By Amelia Johnson|
Vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa has emerged as Zimbabwe’s richest man, according to Wikipedia.
The reputable reference site does not, however, state his net worth, name the source of its information or give details of his investments.
“Regarded as the wealthiest individual in Zimbabwe, Mnangagwa has close business links with Colonel Lionel Dyck, a white officer from the old Rhodesian army who founded Mine Tech, a landmine clearance company that secured lucrative contracts from the Zimbabwean government to clear landmines in Zimbabwe border areas after the war,” Wikipedia said in a new post updated after Mnangagwa was appointed vice president in December.
Information at hand shows that Mnangagwa made much of his money while he was secretary for finance in Zanu PF. Mnangagwa also made a killing allegedly smuggling diamonds, timber and other resources from the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to a United Nations report.
As finance secretary, Mnangagwa controlled Zanu PF’s vast, octopus-like business empire spanning motor vehicles, duty-free shops, banking, airline catering, mining, retail, food processing, agriculture and manufacturing. The Zanu PF companies included the party’s flagship M&S Syndicate, Zidco Holdings and Zidlee Enterprises. Among them, the companies control FBC Bank, Lobels Bread, SMM Holdings, Catercraft and Tregers, among others.
Mnangagwa’s private interests include retailers Jaggers and Metropeech, farms and mines. A lot of his businesses are run in partnership with white, ex-Rhodesian businessmen who include the arms smuggler John Bredenkamp, transport, logistics, farming and mining mogul Billy Rautenbach and British property tycoon Nicholas van Hoogstraten.
Several of Mnangagwa’s business associates, including the British-Indian brothers Jayant and Manharlal Joshi, as well as SMM front man Mutumwa Mawere fled the country in disgrace in 2004 after the Zanu PF politburo launched investigations into reported massive theft of party funds. Former army commander, General Solomon Mujuru was appointed to lead the investigations but died in a mysterious inferno which has been blamed on Mnangagwa, before submitting his report. The vice president also seized the 1600 hectare Sherwood farm in Kwe Kwe without compensating its white owner. Mnangagwa has been named in various corruption scandals, including looting the Marange diamonds in partnership with Chinese and Russian firms and bringing down Ziscosteel.
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