]

The Borrowdale Brooke Homeowners Association (BBHOA) deactivated Wadyajena's vehicle tags and relegated him to the visitors’ lane to enter and exit the residential area.

Wadyajena took the matter to the High Court and High Court judge Justice Never Katiyo ruled in his favour on 18 May 2022. BBHOA was ordered to reactivate Justice Mayor Wadyajena's vehicle tags and access into the residential area. [12]

Cottco corruption

On 1 July 2022, The Zimbabwe Anti-corruption Commission (ZACC) arrested Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (COTTCO) managing director Pious Manamike and is marketing and business development manager Maxmore Njanji on corruption allegations. The duo was expected to appear at the Harare Magistrates Court for a bail hearing. [13]

Then, 17 August 2022, Gokwe-Nembudziya MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena (Zanu PF) and four Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (COTTCO) officials were arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC). In a brief statement ZACC said the suspects were arrested for allegedly committing fraud and money laundering involving US$5 million. ZACC said: The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission has arrested Gokwe-Nembudziya legislator Justice Mayor Wadyajena, Cottco officials Pius Manamike, Maxmore Njanji and Fortunate Molai, and Pierpont Moncroix Director Chiedza Danha on fraud and money laundering charges involving USD$5million. [14]

The details of the alleged fraud are:

  • Wadyajena and his co-accused hatched a plan to defraud Cottco through faking the purchase of goods cotton bale ties for Cottco. They open a shelf company called Pierpont Moncroix. This name is the same as that of a legitimate Mauritius company not related to the Wadyajena and and his colleagues, and this was done mislead Cottco.
  • Cottco Managing director Pius Manamike and Head of Marketing, Maxmore Njanji approve a Purchase Order in favour of Pierpont Moncroix Mauritius valued at US$2 528 000 purporting that Pierpont Moncroix Mauritius was going to supply 3 200 000 bale ties to Cottco.
  • After receiving the payment, Wadyajena and his colleagues use the money to start the importation of trucks from a USA company called Giant Equipment. Over time a total of 25 trucks are imported. The trucks are registered under the company Mayor Logistics.
  • Manamike and Njanji issue a second purchase order on behalf of Cottco valued at US$1 106 000 for the purchase of the bale ties from Pierpont Moncroix. The order was approved even though the first order had not been delivered. No bales were also delivered as the money was allegedly transferred to Afrozurich International in a currency swap deal.

[15]

Trivia

  • Wadyajena rejected an official vehicle offered to him through the Parliament Vehicle Loan Scheme. Wadyajena argued that he did not take delivery of that vehicle because that is not the reason why he was elected to office.[16]
  • He served on the Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, as well as the Public Accounts Committee.

Importation of $400 000 lamborghini

Following his acquisition of a Lamborghini which he claimed had cost him US $400,000, some prominent individuals on social media, among them Hopewell Chin'ono and Temba Mliswa asked if Wadyajena had paid import duty for the car. There was also public outcry, especially from people opposed to the Zanu-PF government who questioned the sincerity of the leadership's 'Austerity for Prosperity' message to the public. The car was imported at a time when Zimbabwe was undergoing one of the worst economic depressions.

Wadyajena did not respond to the allegations that he had evaded paying duty. He, however, commented on Twitter that he "became a Milli in my early 20s, that yellow super machine is hard earned, legitimately too!" [17]

Pindula Market

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 HON WADYAJENA JUSTICE MAYOR, Parliament of Zimbabwe, published: No Date Given, Retrieved: October 10, 2017
  2. Owen Gagare, Succession dogfight rocks provinces, The Independent, Published:1 February 2013, Retrieved:19 December 2014
  3. Justice Mayor Wadyajena, [1], Twitter, Published: 29 September, 2020, Accessed: 29 September, 2020
  4. Ministry Of Transport Denies Terminating Wadyajena Deal, Pindula News, Published: February 27, 2022, Retrieved: May 11, 2022
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Gift Phiri, MP faces bankruptcy, Daily News, Published:11 June 2014, Retrieved:19 December 2014
  6. Phillip Chidavaenzi, MP’s firm seeks interdict, Zimbabwe Situation, Published:11 Jun 2014, Retrieved:19 December 2014
  7. Maggie Mzumara, Attempts To Muzzle Legislators, The Financial Gazette, Published:10 July 2014, Retrieved:19 December 2014
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Xolisani Ncube, “Dr Grace Mugabe for Vice Presidency”, Nehanda Radio, Published:16 September 2014, Rretrieved:19 December 2014
  9. Charles Rukuni, Strange twist to Wadyajena-Grace Mugabe insult case, InsiderZim, Published:22 Dec 2015,Retrieved:11 Jan 2016
  10. Wadyajena acquitted over First Lady insults, The Herald, Published:13 Jan 2016, Retrieved:14 Jan 2016
  11. Gokwe MP Gives Borrowdale Brooke Residents Sleepless Nights, Pindula News, Published: May 11, 2022, Retrieved: May 11, 2022
  12. Mary Taruvinga, Court orders Borrowdale Brooke Homeowners to restore Wadyajena’s access to estate, NewZimbabwe.com, Published: May 18, 2022, Retrieved: May 19, 2022
  13. Cottco Bosses Arrested for Corruption, Pindula, Published: 1 July 2022, Retrieved: 18 August 2022
  14. Zanu PF MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena Arrested, Pindula, Published: 17 August 2022, Retrieved: 18 August 2022
  15. Timeline of Mayor Wadyajenas Cottco Corruption, Pindula, Published: 18 August 2022, Retrieved: 18 August 2022
  16. Mugove Tafirenyika, Two Zanu PF MPs reject Parliament vehicles, Nehanda Radio, Published:9 July 2014, Retrieved:19 December 2014
  17. @JusticeMayorW, Twitter, Published: 11 Jun 2019, Retrieved: 18 Jun 2019