Pictures have emerged online showing new president Emmerson Mnangagwa and army general Constantino Chiwenga with a controversial businessman who had an arrest warrant issued by interpol. Mnangagwa and Chiwenga were pictured with Zunaid Moti, a South African businessman along with several other business associates named on the same arrest warrant.
According to TimesLive, “in August this year Moti‚ along with his father‚ Abbas Aboo Baker Moti‚ and their business associates‚ Ashruf Kaka and Salim Bobat‚ were attempting to interdict President Jacob Zuma and his government and force them to hold off on an international arrest warrant issued in their names.”
“All four are listed by Interpol as international fugitives. The men stand accused of defrauding an allegedly disgruntled business partner – Russian citizen Alibek Issaev – out of R6.6-million in an apparent bogus mining deal. The fraud allegedly took place in Lebanon in 2013.
“The men claim that they have never travelled to that country and that their arrest warrants were obtained on falsified information. Interpol issued red notices for the men in June. A red notice is issued when countries are unable to arrest suspects who have fled their policing jurisdictions.”
The four challenged their original arrest warrants in the Lebanese courts and were set to make submissions to Interpol in France to have the red notices overturned.
The Zimbabwe Independent in August this year reported how Mnangagwa was entangled in a multi-million dollar chrome deal “illegally granted permission to import fuel duty-free under the guise they are running a project with national status.”
According to the report Mnangagwa played an important role to facilitate for Africa Chrome Fields (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of South African mining company Fanshawe Mining Holdings (owned by Moti), to invest in a chrome mining and smelting project in Chirumhanzu-Zibagwe constituency.
The vice-president is said to be close to ACF director Zunaid Moti, a flashy car-loving tycoon arrested in 2012 over armed robbery and attempted murder allegations. Moti denied the allegations.
The Zimbabwe Independent reported that “Jonathan Moyo accused Mnangagwa of deceiving cabinet into lifting an export ban on raw chrome in 2015 for self-serving purposes. He said ACF was granted mining rights after Mnangagwa “wilfully misled” President Robert Mugabe into believing ACF investors had the latest technology to process chrome ore into ferrochrome.”
According to the report “Moyo said truckloads of chrome ore had been smuggled out, charging Mnangagwa’s business associates had in the process made over US$49 million.”
Responding to questions from the paper, ACF national project liaison director Ashruf Kaka said;
“At the risk of repeating ourselves in the media, we are in the business of mining and beneficiation and are not politicians and leave politics to the politicians.
“Having said that, we invested in Zimbabwe in the first quarter of 2014 prior to us having any interaction with the vice-president and our interaction with him commenced with the introduction to him of the aluminothermic technology during the latter part of 2014, and more particularly in the beginning of 2015. We had sought other investments in the chrome industry from 2012 with particular reference to ZimAlloys.
“The relationships that we have with all politicians and their respective departments are project-related and accordingly professional in nature. We do not delve into the realm of politics as our focus is and will always be beneficiation and all politicians, including the Honourable Vice-President Mnangagwa, have considered the project beneficial to Zimbabwe and the interest of Zimbabwe.”