HARARE – South African billionaire Zunaid Moti has rebutted claims his relationship with Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa turned sour after he allegedly asked Botswana opposition leader Duma Boko to facilitate a meeting with the Zimbabwean opposition leader Nelson Chamisa of the MDC Alliance and his vice Tendai Biti. The meeting is reported to have been part of a strategy to destabilise Zimbabwe.
The MDC VP also denied ever meeting Moti.
“Who is Moti?” Biti asked, in a telephone interview, adding, “I have never heard of him.”
Moti is one of Zimbabwe’s largest foreign investors in recent past with investments of over US$300 million. Moti, who has investments in the mining sector, also announced plans to venture into pharmaceuticals in Zimbabwe in 2018.
Despite the harsh economic environment characterised by foreign currency shortages and erratic power supplies, to name a few, Moti’s company remains operational.
The South African mining magnate and chairman of the Moti Group and African Chrome Fields in Zimbabwe said his relationship with Mnangagwa is “sweet”.
Moti said he is an avid supporter of the principles of democracy as well as a free economic market based on transparency and social equilibrium.
He denied having ever met the two (Biti and Chamisa) personally or otherwise whether in Zimbabwe or his home in South Africa.
The businessman said he has no adverse intentions except to invest as a foreign direct investor in the SADC region “where it makes sense and where the political leadership is aligned to principles of democracy and a free market economy.”
“The relationship with His Excellency, President ED Mnangagwa has been based on solid principles of friendship and mutual respect, and the recent media articles will not deter us from building that solid foundation,” Moti told The Anchor.
“I am and will continue to work with the Government of Zimbabwe, and the President, to strengthen the economy of Zimbabwe in many years to come. ACF remains our largest long-term investment in a foreign country and is there to stay,” he added.
Moti who was inducted into the African Leadership Awards Hall of Fame in July 2018 said, “As someone who cares deeply about the development of Africa as a whole and the SADC region specifically, it is important to me that democracy is strengthened across the region specifically.”
“It is also important to me that democracy is strengthened across the region, and that people elect ethical leaders who care about them and countries they lead. Simply put – development and business thrive well in a democratic and free space,”Moti added.