BRITISH peer Lord Peter Hain — a prominent critic of former president Robert Mugabe’s regime — will be involved in Zimbabwean business activities as an ex officio African Chrome Fields (ACF) board member.
ACF, which mines and processes alluvial chromite ore along the mineral-rich Great Dyke belt and employees about 1 200 people, is owned by the Moti Group based in Johannesburg, South Africa. It is currently in the process of establishing a chrome processing plant using aluminothermic technology.
The Moti group has interests in transport and logistics, aviation, security services, financial, risk management, property development and mining. It has expansion plans in Zimbabwe into gold mining and other areas.
The company, which directly and indirectly employees about 2 500 people across the sub-Saharan region, has a relationship with Rustenburg Platinum, a subsidiary of Anglo Platinum at its Amandlebult operation. It also has a long-term relationship with Glencore on chrome beneficiation.
Group chairman Zunaid Moti says he is optimistic about the new era in Zimbabwe under President Emmerson Mnangagwa and in South Africa as well with President Cyril Ramaphosa at the helm. Moti sees more opportunities ahead in Zimbabwe.
“As part of his role as special advisor to the Moti Group, Lord Hain has accepted the position of ex officio member of the board of directors of ACF with effect from March 1,” the group said in a statement last week.
“The Moti Group and Lord Hain have a common interest in South Africa and Zimbabwe particularly, and have synergies which they wish nurture. The group believes its expansion strategy in Africa, particularly in Zimbabwe, can greatly benefit from this due to Lord Hain’s extensive global and governmental experience, as well as business and philanthropic acumen.”
In an interview with businessdigest this week, ACF national project liaison director Ashraf Kaka said Hain would add value to his company and help put Zimbabwe on the regional and global investment map.
“Having being appointed as advisor to the Moti Group and ACF ex officio board member and given his vast networks and wealth of experience, Lord Hain will be an asset to the company and its shareholders. His advice and connections to the business and investment world will come in handy for ACF which has grown substantially in a few years and is on a rapid growth curve in Zimbabwe,” Kaka said.
“ACF sees a lot of investment opportunities and hence we were the lead sponsor of the recent mining investment conferences on Zimbabwe in Cape Town and Harare, working with our local partners. The conferences looked into various mining issues and placed Zimbabwe on a regional and global investment agenda, dovetailing with government’s ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ mantra. What we are doing in Zimbabwe will give more meaning to this refrain. Lord Hain’s input, particularly on mining and environment protection issues, is critical. With our group on a growth trajectory in Zimbabwe, the appointment of Lord Hain will give us a strategic business advantage and insight into important issues.”
Hain, a renowned anti-apartheid activist who became Neath MP for 24 years and served as a minister in Tony Blair and Gordon Brown’s cabinets, was a robust critic of Mugabe’s regime over human rights issues, corruption and the diamonds mining fiasco in Chiadzwa. He was involved in many debates in the British parliament and House of Lords on Zimbabwe issues.
“My vision is about the environment, sustainability, social responsibility, corporate integrity and creating wealth and opportunities for ordinary citizens of South Africa and Zimbabwe,” Hain said last week.
Hain will also help the Moti Group to identify causes for its Charitable Trust to get involved in and help ACF in its social corporate responsibility activities in Zimbabwe.
Hain told South African media in Cape Town last week that controversies and allegations of bad behaviour against Moti such as a reported international warrant of arrest on him and accusations that he conspired to murder a North West businessman were “false”.
Paul O’Sullivan, who some years ago still wanted to see Moti behind bars, will also be assisting the Moti Group. “We checked each other out a few weeks ago,” Hain told the media about his decision to assist Zunaid Moti and his company. “Paul’s word is like the gospel to me and I think the allegations against (Zunaid) are false.” — Staff Writer.