Angola: Lonrho secures rice land deal; farmers will be removed
GCM’s Lenigas in the frame
Comment by Roger Moody, Nostromo Research
The name David Lenigas may become increasingly familiar with civil society groups in sub-Saharan Africa, although it isn’t widely known in London, where he resides, wheels, and deals. Along with Gerald Holden (former Barclays Capital’s mining investment supreme) he re-shaped the rump of what used to be one of Africa’s most exploitative natural resources companies, Lonrho (formerly the London and Rhodesia Mining company) into one bearing the same name. It’s registered on the London Aleternative Investment Market (AIM), and he’s its non-executive chair.
Lenigas is also a non-executive director of GCM Resources – the company behind the parlous Phulbari coal project in Bangladesh.
Lenigas recently announced that Lonrho has secured 25,000 hectares of rice paddy in Angola, with similar deals being lined up in Mali and Malawi. Of course he claims this is to feed the local market (and well some of it might).
But he also concedes that small farmers will have to be “relocated” to make way for the scheme.
Lenigas is a colourful, dominating, personality who some might say (but I couldn’t possibly comment) swims in a pool of his own self-importance; he’s even registered  another  company of his as  “Leni Gas & Oil” ;  now that’s vanity for you!,
Lonhro’s website claims it is “servicing western investment and African business”. But we know what usually comes first.
Mr Lenigas obviously wants to re-incarnate the discredited Lonhro of old. So, don’t say we haven’t been warned!.