PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s business partner and former British Cabinet minister, Peter Hain, arrived in Harare last night as part of the Moti Group’s drive to promote their chrome mining business interests in the country.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Mnangagwa, his deputy Constantino Chiwenga and the Zimbabwe Defence Forces are believed to have facilitated the Moti Group to set up the African Chrome Fields (ACF) in the Midlands town, Kwekwe.
Hain, who is an ex officio member of the Moti Group, which is a major shareholder of African Chrome Fields (ACF), said he was excited to be in Zimbabwe.
“We are here for African Chrome Fields one of the major investors in Zimbabwe, which has created close to 2 000 jobs and a lot of families depend on it, and there are big expansion plans in the future to help create more jobs and greater prosperity for the people of Zimbabwe and I am very pleased to be working with Mr Moti to help achieve that objective,” he said.
Moti Group chairman, Zunaid Moti, who accompanied Lord Hain, said bringing in the former British Cabinet minister was a way of showing the world that “Zimbabwe was open for business”.
“The intention is to explain to the rest of the world that the type of investment that we have created in Zimbabwe is real investment. It’s not something that we are speaking about or signing papers about, but investment on the ground. As Peter Hain has explained, we have actually created the jobs and the infrastructure, we want the world to be able to see the type of investments that have materialised in Zimbabwe and I brought Lord Hain to experience this successful business and to take the message to the rest of the world and for us to be able to show them that Zimbabwe is open for business like our President [Emmerson Mnangagwa] has said,” Moti said.
ACF has invested more than $200 million at its Kwekwe chrome mine located in Mnangagwa’s former Chirumanzu-Zibagwe constituency.
Hain’s connections in Zimbabwe have however raised eyebrows among civil society groups.
“Given Lord Hain’s strident promotion of accountability and transparency in relation to the behaviour of British businesses with the controversial Gupta family in South Africa, one would hope to see a similar standard applied to his business associates’ engagement with Zimbabwe’s military and political leadership,” said Piers Pigou, Southern Africa director for the International Crisis Group.