Ray Joseph Kaukonde is a Zimbabwean politician and businessman. He was a part of Zanu-PF as the Provincial Chairman of Mashonaland East Province. He was also a member of the Politburo and Central Committee in the party. He was expelled out of the Zanu-PF party after he was identified with a faction that was plotting to remove the then President Robert Mugabe from power.

Ray Kaukonde
RAY KAUKONDE.jpg
Ray Kaukonde
Born Mutoko
Residence Zimbabwe
Nationality Zimbabwean
Citizenship Zimbabwean
Education Hartzell High School
Occupation Politician, Businessman
Years active 1980 to present
Organization Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front
Known for Factionalism in Zanu-PF 2014
Home town Mutoko
Political party ZANU PF
Movement Nationalist
Opponent(s) Movement for Democratic Change
Parent(s) Ruby Nyamusiwa

Contents

Background

Ray Joseph Kaukonde was born on March 4, 1963, and grew up in the Mutoko area of Mashonaland east province.[1] His mother's name is Ruby Nyamusiwa. He grew up in the Uzumba community and was adopted by a man called Timothy Chimbganda who was headmaster at Chikwizo Primary School.[1] He grew up under the custody of Chimbganda who was said to be a philanthropist who took care of many orphans. Chimbganda adopted Kaukonde at the age of four in 1966. His mother died when he was still young and his father was said to be involved in polygamous marriages which made the life of Kaukonde difficult.[1] It is believed that when Ray Michael Chimbganda, the son of Chimbganda was away, Kaukonde then took his O Level certificate and began to use it as his.[1] It was reported that Kaukonde has 5 wives. [2]

Educational Background

Kaukonde is believed to have attended Nyadire Primary School in Mutoko where he did his early education under the custody of one Chimbganda who took responsibility of his early education. Kaukonde then proceeded to Hartzell High School in Manicaland where he did his secondary education.[1] He was then given a bursary to study form two to four by father Prosser who was the principal at St Augustine at the time.

Political career

Kaukonde is believed to have worked for the government of Zimbabwe as a member of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO). He subsequently rose through the ranks in the Mashonaland East Province where he hails from. His greatest political bargain came when he was elected Member of Parliament for Mudzi district in Mashonaland East Province under the Zanu-PF political party. Taking advantage of the widespread influence of the political party in the province, Kaukonde subsequently became governor of Mashonaland East province. He eventually left the seat under unknown circumstances and he left the country for a while following some conflicts within the party. His popularity saw his election as the provincial chairman of the Zanu-PF party.

Kaukonde and Factionalism Allegations

Public "Undressing" by Grace Mugabe- "Kaukondegate Speech"

In her "Meet the People Rallies" which covered all the country's ten provinces, the one in Mashonaland East province led by Ray Kaukonde stole the limelight. Grace Mugabe who had been elected as the leader of the Zanu- PF Women's League launched a public verbal attack on Ray Kaukonde at a rally at Rudhaka Stadium in Marondera.[3] In a dramatic fit of emotional outburst, the then first lady accused Kaukonde of supporting one of the factions in the Zanu Pf party. In her 10 minutes long attack on Kaukonde, Mrs. Mugabe spoke of how Kaukonde was once loyal to former president Robert Mugabe and how he eventually fell by the wayside by supporting one of the factions. Although it was not very clear, speculation was rampant that Kaukonde belongs to a faction led by ousted former vice president Joice Mujuru.[4]

The speech by Amai Mugabe on Kaukonde attracted a lot of attention from both politicians and the electorate. Some critics argued that it was a diplomatic way by the former first lady to discredit the rival factions within the party while simultaneously re-imposing the revolutionary party's authority in the provinces. There also seemed to be a strong anti-factions rhetoric in all of Grace's speeches in her “Meet The People” rallies which were held countrywide. However, that of Mashonaland or the "Raygate" speech was a landmark because of its explicit and reductionist nature. Live coverage by the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation of the rallies which included the "Kaukondegate" resulted in the speech on Kaukonde being one of the main highlights for the month of October in 2014. The media including social networks were awash with the story and comics even made fun out of it.

Attempted Ouster

Anti-Kaukonde Demo in Marondera
War Veterans, Women and the youths marched in the streets of Marondera demonstrating against their provincial chairman Ray Kaukonde. The placard holding mob marched to the party' provincial offices where they petitioned their grievances to Sydney Sekeramayi who also belongs to the provincial executive of the Zanu- PF party in Mashonaland east province.

The war veterans accused Kaukonde of organizing a group of youths who jeered at Grace Mugabe during her "meet the people" rally held at Rudhaka stadium in Marondera In October 2014. Kaukonde was also accused of organizing the youths who continuously beat the drums whilst the Mrs. Mugabe was addressing the crowd.[5] This initial move to remove him from office was not officially recognized by the party because it did not involve the provincial executive committee which had the mandate to make binding and legitimate decisions against Kaukonde.

The Ouster

Kaukonde was on 17 November 2014 ousted as party chairman after a vote of no confidence was passed on him by some member of the provincial committee.[6] Kaukonde was replaced by Phineas Chihota who was appointed acting chairman. 27 out of 50 members of the executive voted for the ouster of Kaukonde. Kaukonde became the eighth provincial chairperson to be dismissed out after Amos Midzi, Temba Mliswa, Calisto Gwanetsa, Callistus Ndlovu, John Mvundura, Jason Machaya and Andrew Langa. He was fired together with seven other provincial executive members.[6] After his ouster from party ranks, Kaukonde was also stripped of his position in parliament. Kaukonde, who was the chairperson of the Industry and Commerce Parliamentary Portfolio Committee, was immediately replaced by Masvingo Central MP Edmore Mhere (Zanu PF).[7]

Expulsion From Zanu-PF

Kaukonde was expelled from the Zanu-PF party in what was believed to be an onslaught of Mujuru loyalists. The meeting which effected the expulsion took place on the 21st of May 2015 at one of the politburo meetings. The expulsion of Kaukonde followed his initial demotion from the provincial chairman's office. Kaukonde was believed to be one of Mujuru's strongman who bankrolled the Mujuru campaign to unseat Robert Mugabe from office.

Sex-For Power Storm

Kaukonde was accused of demanding sex from various women in return for political power. These allegations were raised by party supporters and who lamented that the party was being drawn into the mud by such immoral tendencies. During an anti-Kaukonde demo held in Marondera in November, party supporters denounced Kaukonde's womanizing behavior which also contributed to his subsequent ouster.[8]

Business Empire

Amalgamated Motor Corporation

Ray Kaukonde is one of those innovative politicians who put their eggs in different baskets. One of his biggest investments is a famous company Amalgamated Motor Corporation (AMC). The company in the years from 2006 made great fortunes by supplying top range motor vehicles to the Zanu PF party and some government ministries. Kaukonde is believed to have used his influence in the party and also through the late Solomon Mujuru to win the contacts.[9] Among a number of deals with the government of Zimbabwe, Kaukonde's AMC also supplied vehicles to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. It is believed that the company supplied about 20 Mitsubishi cars including some top of the range cars which were specially purchased for the then-governor Gideon Gono and his three deputies.

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Spar Retail Outlets

The famous Spar Retail outlet located at the Joina City Complex in Harare was believed to be one of the many business projects run by the business mogul cum politician. Ray Kaukonde, through his Scotia Group of companies opened Joina City Spar Zimbabwe’s largest supermarket by floor area. The 1500m2 supermarket at the base of the 24 storey Joina City building opened its doors to the public just the same time as the building was commissioned. Thousands of people attended the opening ceremony to witness the opening of the imposing building that had become a symbol of Zimbabwe’s economic misery for the past decade.

The Joina City touted by many as a ‘city within a city’ opened its doors more than a decade after construction began during years of economic meltdown.[10] Besides the Joina City outlet, Kaukonde also owns the Spar retail outlet located in the country's most luxurious suburb of Borrowdale Brooke. The shop was opened in 2009 and boasts of its high profile clients and customers who include high profile politicians and business people most of whom live in the Borrowdale Brooke suburb.

The Zanu PF politician cum businessman has a vast business empire that stretches across the border into South Africa. In Zimbabwe alone, he owns RPK buses- a popular transport company which is popular in the local highways as well as across the borders of Zimbabwe. There is also Innscor Africa Limited which focuses in the production of bakery food and fast foods with a number of outlets in the country. Furthermore, he also owns Scotia Steel, Ray and Bryan, Bateleur Ventures, Motor City Toyota, Ray and Max Construction and an engineering firm which was involved in World cup projects in South Africa.[11]

Kaukonde Sues Newspapers

Kaukonde sued The Sunday Mail and Sunday News over stories published by the said newspapers of demanding sexual favours from women in return for political power. Kaukonde was suing the newspapers for US$5 million for defamation. Through his lawyers, Kaukonde denied the allegations and he described them as baseless and dubious, he also cited that the stories were meant to tarnish his image.

Dismissal From Parly

Kaukonde was dismissed from parliament after the ZANU-PF party re-called him on the basis that he was no longer representing the interests of the party. This followed his expulsion from the ZANU-PF party earlier. He was MP for Marondera Central Constituency and this made the seat vacant.[12]




References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 B. Chitemba, Ray Kaukonde Faked O Level Certificate,The Sunday Mail, Published:30 November 2014, Retrieved:18 December 2014
  2. Kaukonde Spied On Grace Mugabe In Love Triangle , , Published: 1 April 2015 , Retrieved: 10 January 2018
  3. , Kaukonde Rapped Over Factionalism, The Herald, Published:18 October 2014, Retrieved:21 October 2014
  4. F. Kwaramba, Mujuru backers say no to Grace, Daily News, Published:18 October 2014, Retrieved:21 October 2014
  5. Ray Kaukonde on the Brink, The Chronicle, Published:11 November 2014, Retrieved:18 Nov 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 , Kaukonde Ousted, The Herald, Published:18 November 2014, Retrieved:18 November 2014
  7. V. Langa You are here: Home > Parliament purges Mujuru loyalists Parliament purges Mujuru loyalists,NewsDay, Published:13 February 2015, Retrieved:13 February 2015
  8. , Ray Kaukonde in Sex-for-Power storm, Zimbabwe Situation, Published:2 November 2014, Retrieved:18 November 2014
  9. , Ray Kaukonde, Zoom Info, Published:2 February 2013, Retrieved:21 October 2014
  10. , Ray Kaukonde; Zimbabwean Businessman, The African Millionaire Blogspot, Retrieved:21 October 2014
  11. , Kaukonde Sues Over Sex Stories,NewsDzeZimbabwe, Published:23 January 2015, Retrieved:26 Jan 2015
  12. Z. Murwira, Kaukonde, Bhasikiti Booted out of Parly,The Herald, published:12 Jun 2015,retrieved:12 Jun 2015"