By Nigel Pfunde
Man of the moment Roland Muchegwa better known as Uncle Roland is living in the fast lane, partying with pretty women who qualify for magazine covers – but little has been told about his past.
He rose to the top through hustling, bustling and now he is ‘balling’ so hard.
Zim Morning Post tracked down his road to occupy a place in the lifestyles of the rich and famous – it has not been an easy one!
Investigations made by this publication opened a lid on the millionaire’s dark past, laced with a tincture of hard work, intelligent, cheeky behaviour and rent seeking activities.
Uncle Roland was born Isheunesu Rolen Muchegwa (not Roland!) in the dusty streets of Zvishavane, deep down in the Midlands province.
He was born in a middle class family with his father working for the Cold Storage Commission, in an era when the national herd was beefed up and the country was still the bread basket of Southern Africa responsible for food security.
The young Rolen was to relocate to Harare where he enrolled at a former group A school but was expelled in his third form.
He was accused of setting up a sharp object (mathematical campus to be precise) on his teacher who was pricked in the bum.
After his expulsion, he was relegated to the ghetto where he enrolled at Mukai High School in Highfield.
A series of interviews with his classmates revealed that he was a top student and was multi-lingual.
“He was naughty and one of the best students in his stream, he could speak more than five languages and he was very cunning,” narrated Romeo Chidakwa, a Mukai High School alumni.
Rolen finished school and came out with flying colours and he was to marry a beautiful woman from Glen Norah B near Mushayabande shopping centre.
Her name was Briggete Mpofu and the young couple sired a son they named Brassington.
The fruit of their loins grew up playing plastic balls and graduated to real football earning a place in the Zimbabwe national Under 18 soccer team.
“Brazzy (Brassington) could have been the next Peter Ndlovu, he was a dribbling wizard and he has a cap with the national under 18 team.
“Unlike his dad, he is not violent and naughty, he is a cool dude (sic),” revealed a Highfield resident who grew up with Rolen in Zororo area of Highfield.
Rolen got a job at Zimnat Insurance but the hustling nature in him ‘called’ and got him in hot soup in a botched mbanje deal.
He was arraigned before the courts and was convicted and handed down a two year sentence.
After his two year stint in ‘college’, Rolen used his entrepreneurial flair and set up a micro-enterprise where he imported bales of second hand clothes (mabhero).
“After his release, Rolen akatanga kutengesa mabhero (he sold bales of second hand clothes).
“Akaita bag baba wangu because muguy haasi tsaga (he made profits because he is smart),” explained a former neighbour from Zororo.
Sources revealed that Rolen was then introduced in the petroleum industry by businessman Victor Mereki who runs several service stations around town.
“He got in the game through Vikela (Mereki) and he started trading fuel and smart as he is, he grew bigger,” he added.
After divorcing Briggete, Rolen met a free spirited and curvaceous belle in the person of Michelle Kawome, a businesswoman in her own right.
The couple sired two children before parting ways.
However, Rolen could not let go and he would harass any man he suspected of making moves on Michelle.
Currently based in South Africa, Uncle Roland occasionally sneaks into the country and his last public appearance was at his friend and fellow businessman Genius ‘Ginimbi’ Kadungure’s joint, Dreams Night Club in Harare.
He is believed to be in possession of seven passports from different African countries and is off the hook because he is multi-lingual.
The 51-year-old businessman is a ‘person of interest’ and fled the country to South Africa in 2015 when a warrant of arrest was issued against him.
Uncle Roland was facing assault charges when he violently attacked the late top lawyer Eddie Jori accusing him of having a romantic affair with Michelle.
He also savagely attacked Michelle at a Pablos nightclub in Borrowdale leaving her hospitalised.
“Roland is a violent man, he assaulted Michelle and he was also in the habit of beating up anyone he suspected of making moves on Michelle,” said one of his friends who declined to be named.
In 2015, the late Jori opened up to this reporter that Uncle Roland was making his life ‘hell on earth’ by constant threats and physical attacks.
He revealed that at one time he stalked him to his house and beat him up by the gate and he was also causing problems at his workplace at Wintertons Legal Practitioners.
Uncle Roland was summoned to appear in court but he absconded court resulting in a warrant of arrest being issued against him before he fled the country.
Jori died in a car accident along Second Street Extension and circumstances surrounding it remain a mystery.
However, he is believed to have been in a speed chase with Michelle, according to sources.
The flamboyant businessman is into petroleum and transport industry and is the brains behind Hwindi taxis- a local version of Uber.
Murmurs of fuel smuggling have echoed in his social circles but he who alleges is left with the burden to prove- NONE has done such!
Hate him or love him, Uncle Roland has shaken Southern Africa and is the king of razzmatazz.
He joins the league of other rich Southern Africa ex-cons like Kenny ‘Sushi King Kunene and Gayton Mckenzie. Zim Morning Post