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Aliko Dangote promise to keep his Zimbabwean business empire

by Staff reporter
09 Oct 2023 at 15:58hrs | Views
Aliko Dangote, Africa's wealthiest black individual and the founder and chairman of Dangote Cement, the continent's largest cement manufacturer, made a commitment to preserve the extensive business empire in Zimbabwe that belonged to the late Indian mogul Harpal Singh Randhawa. Randhawa had substantial interests in gold, diamonds, and coal mining in Zimbabwe.

In a virtual address to mourners, Dangote pledged to ensure the continued operation of Randhawa's businesses following his tragic passing, along with his only son, Amer Kabir Singh, on September 29.

Harpal Randhawa was 60 years old at the time of his death, which also claimed the lives of four other individuals: George Sibanda (51), Nikhil Mahadik Milind, Reginald Muchemwa, and Pichumoney Viswanath (58). The fatal accident occurred when a Cessna plane, owned by the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed RioZim Ltd, crashed between 7:30 am and 8:00 am at Peter Farm in the Zvemahande area of Mashava. The flight was en route from Harare to Murowa Diamonds in Zvishavane, having departed from Harare at 6:30 am.

This tragic incident was not the first involving a small plane owned by RioZim/Murowa, as in February, a Piper 31 Navajo aircraft belonging to RZM Murowa was forced to make an emergency landing in a farm field about 16 kilometers from Beatrice, south of Harare.

Dangote, who apparently arrived in Harare shortly after the recent fatal crash, addressed mourners in a solemn ceremony at Raintree, Umwinsidale, Harare. The memorial event, which will also be held in London and New Delhi, had been postponed as government authorities conducted DNA tests and completed identification procedures. Additionally, the crash site was secured for investigations, which had not yet commenced in earnest due to a shortage of expertise.

The Nigerian billionaire expressed his commitment to preserving Harpal's business empire and legacy. During the memorial service, family members, relatives, and friends delivered emotional speeches, with addresses also given by Harpal's wife and sister. Attendees included his mother, as well as prominent figures such as Zimnat Group CEO Mustafa Sachak, local entrepreneur Shingi Mutasa and his wife Karen, attorney and international arbiter Muchadeyi Masunda, and President Emmerson Mnangagwa's son-in-law Gerald Mlotshwa and his wife Farai. Other notable attendees included former Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa, businessman Farai Rwodzi, and media manager Raphael Khumalo, among others.

Randhawa had some involvement in the media industry and was once approached to invest in Alpha Media Holdings, the publisher of NewsDay, Zimbabwe Independent, and The Standard, as well as the online broadcasting platform Heart & Soul, owned by media proprietor Trevor Ncube and Mlotshwa. However, he declined the offer due to the company's financial difficulties and technical insolvency. Notably, Trevor Ncube did not attend the memorial service, despite its proximity to his Umwinsidale residence, where he was scheduled to address a social club of which Randhawa was a patron prior to his passing.

Family members and relatives of Harpal Randhawa from London, United Kingdom, and India also participated in the memorial service. The late businessman, originally from New Delhi, had relocated to London to work in banking before embarking on his business ventures, with Zimbabwe ultimately becoming his chosen destination.

Source - newshawks