Ginimbi Kadungure (10th October 1984 – 8th November 2020) was a Zimbabwean socialite and businessman with an estimated net worth of $50 million.
Popularly known as Genius Kadungure, Ginimbi was notable as the founder and CEO of Pioneer Gases, a gas company with operations in Botswana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. More so, he was the proprietor of Dreams Nightlife Club and several other ventures that contributed to his massive net worth.
Ginimbi Kadungure Did Not Receive Formal Education
The popular businessman was born on October 10th, 1984, in Domboshava, Mashonaland East province, Zimbabwe. While not much is known about his family life as they are not in the spotlight, we know that he has two sisters named Nelia and Juliet.
There is also no information about Ginimbi’s upbringing although it is known that he is uneducated and did not get any standard education before he ventured into business at the age of 17. At that young age, Kadungure began engaging in small business operations as a middleman securing gas for home customers. Luck was on his side as he had a friend who worked at the Angolan Airways offices, hence, he was able to rapidly acquire his first contract.
He would follow up on a number of sales to gas customers, and his fortunes would change.
Ginimbi was a successful serial entrepreneur, opening several lines of businesses. He served as the CEO and founder of Pioneer Gases, an oil and gas business having operations in Botswana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. He was also the owner of the Dreams Nightlife Club, also known as Club Sankai, a nightclub that was very popular for its celebrity patronage.
His early days in the oil and gas sector can be traced to when he used to work as a middleman in the gas distribution business when he was just a teenager. He was in charge of following up on sales to secure gas for residential users. As he followed through on sales to gas users, his fortunes began to improve. He kept doing it this way until he was able to start his own company. He went on to start Pioneer Gases, which supplied gas to businesses, the general public, and retailers.
After making significant profits from other businesses, he bought Quick Gases in Botswana and added Rivonia Gases as well. He also started a new company named City Centre Freight, which helped him increase his earnings. With the massive success he recorded, Ginimbi began to run all of his businesses under PIKO Trading Group, and he became one of Zimbabwe’s wealthiest young entrepreneurs.
Beyond his drive to make money, Ginimbi was also a philanthropist and he is remembered as the founder of the Celebs4Change program, which helps children in need all around Africa. More so, he was the Harare International Carnival’s ambassador.
Ginimbi’s Net Worth
Ginimbi’s net worth is currently unknown due to the fact that his enterprises are not publicly listed. However, his net worth was estimated to be about $50 million dollars based on the assets that were made public. Sometime in October 2020, he added a new Lamborghini Aventador S Roadster to his fleet of luxury cars, which turned heads in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital.
Why Was Ginimbi Accused of Fraud?
Kadungure was arrested in May 2014 on charges of fraud as he was accused of cheating Dexter Nduna, the Zanu-PF MP for Chegutu West, Badon Enterprises’ managing director, and a Kadoma-based miner only named Gatawa of R1,581,890.
According to reports, Kadungure set up a bogus firm called Transco Civil Engineering in South Africa and registered an ABSA bank account for it. He then allegedly called the complainants and portrayed himself as the head buyer for Marange Resources, who was looking for mining pumps at low costs.
Gatawa allegedly sent his brother Enock to South Africa in December 2011 to acquire the pumps. He was required to deposit R1,046,890 in an ABSA bank account for the purchase of 10 flight pumps. Transco Civil Engineering “officials” ordered Enock to return to Zimbabwe and check for his shipment with DHL in 3 days after the transfers. However, he only received a package with smartphone chargers.
Alleged Debt to Mutumwa Mawere
Ginimbi has also been involved in some squabbles with South African businessman Mutumwa Mawere. This happened sometime in February 2018. However, he refuted charges that he owes R340,000 to Mutumwa and when the SA businessman urged Kadungure to pay back what he owes, the two had a falling out and exchanged words on Twitter.
According to reports, the businessmen used to be extremely close, and when Ginimbi was having cash flow issues in 2012 and 2013, Mawere lent him $340,000, which he had to repay plus 15% interest every month. According to Ginimbi, he was back on his feet after approximately four months and paid Mawere in installments, first with R100,000, then R70,000, and so on. He claimed that some of the money he sent Mawere while he was in prison in South Africa for a fraud case was used by his office, most likely to pay his legal bills. Besides, they haven’t spoken since 2015, so he thought it awful that Mawere was suddenly making claims on Twitter.
Tax Evasion Charges
The late businessman was also caught in the webs of the law between February 2009 and May 2016, when his company, Piko Trading (Private) Limited, allegedly misrepresented to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) that it had made total sales of $2,777,678 inclusive of value-added tax, when in fact it had made sales of $9,092,951. ZIMRA claimed to have incurred a $417,940 loss as a result of this. He was also suspected of tax evasion, resulting in a total loss of $3,468,949 for ZIMRA.
A Harare magistrate even had to deny Ginimbi bail in a case in which he was accused of defrauding the Treasury of $3.5 million through a tax evasion scheme. When Kadungure came before magistrate Bianca Makwande, he was not required to enter a plea and was instead remanded in custody until November 30. However, another twist to the story holds that Ginimbi was said to be being targeted by political strongmen because he was Mary Chiwenga’s first cousin.
Ginimbi’s passport was released in December 2018 after he was granted bail, allowing him to use it until January 2019. This arose after Jonathan Samkange, Kadungure’s lawyer, asked for the passport’s temporary release. Kadungure stated that he wished to assist Zimbabwe with its current gas problems. The state, represented by Shepherd Makonde, did not object to the application but insisted that the passport be substituted with title papers as a guarantee.
Kadungure was acquitted of failing to file returns on gas sales with the Commissioner of Taxes in July 2020. His company, Piko Trading, was found not guilty of two counts of tax evasion and smuggling gas into the country. However, Piko Trading was accused of importing 5,289 kilograms of natural gas into Zimbabwe.
How Did Ginimbi Die?
Ginimbi died in an automobile accident near Legacy Way (formerly Borrowdale Road) in Harare on November 8, 2020. His death was confirmed by Zimbabwe national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, who said he died on the spot as his car was involved in a head-on accident between 5 a.m and 6 a.m.
Ginimbi’s Rolls Royce collided with another car (a blue Honda Fit) before crashing into the nearby woods. After crashing, it erupted in flames. The businessman’s demise came as a shock to many and to have lost his life at such a young age is indeed tragic. Other persons who lost their lives in the accident include Moana, a Malawian national and fitness bunny, as well as Alisha, a Mozambican native.