Augustine Mukoka writes:
CHIZA GONDWE & THE ROLLS ROYCE: A PERSONAL ACCOUNT
A couple of months ago, Chiza slipped some good news my way. He informed me he had just bought one of his dream cars.
I was excited for Chiza. A young man I lived with in Lusaka’s Libala area about 15 years ago was living a life he had worked hard for. It was a joyful moment. Congratulations were and are in order.
We shared a light moment on the phone. And I teased him; ‘from our little flat now to a tycoon,’ I said.
Chiza laughed and responded, “ni lesa fye mukamba (it’s only God bigman).” That’s just an extract from one of our many conversation.
And yes, it can only be God. Chiza has both a touching and inspiring story to tell. Hopefully, he can share it soon.
In brief, he has risen from a situation of virtual hopelessness to an embodiment of determination and hardwork.
By the time he completed his grade 12, both his parents were deceased and the hope for tertiary education vanished. His only means for survival was hustling on the streets of Lusaka.
He had no fixed abode. And I was privileged to be one of the many to share a roof with. I have been in a position where others have shared their space with me. To do it to another is an honour and a humbling experience. Our detailed personal journey is not necessary for purposes of this contribution.
What matters in the wake of misinformation surrounding a gentleman I know very well is giving a correct and fair position to dispel a vicious pull him down campaign orchestrated by some frustrated individuals that have turned into his business adversaries. And I am certain Chiza will have a moment to discuss his inspiring business journey.
It’s equally incumbent upon those of us who know someone to vouch for them especially where misinformation and false narratives are fronted in an attempt to destroy someone’s business career.
Yes, Chiza Gondwe has recently bought a Rolls Royce. Ironically, when he mentioned his latest acquitision to me, news he had been awarded a million dollar contract to supply Nissan Hardbody cars by the government through the Ministry of Justice had just broke.
I raised an observation founded on fears that are a reality today. The purchase of the Rolls Royce is being misconstrued for a benefit off the profits of the contract with the Ministry of Justice.
Our discussions that day concluded with him revealing his decision to bid for the Ministry of Justice contract was more about the profile of his company rather than the profit.
And it explains why his company appeared to have been one of the lowest (if not the lowest) bidder. As we speak, Chiza’s company Sarago General Delears has not received a dime from the Ministry of Justice.
So as his Rolls Royce rolls into Zambia, the contract with the Ministry of Justice is yet to be executed. This means no money has exchanged between Chiza’s Sarago General Dealers and the Zambian government.
Nonetheless, why a Rolls Royce? I asked him.
“You know what? I think buying cars is my guilty pleasure,” he responded.
True, we all have our guilty pleasures. He then went on to list the number of other veichles he has rewarded himself with. Yes, vehicles may not be a good long-term investment. But for someone in motor vehicle business, a guilty pleasure can work as a strategic value addition.
Before we crucify the man for a deal that has not been executed, it’s best to know him.
Well, I am not very good at cars, my knowledge about these machines is equally limited (if not poor). It has never been my area of interest. But our youngman likes cars and has invested in some good machines over the years.
From a relic red VW JETTA (it made quiet some noise every morning he started off for the car wash) which we jokingly referred to as a sunka mulamu (we pushed it to jump start), to owning a fleet of flashy cars is no mean achievement. I am proud of his journey.
And although his adversaries link him to Burma Car Wash only, it is important to note that in addition to a car wash, he also runs Sarago General Dealers, Amaris Luxury Homes and Burma Fitness Center.
This is one youth who woke up at 4:30 AM and retired to be bed at about 22:00 hours or later when he launched his Car Wash business on Chilimbulu Road opposite St. Patricks School in Kabwata.
He leads a relatively reserved life, away from social media but because of the falsities being peddled by his business adversaries, it is important to peep into some of the toys, as boys call them, to his name.
They say a lie repeated several times assumes some semblance of truth. To help Chiza in what appears to be a sustained assault on his business, the truth is the Rolls Royce is a mere addition to his fleet that has nothing to do with his latest contract with the Judiciary
For those rolling their sleeves to fight a youngman working hard to make a difference, do so with a better template rather than a cheap and baseless attempt to drive a miscalculated political agenda.