Report names ED, Chiwenga and Tagwirei in SA businessman’s ‘illicit’ financial deals

Political Review Writer

A report by a South African investigative journalism outfit published widely today has claimed that Zimbabwe’s President Mnangagwa, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, businessman Kuda Tagwirei, a former “communications minister” and their proxies received “dirty” money from businessman Zunaid Moti.

Moti, the South African mogul, is the owner of a sprawling business empire with interests in chrome and lately lithium in Zimbabwe.

However, South African media has been revealing a lot of shady dealings surrounding the businessman pointing to corrupting influence, money laundering, illicit financial outflows and racketeering in a complex cross-border web.

According to a report carried on several South African media today, including News24, Moti allegedly worked with  “underground financial operators channelling vast sums through his mining and property companies using complex smoke-and-mirrors transactions” and moved over R2 billion through these mechanisms, funds mostly derived from investments by his former partner, Kudakwashe “Kuda” Tagwirei.

In other words, Tagwirei after co-invested in Africa Chrome Fields (ACF) money would be paid to Moti and his interests and back to influential Zimbabweans and entities they controlled.

The alleged transactions also dovetailed with separate illegal transactions involving gold, exposed by Al Jazeera’s “Gold Mafia” investigations.

Apart from the above top dogs, amaBhungane’s report – titled #MotiFiles: Moti and the money men – also names one Patrick Chinondo, a 37-year-old former UK-based businessman, as a key cog in the operation.

The report further makes a reference to  “the then-minister of communication” who also received money from the operation.

“Despite its complexity, the picture ultimately boils down to this: vast amounts of money were channelled from Moti’s African Chrome Fields (ACF) to a range of mysterious Zimbabwean entities (some linked to the country’s political leadership) under the guise of loans to a different Zimbabwean business partner, Patrick Chinondo,” the report says.

“At the same time, across the border, a mountain of money appeared in South Africa, flowing to Moti Group companies under the guise of ‘property loans’ that, on the surface, were unconnected to the Zimbabwean transactions.”

The investigation describes amounts of money involved as “fuck-ton of money”, “mega-loans and multi-payments” denoting the sheer size of the cash involved.

The sheer size of money involved

 

For example, the report claims that Precabe Investments, believed to be President Mnangagwa’s company that operates his farm and businesses, received US$1 million after the 2017 coup that removed former President Mugabe.

Chiwenga received another US$1 million in December of that year, according to the report, through one Lishon Chipango of Cosmotex Investments.

In an even deeper complexity, the involvement of Manondo facilitated over 500 transactions, which Manondo allegedly gave instructions to be executed.

The investigation finds out: “Almost immediately after signing the $120 million deal with Tagwirei in November 2017, Moti’s ACF signed a separate loan agreement with JayT Global Bureau du Change, a company belonging to one Patrick Chinondo – a Zimbabwean partner to Moti in this and other enterprises.

“The loan was huge: After several amendments over the following months, Moti offered JayT at least $75 million (roughly R1 billion) in total. In June 2018, this arrangement was succeeded by a practically identical new loan between ACF and another Chinondo company called Oakland Mining.”

Africa Chrome Fields allegedly received a constant torrent of “payment instructions” from the Chinondo companies, the report establishes, to pay money directly to other third parties.

Money movement through loans

“Through this system, Moti’s ACF made 505 payments to dozens of different recipients between November 2017 and September 2018. The grand total: an astonishing $130 million (roughly R2 billion at the time).”

Most parties named in the report including Chinondo, the owner of companies named JayT and Oakland, which are extensively referred to in the report deny most of these payments ever happened.

Moti, who has previously claimed that South Africa’s media are fighting him, also denies the claims about illicit transactions.

Review & Mail could not independently verify the claims at the time of going to press.

However, the investigation by the team still comes to the conclusion that something is not right.

“Irrespective, the transactions themselves are problematic,” amaBhungane say.

“For one thing, some of the money flowing out of ACF seemingly lined the pockets of senior politicians, including Zimbabwe’s president, vice president and the then-minister of communication.”

 

 

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