HARARE – Allegations of infidelity involving a high-flying Harare businessman and Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere ended in the collapse of the businessman’s marriage after his wife left the matrimonial home with their two small children, Kukurigo can exclusively report.
At the centre of the scandal is the economist and micro-financier Tinashe Murapata, a prolific commentator on economic policy. The successful businessman operates offices on the 15th floor of Joina City from which he runs Leon Business Solutions as the chief executive. The investment holding company has interests in financial services, financial technology, outsourcing and gold mining.
A career spanning 22 years, including an executive position at Barclays in the United Kingdom, has brought success and its perks. Murapata, who would be a little over 40, enjoys a Porsche lifestyle and boasts a farmbrick, iron and glass designer home which has been featured in architectural magazines and won design awards.
The champagne lifestyle, which includes a butler, appears not to have been enough to keep the affections of his heartbroken wife who allegedly discovered the affair after seeing a WhatsApp message from Mahere requesting money. Murapata is said to have explained the request as relating to Mahere’s political campaign but aroused further suspicion by immediately changing the PIN code on his device.
Mahere would become an increasing feature in Murapata’s life, meeting regularly despite protestations from his wife as rumours of an affair swirled in Harare’s upper classes. The meetings turned weekly with treats at Veldemeers, the Arundel cafe famed for its Belgian confectioneries, until the businessman started spending nights away from home.
The two are said to have travelled together in one vehicle to the funeral of CCC leader Nelson Chamisa’s mother in Masvingo and slept there under unclear arrangements.
Friends that spoke to Kukurigo say she abandoned the matrimonial home in February 2021, leaving together with the couple's two children; an infant and a toddler. This was allegedly after an ultimatum demanding he terminate the relationship was ignored, with Murapata determined to continue the relationship which he insists is platonic.
“He has denied the relationship to family and friends because he is keen to protect her reputation,” one source close to developments told Kukurigo.
“There were lots of fights before she finally moved out. Fadzi (Mahere) was actually getting her errands by staff at Murapata’s office and word was spreading of the affair, she eventually could not take it anymore and moved out with her two small kids.”
Despite the denials, senior leadership in the CCC is reportedly aware of the relationship. Kukurigo became aware of the allegations and began investigations on June 9 after Chamisa tweeted a picture from the memorial of Alex Magaisa, the legal scholar and prolific political commentator who died in the United Kingdom.
They were again pictured together at the funeral on 28 June in Njanja. Apparently having noticed the camera, Mahere maintains a straight face but Murapata appears to conceal himself in his hat.
The scandal will bring back into focus the CCC’s lack of formal structures, a constitution or code of conduct guiding the acceptable standards of ethical and moral conduct. There are effectively no means by which the party could discipline Mahere.
Both Mahere and Murapata had not responded to messages requesting comment by time of publication. Efforts to contact the estranged wife were unsuccessful.
A source close to developments told Kukurigo the wife had been threatened with legal action if she revealed the relationship.
“She is deathly afraid of Mahere and has refused to accept advice from friends to file a lawsuit despite the evidence she has gathered,” said the source.
The litigious Mahere, whose ruthless demeanor has earned her The Iron Lady moniker, is currently locked in a three-year legal battle with international trade lawyer and author Dr Petina Gappah.
Gappah is defending claims she made that Mahere had been improperly admitted to the University of Zimbabwe, on account of her father’s influence as permanent secretary in government, as she lacked the required A-level points as French was not accepted. Gappah is also defending claims that she extensively redrafted Mahere’s Cambridge University admission essay.
The case is pending in the High Court.