PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government is cutting ties with the controversial South African businessman, Zunaid Moti amid reports he is on a mission to destabilise the Sadc region and topple constitutionally elected governments through funding opposition parties, including the MDC, Zimbabwe Morning Post can exclusively reveal.
This publication has it on good authority that Moti sent an emissary to court the MDC leadership, especially president Nelson Chamisa and vice-president Tendai Biti with offers to fund them.
This was done before the Botswana elections.
Zim Morning Post is in possession of a leaked conversation between Moti and Botswana opposition leader Duma Boko of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), wherein he instructs him to fly to South Africa in the company of Biti and Chamisa.
In the conversation, Moti asks Boko to invite Biti and Chamisa to his house for a meeting.
“How is Biti? Ask Tendai and Chamisa to come to see me with you. I need to talk problems in Zimbabwe where I lost a lot of money with the government (sic).
“I need to talk to them and see if we can take Zimbabwe over after we take over Botswana.
“The government did me wrong. I helped them with a lot of money and I lost $300 million,” Moti said.
Boko confirmed to Moti that he spoke to Chamisa about the matter in March.
Despite being funded by Moti, Boko’s UDC party went on to lose two seats this year. In the 2014 national elections, the party put a surprise performance when it garnered 17 seats in Parliament, with this now reduced to 15 seats
Moti’s bitterness with Mnangagwa’s government stems from allegations that he smuggled out chrome from African Chrome Fields mine in Kwekwe.
He had a joint venture with Petroleum mogul Kudakwashe Tagwirei.
Moti’s operations in Zimbabwe have been under scrutiny, with reports that Moti is a personal friend of ailing vice-president Constantino Chiwenga.
Chiwenga is currently in China on medication and is not able to fight in Moti’s corner, said our source.
His relationship with Mnangagwa is said to have soured after he refused to offer him his private jet in 2017 when his life was in danger following his sacking as vice-president by the late former President Robert Mugabe.
“Mnangagwa and Moti enjoyed a good relationship because when Moti came into Zimbabwe with the view of investing in Midlands, he was assisted by ED.
“So in times of need , Moti turned his back on him because he feared Mugabe’s wrath,” explained our source.
Moti is on record showering praises on Mnangagwa for helping him when he started investing in the country.
“We went into Zimbabwe when Mr Mnangagwa was still in charge of the province. And we went in there looking for investment in the darkest hour. And that’s when we met Emmerson (Mnangagwa), His Excellency, and he really had a very inviting approach to us,” he was quoted as saying.
“There was not a lot of red-tape involved with investing in Zimbabwe at that stage because nobody really wanted to invest…We started to understand Zimbabwe as a Mnangagwa investment, because he was there guiding us in the investment and policies.”
In his quest to get opposition parties into power, Moti sponsored Botswana’s UDC which, however, went on to lose at the recent polls.
In the conversation with Boko, Moti offered at least 5 000 t-shirts to UDC for their campaign and requested a meeting with Boko in South Africa.
“I am sending you 5000 t-Shirts for the launch. Those mother fxxkers (sic) should know that you are the President. I want you to come here.. you do not need to spend more than three hours here,” he said.
Another source said Moti wants to assume a kingmaker role in Southern Africa using his wealth to destabilise the region and expand his business empire.
“He (Moti) wants to be the kingmaker in Southern Africa. That is why he is trying to work with opposition parties in the region. He is currently trying to arrange a meeting with the MDC leadership through the assistance of Boko,” said a source close to him.