By Staff Reporter
Zimbabwe’s Honorary Consular to Belarus and a close ally of President Emmerson Mnangagwa Belarusian businessman Aleksandr Zingman who was arrested in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) recently said his business deals with President Emmerson Mnangagwa are clean.
Zingman was at the centre of Zimbabwe’s US$58 million agricultural equipment deal with Belarus in 2019 and a comprehensive US$350 million trade arrangement between the two countries.
The Belarusian who owns AFTRADE said contrary to media reports he was not into arms dealing but agriculture and mining equipment which has seen Zimbabwean companies benefitting soon after President Mnangagwa came to Belarus.
“It is also absolutely right I am Honorary Consular of Zimbabwe in the Republican of Belarus I am the one who conducted business activities of Zimbabwe in Belarus,” he told journalists at a press conference on Wednesday night in Harare soon after landing.
“I am a businessman who is in agriculture and mining in many African countries.
“I am not a President of any country; I do not invite Presidents of any sovereign country to come to my country.
“Mr President Emmerson Mnangagwa was invited by the President of Belarus to visit that country for bilateral relations because I am the country’s Consular of Zimbabwe in Belarus and I was meeting President ED Mnangagwa during his official visits.”
Zingman said the details of his meetings with President Mnangagwa had been made public.
“All the agenda of this visit was fully distributed in the media and I can official confirm not even one meeting, not even a visit to a military factory or military discussion was done during his visit in Republic of Belarus,” he said.
“I am ready to share the agenda of his visit even it happened two years ago, it was agricultural, it was logistic factoring, factors that manufacture tractors, silos and gran machinery.
“It was a special political meeting between the two Presidents and it was a special meeting for mining where President Mnangagwa was shocked with what he saw in terms of machinery.”
Zingman said the visit had also benefitted companies including Hwange Colliery and ZCDC mining company.
“Very cost-effective mining equipment, agriculture tractors and now being successfully distributed in the field of agriculture of Zimbabwe,” he said.
“This is the reason why he visited Belarus and what happened after that is benefitting the people of Zimbabwe.”
Mnangagwa is also close to Belarus’ long-time authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko.
Zingman was arrested and spend 12 days ago in DRC soon after meeting former president Joseph Kabila and accused of arms dealing with the ex-DRC leader.