The Sunday Mail
BUYING a car, which, to many people, remains a cherished dream, brings with it a lot of conveniences.
However, when it comes to owning super-cars — those flashy and nice cars that are not only fast and luxurious, but also super expensive — only a rich selected few can entertain thoughts and dreams of owning such beasts.
But expensive cars such as Lamborghinis and Rolls Royces are cruising around the streets of Harare and some wealthy Zimbabweans boast impressive collections of these Big Toys.
Zimbabwe now has a growing number of super-cars on its roads including Maserati, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Ferrari and many more makes. When one hangs out at upmarket shopping malls or chic entertainment joints like Pabloz at Sam Levy Village in Borrowdale, they are bound to come across these expensive cars.
In fact, the number of luxury cars is rapidly growing.
The Big Toys which the big boys in town cruise in are taking over!
But while the rich and famous compete, those of little or no means also have their own automobile battles.
However, theirs is a ‘‘modest’’ rivalry.
After all, it is said zvoto zvine mazera.
The low earners’ tussle is on who owns the latest make and model of the ex-Japanese fuel savers.
Toyota Mark X, Honda Fit, Toyota Vitz, Toyota Wish, Nissan Xtrail, Toyota Rav, Honda CRV and different types of Mazda models are thrown into the mix.
“I would never dream of buying a Bugatti or Lamborghini. Even if someone were to give me a million dollars today, I would go online and order a nice ex-Jap (Japanese cars), build myself a nice house and spend the rest of the money on booze and nice clothes,” said Tonderai Magwiro from Epworth.
But he is certainly cut from a different cloth from local business magnates (mbinga) that love the finer things in life.
Frank Buyanga, a controversial businessman, is one good example.
Buyanga is among a growing list of Zimbabweans who can pay any amount for a flashy car to buy it outright.
Considered one of the richest men in Africa, he is a super-car enthusiast and has a collection of virtually all the big brands of Big Toys in his garage.
His fleet of elegant cars was at one time estimated to have a net worth of over US$7 million. The fleet, resplendent with high-class comfortability, leather upholstery and other luxury features, was worth more than some established companies.
In 2019, Buyanga’s then recent acquisition, a Bugatti Veyron Fbg par Hermès, brought Harare to a standstill as multitudes of people gathered just to have a glimpse of this super-car whose starting retail price is US$1,5 million.
His comment in one of the interviews back then summed it all up.
“I drive cars for my convenience. As far as I’m aware, the Bugatti was legally delivered in Harare . . . I do not remember (the cost) as these issues are highly trivial to my main course of existence. What I recall is that the Bugatti Veyron is an ideal asset and investment,” said Buyanga.
The super-car has an “F” for Frank as a personalised number plate.
With an unimaginable speed of over 400km/hr, this beast is one of the fastest cars in the world.
Buyanga also has a Rolls Royce Wraith, a super-car which is valued at over US$300 000 and is fit for royalty, a Ferrari F12 Berlinetta (US$300 000) and the ultra luxurious Bentley Bentayga V8 with distinctive features.
A Maserati Granturismo GT, which can cost up to US$100 000, is also part of Buyanga’s “toys.”
The list includes a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG (US$398 500), Lamborghini Aventador (US$425 000) and the Aston Martin DB9 which can cost as much as US$238 000, among others.
Buyanga’s impact and influence is not only felt on home ground as he also turns heads in foreign countries.
Three years back, a Zimbabwean registered Bugatti Chiron brought Hout Bay in Cape Town, South Africa, to a standstill with people clamouring to catch a glimpse of the exclusive super-car.
It was rumoured to belong to Buyanga.
The base price for a Bugatti Chiron is £2 500 000 (roughly US$3,2 million).
We also have Prophet Passion Java.
His collection of fast, expensive cars includes a Lamborghini Aventador, Rolls Royces, Maserati Levante and a Lamborghini Urus.
Last year, social media was abuzz with news that the popular prophet had acquired a brand new Lamborghini which was emblazoned with the letter “G” for Gafa. In the same period, an unknown person took delivery of a Ferrari F8.
A Ferrari F8 is reportedly worth around US$270 000.
Footballer Marvellous Nakamba, who plies his trade in England, is a proud owner of a Lamborghini Aventador and a Mercedes Benz Brabus 800 Widestar beast. Nakamba is one of the few Zimbabwean footballers who can afford such luxurious cars.
Mid last year, Deputy Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Tino Machakaire, a reputable businessman in his own right, reportedly splashed US$770 000 on a Rolls Royce Phantom.
Although Machakaire could neither deny nor confirm that he had brought in the vehicle, he, however, stated that he had the capacity to buy such a car.
Popular snake charmer Chawatama Marimo, who is a successful farmer, is in the “big men” league.
Marimo’s list of impressive race cars includes the ZX and the Nissan Sky-line GTR valued at about US$100 000.
In an earlier interview with The Sunday Society, Marimo explained why he spends a fortune on racing cars.
“I love the fast lane and car racing is my life. After a hard day’s work at the farm, I cool off by racing down the tracks,” Marimo said.
Gokwe-Nembudziya constituency Member of Parliament (MP), Justice Mayor Wadyajena, is said to be the proud owner of a US$210 000 Lamborghini Urus.
Wadyajena often goes to Parliament in a Jaguar XJ, another expensive car which can cost up to US$100 000.
The Rolls Royce Ghost, which costs around US$595 000, is in the garage of the late Genius “Ginimbi” Kadungure.
Buyanga also owns the same car.
Ginimbi’s former wife, Zodwa Mkandla and business mogul Kudakwashe Tagwirei are proud owners of the US$405 000 Bentley Mulsane.
Tagwirei also reportedly owns a Mercedes Brabus G Class worth US$400 000.
Ambassador-at-Large and founder of Spirit Embassy Ministries prophet Uebert Angel Mudzanire reportedly owns, among other flashy cars, a Bentley Continental GT worth US$300 000.
A year or so back, Tagwirei and the late Ginimbi were two of the three people in Zimbabwe that owned the Bentley Bentyaga, which costs around US$235 000.