Inside Big Phil’s Party Bus

Phillip Chiyangwa's new Limo - Picture by Kudakwashe Hunda

Phillip Chiyangwa’s new Limo – Picture by Kudakwashe Hunda

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THEY don’t just call him Boss Phidza for nothing. The flamboyant business mogul is in a class of his own and he makes no apology about it.

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Dr Phillip Chiyangwa aka PC, recently took delivery of a new set of wheels – in style – on his birthday.

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As has become the norm, PC, who is not given to modesty, told anyone within earshot how much the “monster” vehicle set him back – a cool US$500 000.

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Buying a vehicle for US$500 000? Thats crazy some people may be tempted to say while others see this as unnecessary extravagance. But not Boss Phidza.

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“You see, we can’t say just because people are crying about this and that, todzikisa mastandards no! These are my standards and the earlier people get used to this the better for them.

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“You see, in 1994 I built the largest rural home in Zimbabwe and I followed that by building the biggest house in Harare in 1997. My house has 33 bedrooms. I really don’t want to dwell too much on my fleet of cars because it’s well documented that in that area no one beats PC.

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“So you see, these are my standards and yes I bought that Hummer H2 Transformer for about US$500 000.

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“When some people hear about these figures they scream and squeak, but to me that’s the standard.

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“The talk about being extravagant doesn’t apply because I am living well within my means.

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“Look, let’s not get too excited. That’s just a US$500 000 vehicle. Is that too much?” boasted Dr Chiyangwa. Well, just a US$500 000 vehicle?

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What would you do with such an amount, dear reader?

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With his last buy, in September last year, a 2014 GL63 AMG reportedly costing him US$400 000 – The Sunday Mail Leisure sought to find out what it is that makes this new Hummer H2 Transformer so special.

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A call to the flamboyant businessman about his new 26-seater, also known as a Party Bus, saw this writer and crew being offered a ride in the 18-metre exotic behemoth.

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The interior

The interior

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Indeed the Hummer Transformer is more modern, more technologically advanced and better engineered. It is unlike other limousines – it is a party bus, with such extraordinary interiors which “confirm to passengers that travelling in style need not be a fantasy”.

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The eight-wheel, triple-axle stretched SUV is fitted with a touch screen radio with DVD, CD, iPod player, complete with speakers and amplifiers.

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Its extra floor space, extra legroom and extra seating, three jet doors, disco floors and ceiling with stand up head space (high roof) – ensures that the party starts to rock the moment you board this limo.

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Armed with five flat television screens, a 3500W sound system and a rear outside patio with transparent extra large glass windows – the party bus is surely better than most nightclubs.

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To avoid disturbances, the driver uses a partition to separate him/herself from passengers yet they can still communicate if need be through an intercom.

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Separate front and rear sound systems allow the driver to be completely on his/her own while concentrating on the road as passengers party in the rear.

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A chat with Rest Muvirimi, who is Chiyangwa’s fleet manager and chauffeur, revealed more about the imposing vehicle.

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Muvirimi, a car enthusiast, could not stop praising the beast as it laboriously snaked its way around Borrowdale and its environs in a 30-minute familiarisation drive, which turned heads.

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Something as ordinary as refuelling at a service station at Helensvale shops turned out to a spectacle for tens of people, but a nightmare for the driver.

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Fellow motorists pulled over to have a glimpse or take pictures while vendors, shoppers, shop owners, fuel attendants and passersby all jostled to have pictures next to the vehicle or simply admire.

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“You have to be a Class One driver’s licence holder to drive this one,” said Muvirimi, who is trusted with PC’s most treasured toys.

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“Before going anywhere with this car, one needs to plan beforehand. It is not the type of car that you just get into and drive because it is not flexible – you need straight, wide roads, with minimal traffic as the slightest of congestions can see you stuck in one place for hours,” he added.

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Muvirimi said the Transformer, which can go as fast as 200 kilometres per hour, requires discipline on the road as it can go really fast, but is not as flexible as the smaller cars.

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The left-hand-drive vehicle, powered by a 398 horsepower V8 engine, weighs 9 300kg and sits on custom-made chrome rims.

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At night, it transforms like its name – with its intelligent lighting in and outside making it suitable for a party even in a desert.

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Talking about partying – the limo has enough glass and beer holders for all its 26 passengers complete with ice buckets and a mini fridge. The exotic limo joins Glory Car Hire’s long list of executive cars, among them a Phantom Rolls Royce, a Bentley Continental, an Aston Martin DBS, an exotic Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz GL 63 AMG, SL55 AMG and several other top of the range off-terrain vehicles. With the cheapest car to hire going for $220 per day (Ford Ranger T6) and the most expensive being $600 per hour (Phantom Rolls Royce) – how much will the party bus cost?

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“That decision is still being made. This car is expensive to maintain and requires so much care – it is likely to become the most expensive,” said Muvirimi.

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The exclusive rental limo is for events where one needs to make a statement, such as birthday, bachelors’ and wedding parties, prom, homecoming or some other special event that requires a spectacular grand arrival.

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At this rate – what other surprises is PC planning?

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“Well, while some are still mesmerised by a vehicle that cost a mere US$500 000, I am moving on to my next project.

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“When the next big thing happens, you must know it can only be PC. Like I said, people should get used to this,” signed off Dr Chiyangwa.

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