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Indian tycoon, son among six killed in Zimbabwe plane crash

IANS | October 02, 2023 11:25 AM

HARARE: An Indian billionaire, with vast gold, diamonds and coal mining interests in Zimbabwe, and his son were among six individuals who tragically lost their lives in a plane crash in the southern African nation.

Harpal Randhawa, the owner of RioZim, an integrated mining and metallurgical company, was flying from capital Harare to the Murowa diamond mine in southwestern Zimbabwe when the plane crashed on September 29, state-run Sunday Times newspaper reported.

The light aircraft, which reportedly belonged to RioZim, crashed in the Zvamahande area of Mashava, killing all six onboard -- four foreigners and two Zimbabweans, police said.

The mid-air crash is suspected to have been caused by a mechanical fault.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police reports a plane crash which occurred on September 29 between 7.30 a.m. and 8 a.m., where six people are confirmed dead, ” police said.

They said that the "white and red Zcam aircraft had left Harare for the mine at 6 a.m. and crashed about 6 km from Mashava”.

RioZim, which was previously part of the British-Australian mining group Rio Tinto, confirmed the crash and said it was working with relevant authorities to gather more information.

Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, the spokesperson for the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), told local media that they were still in the process of collecting additional details.

Randhawa is also the founder of the $4 billion private equity firm GEM Holdings.

Journalist and filmmaker Hopewell Chin’ono said he is "deeply saddened" by the passing of Randhawa.

"He was very generous with life advice, and very humble for the wealthy man that he was. Through him I met many people in the business, diplomatic, and political worlds, " Chin’ono, who met Randhawa in 2017 via a mutual friend, wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

"Rest in Peace, your works and love for Zimbabwe will be your lasting legacy".

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