ZIFA President and millionaire businessman, Philip Chiyangwa, says he recycled every dirty trick to get rich, including scamming politicians, convincing bank managers to sign off loans worth millions of dollars without any semblance of collateral security.

The property mogul said he learnt to use a corrupt system to his advantage from an early stage.

“When I was building the Whitehouse, it was the first such attractive house and what happened is that I owed CABS because I wasn’t repaying the loan (for the house). I kept borrowing money to the extent that I bought furniture for the house,” he said.

He said CBZ wanted to seize his house because he could not pay back, “I rushed to CBZ and I saw (then CBZ Holdings chief executive Nyasha Makuvise. Makuvise instantly wrote a letter advising the bank to give me money so that I pay off the CABS loan . . . that’s why I am where I am today,”.

Chiyangwa said that the early lessons fuelled his desire to make more money. “So how then did I make money? I had no capital. So in 1998, I went again to CBZ and saw Gideon Gono. I told him I wanted to buy companies that were liquidating which included Zeco and GND Shoes,” he said.

He said Gono gave him the loan however when he went back to get another loan to buy GND Shoes he said ‘no, another politician had approached Gono.

Chiyangwa recalled that he then moved to the doorstep of former Cabinet minister Francis Nhema in his bid to secure $35 million needed for the deal.

“So I went to Nhema who was running a building society at that time. So I went there and told Nhema ‘you are now chairman of my organisation called Native Investments Africa Group. But what I want you to do for me is to be my guarantor so that we take over GND Shoes.”

Having convinced the former Youth minister of the potential for money in a company that had houses in the leafy suburbs of the country, the two agreed to “go into partnership” with a view of selling off some of the property to pay off the loan.

“For this deal to materialise, I also included another politician I can’t mention his name for I fear of embarrassing him but I tricked him in the end,” Chiyangwa said.

Now a multi-millionaire struggling to keep his wealth intact while also presiding over the implosion of a debt ridden Zimbabwe Football Association, Chiyangwa now sees the worst of a same system that made him.