PRETORIA – Zimbabwean businessman Frank Buyanga has been dragged into the messy divorce between that country’s 63-year-old vice president Constantino Chiwenga and his jailed wife, Marry.
A report in the Zimbabwe Morning Post alleges that the South African-based Buyanga had been “scouting for properties” in South Africa on behalf of Chiwenga’s estranged wife.
The story in the online publication surfaced a few days after Marry was arrested and charged for allegedly taking huge sums of US dollars out of Zimbabwe.
The former model is also accused of trying to poison her husband.
Chiwenga, the former army general who deposed long time strongman Robert Mugabe, spent four months in China, where he received extensive treatment for a condition allegedly caused by poisoning.
Upon Chiwenga’s return a few weeks ago, he began divorce proceedings against Marry. She was arrested on December 15 and remains behind bars awaiting a bail hearing, which is scheduled for Friday.
However, Buyanga’s lawyer Estee Maman was quoted in the Post as denying that his client had any business or other relationship with Marry.
“I am fully acquainted with details of Mr Buyanga’s properties and the purchases made and can verify that this statement and claim made is false and completely baseless,” Maman said.
Zimbabwean sources suggest the report linking Marry Chiwenga and Buyanga may be part of moves by the Zimbabwean presidential couple to “get back” at Buyanga.
Although 40-year-old Buyanga recently complained that his former partner had sought president Emmerson Mnangagwa’s intervention in the matter, he would not be drawn to comment on the latest reports.
Until recently it was common cause that Buyanga and Mnangagwa’s son Emmerson Jr were friends. However, with the former pals now at loggerheads, secret dealings reportedly involving massive payments in US dollars the pair allegedly pocketed were coming to the fore.
Meanwhile, fresh reports from Zimbabwe claim that Buyanga and Mnangagwa Jr received over USD1 billion from Morocco and the prince of Saudi Arabia to lobby support for the latter’s inclusion into the African Union.