A tragic and unexpected turn of events saw billionaire Harpal Randhawa and Amer Kabir Sing Randhawa, his 22-year-old son, die in an aircraft crash on the 29th September. This aviation accident not only sent shockwaves throughout Zimbabwe’s business community but also left an indelible impression on the mining sector.

Who was Harpal Randhawa?

Harpal Randhawa was 60 years old when he died. He owned RioZim, an diversified mining firm. His company was a major player in gold, coal and nickel production. Randhawa is not just a successful businessman. Graduate of both ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales), as well as University of London.

What happened on that fateful day?

The white and red Zcam, owned by Murowa Diamond Company, (a subsidiary RioZim), left Harare at 6am on the morning of accident. It was headed to the mine. The journey was cut tragically short when the plane crash just 6km from Mashava. RioZim confirmed the crash in an official statement.

Who else was onboard?

Amer Kabir Singh, Harpal Randhawa’s son was also aboard and tragically lost his life. Amer was 22-years old and an aviation enthusiast who loved flying. However, police have yet to disclose details on any other passengers involved in the accident.

What is the legacy left behind by Harpal Randhawa

Harpal Singh Randhawa wasn’t just a name, he was also a brand. He was the founder and CEO of GEM Holdings, which had a net-worth of $4 Billion by 2023. His influence and reputation was widespread, particularly in Zimbabwe where he held significant mining interests including coal, diamonds and gold.

Randhawa, who founded GEM Holdings back in July 1993 and served as chairman ever since the group’s founding, was the founder of GEM. His expertise was not limited to the mining industry. According to his LinkedIn profile, he spent three years working as a senior adviser at real estate giant Safanad. He also worked for 12 years at Sabre Capital Worldwide as a partner.

What’s next for RioZim Holdings and GEM Holdings

The future of RioZim Holdings and GEM Holdings is in the balance after the tragic death of their owner. Will the companies retain their dominant position on the market without Harpal’s visionary leadership? Only time will tell.

How has Zimbabwe reacted to its loss?

Zimbabwe’s entrepreneurial landscape has been left with a huge void following the death of one its most influential businessmen. Randhawa made a significant contribution to the economy and mining industry of Zimbabwe. This kind of exceptional discernment has left the nation in mourning. Tributes have poured in from everywhere.

Harpal and Amer Randhawa’s untimely deaths serve as an unfortunate reminder that life can turn on us unexpectedly. While mourning an influential business tycoon like him, his legacy will live on in inspiring many more individuals in years to come.


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