Controversial Zimbabwean businessman Genius Kadungure, alias Ginimbi, had a net worth of between Ksh1 billion and Ksh10 billion as of the time of his death, the BBC estimated Sunday.
Until his demise, Ginimbi was not extremely famous outside Zimbabwe and South Africa borders. It was when he died on Sunday, November 8 that attention was directed to his lifestyle, triggering a barrage of questions on how he acquired his wealth, which he flaunted on social media with little or no apology, whatsoever.
“Money can buy you happiness in case you don’t know,” he said on September 30, 2020 while displaying on Instagram his newly acquired Lamborghini Aventador S Roadster, valued at $377, 544 (Ksh41.2 million).
After his death, several social media users took to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to speculate that Ginimbi dealt in illegal businesses, including drug trade to afford the expensive lifestyle he lived.
In a December 9, 2018 interview, in which he was hosted by Zimbabwean media personality Acie Lumumba, Ginimbi denied dealing in drugs or any other form of dirty business, insisting he lawfully acquired his wealth.
Ginimbi was reported to have business interests in oil and gas sector, the entertainment and hospitality industry and the energy sector. He operated companies which were accused of tax evasion to the tune of hundreds of millions of shillings, allegations that Ginimbi vehemently refuted.
In the 2018 interview with Lumumba, Ginimbi said he was shocked that he was being attacked by people “who do not even know me”.
“People who attack Genius are people who have no knowledge of how I accumulated my wealth. They just assume things; they are not talking to me. If they talk to me, then I would even give them tips on how to make money,” he said.
“What pains me is that Zimbabweans are attacking me despite being their own. I have lived in both Botswana and South Africa, and while there, no one has ever attacked for being rich. I get attacked in my own country, I do not have peace in Zimbabwe,” said Ginimbi.
“When things were bad for me in the past; when I was living in the village and had no shoes to wear, there was no one who came to even provide my family with food. It is only now that they want to know the source of my wealth. I have been arrested twice [in attempts to establish my source of wealth].
“They are saying I am using the nightclub business to clean dirty money. Okay, the question should then be: where am I getting that dirty money from? If they are suggesting the so-called dirty money is from illegal drug trade, they are wrong; I do not even know how [hard] drugs look like,” said the controversial 36-year-old businessman.
Ginimbi attempted to explain why he thought people perceived him to be a rogue businessman, who engaged in illegal businesses, including drug trade.
“If you meet me when I am partying, I am opposite of the person you meet at work. I have this serious face when I am working. If you meet me when I am partying, I am the real party animal. That is why people have this wrong perception about me, that is why they are saying I am a drug dealer, because I party like them.”
Ginimbi died in a road crash in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, on Sunday, November 8.
His burial is scheduled for Saturday, November 14.