Monday, March 16, 2009

Corruption in Zimbabwe and Zvinavashe (0ld report)

From SA Sunday Independent, dated 20 April 2000.

...It is widely accepted in Zimbabwe opposition circles that one of the reasons President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party are trying so desperately to cling to power is the fear of exposure.

"Only when we get into government and get to the books - as the Nigerians did - will we be able to get a clearer idea of how much has disappeared," an MDC official said....the chief economist of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions had estimated the cost of corruption in the past three years alone at a billion US dollars - half of Zimbabwe's annual export income...

The government has also dismissed charges of corruption involving the Osleg company headed by General Vitalis Zvinavashe, the military chief, and Job Whabira, the permanent secretary for defence.

Osleg was formed in 1998 and is in partnership with Comiex, a Congolese company run by President Laurent Kabila's military chiefs. Its expressed aim is to trade in gold and diamonds.

When Osleg was formed, Moven Mohachi, the Zimbabwe defence minister, noted: "Instead of our army in Congo burdening the treasury for more resources, which are not available, it embarks on viable projects for the sake of generating the necessary revenue."

The Zimbabwe military hoped to raise $5-million a month through Osleg. However, the diamonds appear to have been mined and sold and most of the money has apparently vanished.

Zvinavashe's commercial involvement also extends beyond Osleg. He and his brother Augustine, who died last month, owned Swift Investments which, in its turn, owns Zvinavashe Transport. The transport company has been a major beneficiary of military contracts to supply Zimbabwe's forces in Congo...

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