The office of Robert Mugabe has reportedly demanded recordings of Africa’s Big Brother after a Zimbabwean contestant was beaten by a Nigerian in the final.
Mr Mugabe’s nephew and another political ally have launched a drive to raise £190,000 in compensation for Munya Chidzonga, 24, from Harare, after criticising the voting process as not “free and fair”.
Officials at MNET Africa, the continent-wide satellite television company which screens the show, said that Mr Mugabe’s office has also asked for recordings of the show’s Sunday final.
Mr Chidzonga, an actor whose nickname is Diamond Boy, first appeared on African Big Brother in 2008 but was invited back to take part in this year’s All Stars, which reunites the viewers’ 14 favourites characters. The Zimbabwean often walked around the house, in Johannesburg, South Africa, draped in his national flag and expressed a wish to meet Robert Mugabe.
Both he and Nigerian Uti Nwachukwu had won the votes of seven African countries each but Nwachukwu clinched the £127,000 prize after gaining the Rest of Africa vote.
The result sparked outrage in Zimbabwe, where there were claims that voting had been manipulated to please the larger Nigerian audience.
Millionaire property tycoon Phillip Chiyangwa, Mr Mugabe’s nephew and a former Zanu-PF MP, said Chidzonga had been “cheated” out of the title by bogus voting practices.
“We have opened a bank account and created a board of trustees for Munya because we believe he was cheated and has been traumatised by the outcome,” he said.
“Let’s give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and release the shock from him.Where there is no hope, we must invent hope.”
He said his property company, Pinnacle Holdings, could give Mr Chidzonga “a piece of property or even a house to compensate for the traumatic experience”.
David Chapfika, a former Zanu-PF finance minister and now chairman of the Indigenisation and Economic Employment Board, said others were keen to back the fundraising drive for the father-of-one whose son, Pfumai, was born on July 13 – five days before he went on Big Brother All Stars.
MNET were unavailable to comment.-The Telegraph (UK)