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Exiled mogul Mutumwa Mawere seeks redress over 17-year rent losses in Zimbabwe

Exiled Zimbabwean mogul Mutumwa Mawere is seeking redress over 17 years of rent losses in Harare.

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Illustration: Zimbabwe. ©Billionaires.Africa

Exiled Zimbabwean businessman and one-time multimillionaire Mutumwa Mawere is seeking redress after claiming to lose thousands of dollars to a state judiciary manager, who has been collecting rent from his home without making a remittance payment in 17 years.

Afaras Gwaradzimba manages the Shabanie Mashaba Mine (SMM), Zimbabwe’s only asbestos mining company, which Mawere acquired in 1996. The Zimbabwe Mail reported that Gwaradzimba allegedly entered into lease agreements with tenants and collected rent from Mawere’s $450,000 house from 2004 to March 2021.

The real estate in question, which Mawere purchased from his earnings from the World Bank in 1991, are located along Durland Close in Harare’s Mount Pleasant district.

The Zimbabwe Mail cited documents in its custody that allegedly show Gwaradzimba has accepted that he erred and immediately offered to rectify the problem by making sure the rental fees and the home are brought back under Mawere’s control.

Flashback

Mawere, who worked as a senior investment officer with the International Finance Corporation, is revered in the Southern African country for his negotiating prowess. He had vast investments in mining, finance, agriculture, insurance, telecommunications, media, holdings, international trade, logistics and transportation.

He took over SMM, Zimbabwe’s single asbestos producer, without paying a dime, Fingaz reported. He allegedly has the backing of influential politicians who doled out government facilities to him, hoping they would have him on a leash.

Fingaz added that: “…his deal-making dexterity saw Mawere acquiring a significant stake in high-flying assets such as Schweppes Limited, CFI Holdings, and ZimRe Holdings, General Beltings, Steelnet, Turnall, Fidelity Life, NicozDiamond, First Banking Corporation, Ukubambana Kubatana Investments, FSI Holdings, Tube and Pipe, Textbook Sales, First Tel and Hastt Zimbabwe.” At one point in time, the country’s economy practically revolved around him.

In 2003, he fell out of favor with Zimbabwe’s political decision-makers when he rejected his appointment in absentia as the ruling party’s provincial secretary in the Masvingo Province. 

Mawere said at the time: “I did not know anything about those elections. Why should a person be elected to a post without his or her knowledge? The decision to give me the post without even consulting me only succeeded in throwing me into speculative limelight, and this cannot be fair.” 

In 2004, Mawere’s conglomerate came under government investigation and he faced allegations of prejudicing (harming) the state of more than $300 billion. 

Although he prevailed against his extradition request to Zimbabwe in a South African magistrate’s court, his conglomerate suffered.

Following a presidential decree, significant parts of his businesses came under state control. According to Mawere, Zimbabwe used his businesses’ funds to repay IMF bonds. Mawere’s current net worth is unknown as of the time of this writing.

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South African billionaire Johann Rupert-linked SEACOM partners with BT Group

Seacom is privately funded and 75 percent African-owned.

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Johann Rupert. ©Billionaires.Africa

SEACOM has announced a strategic alliance with UK telecommunications service provider BT Group as it prepares to enter the African enterprise cybersecurity market.

SEACOM is a leading pan-African telecom services provider linked to South Africa’s richest man Johann Rupert.

The partnership aligns with SEACOM’s plans to expand its portfolio of services targeting African businesses. By leveraging BT Group’s infrastructure and expertise, SEACOM hopes to secure its own infrastructure and deliver new networking and security solutions to African businesses.

“With SEACOM’s global network and local presence and BT’s global reach and expertise, we will be able to deliver a comprehensive portfolio of cloud, security, and connectivity services that are reliable, scalable, and at the cutting-edge of the industry,” Oliver Fortuin, CEO of SEACOM, said.

BT Group, which protects some of the world’s largest organizations from cyber threats through a dedicated network of security operations centers around the world, announced that SEACOM customers will gain access to BT Group’s Cloud Security Incident Event Management (SIEM) platform.

The SIEM platform provides real-time visibility and monitoring across an organization’s entire IT environment, acting as an additional layer of security to SEACOM’s existing ICT solutions.

Seacom, which bills itself as Africa’s most extensive ICT infrastructure provider, is privately funded and 75-percent African-owned, with Rupert’s investment holding Remgro owning 30 percent of the company.

South African mining magnate Patrice Motsepe owns a 15-percent stake in the pan-African telecom services provider through his financial services conglomerate, Sanlam.

Jubilee Holdings, a Kenyan investment holding backed by Aga Khan IV (Shah Karim al-Husayni), increased its stake in SEACOM from 8.8 to 18.8 percent earlier this year after acquiring an additional 10-percent stake in the company.

According to Nizar Juma, chairman of Jubilee Holdings, the transaction will strengthen the company’s ability to diversify its investment priorities across major sectors of the economy.

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South African tech tycoon Zak Calisto gains $166 million in four weeks

Calisto is one of Africa’s richest tech entrepreneurs.

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South African tech tycoon Zak Calisto.

As the frenzy returns to equity markets, shares in Karooooo Limited have risen recently by double digits due to sustained buying interest as investors bet on tech stocks trading at all-time lows.

Karooooo Limited is a mobility platform led by South African businessman Zak Calisto.

As a result of the recent market surge, the value of Calisto’s 74.7-percent stake in Karooooo has increased by $166 million in the past 27 days to well above $640 million.

Calisto, who founded Karooooo and grew it into an international provider of smart transportation management solutions, is one of South Africa’s wealthiest men and one of Africa’s richest tech entrepreneurs.

As of press time on Aug. 10, the company’s shares were trading at $27.85 per share, up from their opening price of $26.98 per share earlier this week. The Singapore-based mobility platform’s market capitalization is presently $860 million.

The company’s shares have increased from a price of $20.65 to $27.85 at the time of writing this report, representing a 34.87-percent gain for patient investors since July 14.

The market value of Calisto’s shareholding in Karooooo has increased from $477.6 million on July 14 to $644.1 million at the time of writing, representing a $166-million gain for the tech tycoon.

The renewed buying interest in Karooooo’s shares can be attributed to investor reactions to the company’s double-digit increase in earnings in the first quarter of its 2023 fiscal year.

According to its recently published first quarter results, the Singapore-based global mobility SaaS platform’s profit increased by 44 percent to R156 million ($9.37 million), up from R108 million ($6.48 million) in the first quarter of 2022.

Earnings increased by double digits due to the higher revenue generated during the period, as the company’s total subscriber base surpassed 1.5 million, up from less than 1.4 million a year ago.

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South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe’s net worth slumps by $400 million as rand tumbles

Despite his declining net worth, Motsepe remains one of South Africa’s richest men.

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Patrice Motsepe. ©Billionaires.Africa

South African billionaire businessman Patrice Motsepe’s net worth has plummeted by millions of dollars since the start of the year due to a decline in the value of the South African rand against the U.S. dollar.

The tumbling of South Africa’s national currency has significantly impacted the market value of Motsepe’s mining and financial services companies.

One of Africa’s richest businessmen and the wealthiest Black billionaire in Southern Africa, Motsepe has seen his net worth fall by $400 million since the year began — from $3.1 billion to $2.7 billion at the time of writing.

The majority of his net worth is derived from his 39.7-percent stake in African Rainbow Minerals (ARM), a South African mining company he founded in 1997. Motsepe also owns a substantial shareholding in Ubuntu-Botho Investments and African Rainbow Capital.

Motsepe’s stake in the mining firm, which has positions in a variety of mines including iron, coal, copper, gold, and other precious metals, was valued at $1.16 billion at the close of trading on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange on Tues., Aug. 9, significantly lower than its value of $1.3 billion at the start of this year.

His recent wealth loss puts him in the ranks of those African billionaires whose net worth has dropped by more than $300 million this year, including Ethiopia’s richest man Mohammed Al-Amoudi, South African billionaire Johann Rupert, Zimbabwean tech tycoon Strive Masiyiwa, and Swazi billionaire businessman Natie Kirsh.

The sharp depreciation of the rand, which has impacted the market valuation of his companies, most of which are based in South Africa, comes on the heels of a recent surge in demand for the U.S. dollar, as investors seek the safety of the greenback in an era of high economic uncertainty.

Despite his declining net worth, Motsepe remains not only one of South Africa’s richest men, but also one of the continent’s wealthiest billionaires.

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