Diamonds / Industry

Murowa Diamond Mine Owner Dies in Plane Crash


Indian billionaire Harpal Randhawa (pictured), owner of the Murowa diamond mine in Zimbabwe and several other gold and diamond assets, was killed in a plane crash in Zimbabwe’s Mashava region on Sept. 29. He was 60.

According to a statement from RioZim, Murowa’s owner, five others died in the crash of the company-owned plane: Randhawa’s 22-year-old son, Amer; George Sibanda, an executive at RioZim; Vishwanath Pichumone, an accountant said to be on “temporary assignment” in Zimbabwe; Nikhil Mahadik, who worked for Murowa; and Reginald Muchemwa, the plane’s pilot.

Randhawa was chair of GEM (Global Emerging Markets) Holdings, a $4 billion private equity fund he founded in 1993 that is the majority shareholder in RioZim, which purchased the Murowa mine in 2015.

Last year, RioZim bought the Sperrgebiet diamond mine in Namibia. RioZim also produces coal, nickel, and copper.

Randhawa “was not only a remarkable leader but also a cherished friend and mentor to many of us,” said the statement, attributed to RioZim chairman Saleem Beebeejaun. “His unwavering dedication and relentless pursuit of excellence have been the cornerstone of our organization, and his legacy will forever be ingrained in the very essence of the company.

“The board of directors is committed to ensuring a continuity in the running of the business. Over the coming days, we will work closely with the executive team to provide guidance and support as we navigate these turbulent and challenging times.”

Randhawa “was very generous with life advice, and very humble for the wealthy man that he was,” wrote friend Hopewell Chin’ono on X. “Through him I met many people in the business, diplomatic, and political worlds.

“Rest in peace,” Chin’ono concluded, “your works and love for Zimbabwe will be your lasting legacy.”

Local police are working to determine the cause of the crash, according to a report in Zimbabwe’s state-owned newspaper The Herald.

(Photo from LinkedIn)

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By: Rob Bates

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