Sunday, October 11, 2009

mugabe seen at Harrods.....Mnangagwa and Billy Rautenbach take over Zim Plat mines

A protestor wearing a mask which resembles the face of Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe stands outside Harrods retail store in London on October 10, 2009. The protestor was part of the human rights organisation Zimbabwe Vigil. The group was calling for the British goverment and European Union to suspend government to government aid to all 14 South African Development community (SADC) countries until Zimbabwe's human rights record is improved.


George Chirikure: Prof Moyo attempting the impossibl.


It did not need Zimbabweans to be rocket scientists in order to see how desperate Zanu PF were particularly in the information and propaganda section ever since they were humiliated in March/08.

The geriatric Nathan Shamayarira is just but gone, Ephraim Masawi could not inspire even goats at his grabbed farm and known criminal Charles Ndlovu (now Webster Shamu) who was a liberation news presenter for the Voce of Zimbabwe in Maputo sooner than later discovered that spinning the dictator’s wrath is untenable in a country yawning for freedom.

Zanu PF diehards opposed to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) and Inclusive Government (IG) tried their political commissar Nathaniel Manheru (George Charamba) to double as propaganda chief without desired success.

They later on experimented with Caesar Zvayi, a Herald Editor to fill in the role of Manheru but the results were either uninspiring or disasterous.

As for Tafataona Mahoso, he did everything to sing for his support, recycling old fashioned Marxism – Leninism, but his writings are not that eye catching. Fortunately for him he got his job back somehow.

When I wrote a previous article justifying my opinion on the reality that Professor Jonathan Moyo has in fact gone back to his roots Zanu PF well before his announced “return of the marc”, I did not know that he had by then submitted a letter requesting re-admission.

This time Professor Moyo is trying the impossible. He is trying to kill 3 birds with one stone. Firstly he wants to destroy the MDC by soiling its political image by claiming the party is a dishonest, unpatriotic and immature organization which can not be trusted by Zimbabweans to take charge of the country’s destiny.

Secondly he wants to pacify Zanu PF’s warring factions who are engaged in a very divisive and self destructive succession battle, something that has worked in favour of the MDC in March/08.

By raising the tempo through his unfounded allegations of an imminent regime change by the MDC, Moyo has managed to win back the soul and heart of President Mugabe and his hardline backers, underlining the reason why he was “re-admitted” into Zanu PF without hassle.

This strategy is meant to divert the immediate concern of the Zanu PF warring factions ahead of the December Congress so that President Mugabe can be unanimously endorsed without the fist fights that have become a daily novella during elective conferences, thereby tying well with his new found love for President Mugabe to die in office just like his 3 vice presidents.

Thirdly, Moyo, who often mistakes his wayward self inflicting convictions for real world social – economic and political dynamics, is doing everything to hoodwink the politically unintelligent military commanders and tired Zanu PF geriatrics in the politburo in order to make them believe that their party can be redeemed at the next election.

We all know that Moyo’s job to win back the admiration and support of failed Zanu PF politicians is being made easier by the fact that lot of them, are known political, economic and social criminals in every respect and therefore, their fear for possible democratic regime change is so strong.

Ironically Professor Moyo was the leading sponsor of this divisive succession struggle in the past with his Tsholotsho Succession Strategy or Declaration.

Furthermore Moyo fails to understand that it is not Zanu PF succession struggles that would determine whether President Mugabe dies in office or not, but off course a free and fair election.

Professor Moyo fully knows that he has no place in the heart and soul of Zimbabweans. He knows that his sterile and recycled propaganda has no takers any more. He knows the best option for him for now.

Thus his spin has to be one that crystallizes and converges, the desires, wishes, sentiments and fears of the unknown of the Zanu PF diehards. Whether Moyo will be successful in cowing and rallying Zanu PF diehards towards a united front ahead of general elections in 2011 or not time will tell.

Moyo’s articles on the so called Prime Minister’s parallel government, top up salaries for non civil servants in the PM’s office and his ferocious accusations about regime change plot are not basically popular issues which will make Zanu PF a favoured political party.

They are simply meant to pant up emotions in the hearts and minds of Zanu PF hardliners with the ultimate goal of winning a free rein again once he is back in the fold.

Thus if you are an army deserter and you are captured again you have to prove beyond any shadow of doubt that you have really switched loyalty.

Professor Moyo’s intention by repeating stale propaganda about regime change is to harden the sentiments of his fellow diehards in Zanu PF against the MDC and IG and is “cleverly” trying to divert the attention of feuding factions from the succession debate.

For a political party tottering on the brink of self destruction, people like Moyo who are good at springing up political tricks which tired and gullible Zanu PF geriatrics are quick to consider as innovative and redeeming, must be credited for such initiatives though futile and too late into the night.

Meanwhile, the “re – admission” of Moyo by Zanu PF is tied to other concrete strategies already being implemented by Zanu PF, among them the re-hiring of media hangman Mahoso and other retired military men, ahead of coming elections.


KMAL saga reveals new level of lawlessness.

On Saturday, 10 October 2009, an article: “KMAL saga: TM Cleared” was published by the Herald informing the public and investor community that the government of Zimbabwe (GOZ) had revoked the specification of TM Supermarkets, a subsidiary of Kingdom Meikles Africa (KMAL).

“KMAL saga: TM Cleared”

It is significant that in the same article that it was reported that more evidence of corruption against companies and individuals linked to the major shareholder of the group, Mr. John Moxon, had been unearthed.

The above-mentioned statement was attributed to Mr. Jacob Gonese who represented himself as Acting Principal Director in the Ministry of Anti-Corruption and Anti-Monopolies fully fixed with the knowledge that in the framework of the inclusive government no such ministry exists.

To the extent that the reporter and the editor of the Herald, a newspaper that is state controlled, found no problem with accepting the position that a person representing a non-existent Ministry can have the authority to make such profound and far reaching statements, exposes the gravity of the Zimbabwean crisis and its seemingly intractable nature.

Accepting that Mr Jacob Gonese may very well have no legal standing to make the kind of representations that he is alleged to have made, it is startling that notwithstanding the fact that the co-Ministers of Home Affairs who appointed separate investigators pursuant to the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA), Mr. Gonese whose role in the KMAL affair is not clear was reported to have said: "Investigators have also unearthed further alleged acts of corruption on the part of the (following) companies and persons: Andrew Lane Mitchell, Kingdom Meikles Limited, Tanganda Tea and Company (Pvt) Ltd, Thomas Meikles Centre (Pvt) Ltd and Murlis Investments (Pvt) Ltd."

The authority of the co-Ministers of Home Affairs to issue the specification order is already under judicial review and yet it appears that the Investigators appointed pursuant to the operation of the disputed order are not only already at work but in truth and fact report to Mr. Gonese, person not mentioned in the specification order.

There is no disclosure in the said article about the connection between Mr. Gonese and the dubiously appointed investigators let alone an interrogation into the kind of constitutional democratic order that would produce this kind of confusion.

Surely, people who purport to represent a higher moral order; must be underpinned by legitimate authority. The anti-corruption function of the state no longer has a home and there is nothing that can be done to authenticate the specification and de-specification of people using state organs not vested with the authority to do so.

Notwithstanding, Mr. Gonese is reported to have said: "In order to curtail any further prejudice to the taxpayers the last shareholders’ meeting was barred to enable the finalization of investigations into attempts to sweep an alleged case involving the externalization of US$22 million by Mr Moxon, under the carpet. The co-ministers are naturally unhappy about the gravity of the allegations and have given directives to the investigators to get to the bottom of the case and the investigators are doing their work professionally."

It is important that we attempt to analyze the full import of the above statement as it raises interesting and fundamental legal and commercial issues.

Mr. Gonese is essentially justifying the intervention by the state in the holding of an emergency shareholders meeting duly called in accordance with the Companies Act on the grounds that holding such a meeting would further prejudice the taxpayers without explaining precisely how taxpayers’ interest feature in matter involving shareholders exercising their constitutional right to make decisions on behalf of companies in which they have interests.

What kind of political morality would justify the state’s purported interest to override the constitutional rights of shareholders? Do shareholders still have the sovereign right to make choices under the inclusive government?

Mr. Gonese further makes the allegation that if the general meeting of shareholders were to be held before the conclusion of the investigations, then this would be tantamount to "sweeping" the alleged externalization charge under the carpet. Whose carpet, one may ask?

As if he is the spokesman for the co-ministers, Mr. Gonese makes the case that the co-ministers are unhappy not with the fact that the state is interfering in a purely commercial matter but about the purported gravity of the untested allegations.

In any democratic society, no one would expect a state actor to be unhappy about matters that involve the interests of private actors.

What is being alleged is that the proceeds generated in the disposal of certain assets situated in a foreign state have not yet been remitted to Zimbabwe and, therefore, that non remittance constitutes a criminal conduct on the part of not all shareholders but the former Chairman of the company who also happens to be a major shareholder of the company.

It is common cause that the funds in question are the exclusive property of KMAL and not the state. The state’s interest in the funds could only conceivably be in the taxes due and payable but the principal amount whether in a foreign or domestic account is and must be the property of the owner i.e. the company and definitely not the state. The only legitimate way for the state to access such funds is to make Zimbabwe an attractive investment destination by respecting property rights and observing the rule of law.

Would it have been in the interests of the company to remit such proceeds to Zimbabwe at a time when it is commonly acknowledged that there exists a crisis whose resolution lies outside the control of private actors?

Mr. Gonese then made the case that the specified persons could present their evidence to prove their innocence if they so wished.

What kind of political morality would make it discretionary on the part of the accused to prove their innocence? Should the state not presume the accused to be innocent until proven guilty by a court of law?

Until the startling revelation by Mr Gonese that it is "hot air" to claim that the decision to specify KMAL was not made by the inclusive government as maintained by the MDC-T and following the widely publicized comment by Minister Mutsekwa, the general public was and is legitimately entitled to assume that the co-Ministers of Home Affairs are at loggerheads over the specification issue as it undermines the credibility and integrity of the new dispensation.

To the extent that any rational mind that wishes Zimbabwe well would expect the kind of culture that preceeded the formation of the inclusive government to end, it is remarkable that Mr. Gonese had this to say: "The hot air surrounding this case does not surprise this office or that of my co-ministers who have co-operated well as politicians. In this particular case, like in all others, the co-ministers are behind each other every step of the way."

How can co-Ministers of Home Affairs be Mr. Gonese’s supervisors when it is common cause that the administration of the PCA has not been assigned to the Ministry of Home Affairs?

If there were people in doubt about the values, beliefs and principles informing the inclusive government, Mr. Gonese has provided the answer.

He pointed out that the co-ministers are guided by sustained consultations and, indeed, the decision to specify KMAL was in the national interest. Accordingly, using this reasoning, the enforcement of the order is justifiable.

As if Mr Gonese is completely oblivious to the many examples in which the specification route has been used to undermine private property rights, he made the case that the specification of the companies and individuals was not implemented so that Government could take over the entities concerned, but rather to create conditions for the smooth and legal operation of business.

I can only remind Mr. Gonese that in May 2004, a warrant for my arrest was issued by the Zimbabwe Republic Police that then paved the way for the GOZ to apply for my extradition in South Africa. When the extradition application was dismissed in South Africa, 9 days later, Minister Chinamasa issued a specification order in terms of the PCA.

On 13 August 2004, Assistant Commissioner Mangoma was appointed as my Investigator. On 26 August 2004, CFI Holdings Limited (CFI), a listed company on the ZSE was also specified in conjunction with other companies deemed to be associated with me. Mr. Saruchera was appointed as Investigator of the companies.

At the time of specification, the shareholding of CFI and Zimre Holdings Limited (ZHL) was different from what it is today. The difference can only be due to the effect of the specification order. Mr. Gonese will no doubt find out that the GOZ is now the controlling shareholder of ZHL.

How did the GOZ come to be the controlling shareholder? He will understand that without the assistance of the PCA, the control of both ZHL and Zimre would not have changed.

If this is the case, Mr. Gonese must accept that the public is not naïve and more importantly Mr. Moxon is and must also be alive to the real dangers of trusting a government that has not only already shown that the concept of self help is not inimical to the rule of law but that it can achieve its ulterior motives through the assistance of unjust laws and unconstitutional conduct. How can the state be a judge unto its own cause? It has no shares in KMAL? However, it must be obvious to Mr. Gonese that state power is being rented to improve the bargaining power of the "chosen" people. Should state power be used in this manner? Can Mr. Gonese be allowed to make untested allegations without the involvement of the courts?

What Mr. Gonese may also not know is that the Zimbabwean judiciary has so far not only turned a blind eye at numerous attempts by victims of this kind of tyranny but has creatively sought to use the courts to give life to the abuse by refusing to deal with the merits of the cases choosing to use technicalities to dismiss any legal challenge.

When Mr. Gonese says: "Government is in no way taking over these companies but simply trying to cure them of their mischief" one is forced to accept the general proposition that when the wheels are off the remedy may not lie in targeting the head of the fish but in better understanding the true extent of the decay of the political and economic morality as this will naturally focus people’s attention beyond personalities to the core of what is clearly a systemic problem.

Mr. Gonese who evidently has not done his research or he is naïve goes on to say: "In fact, specification does not and should not affect the day-to-day operations of these going concerns but the same provides for a period during which specified companies must account for their alleged corrupt actions to appointed investigators and once stolen or externalized resources are returned, an affected entity will not stay specified for a minute longer."

I was specified in July 2004 and after 5 years; Messrs. Mangoma, Saruchera and Gwaradzimba (appointed to give life to the expropriation agenda) have yet to produce reports that deal with the merits of the original allegation but evidently Gwaradzimba is richer today because of state intervention.

Surely, Mr. Gonese must tell the public the truth if, indeed, he is the most senior state actor responsible for anti-corruption, albeit, with no ministry to house his obsolete department.

Before commenting irresponsibly on the KMAL affair, perhaps he should start by commenting on his decision to ignore the evidence confirming that the allegations that I externalized funds were baseless.

Indeed, Mr. Gonese appears to have taken the view that he can be the judge, jury and executioner and anyone who has critically reviewed the statements attributed to him will not be mistaken to conclude that he is doing a hatchet job to defend the indefensible.

We now know that the government no longer has the burden to amend the constitution as it can deprive citizens of their rights using instruments like PCA and reconstruction.

With people like Mr. Gonese in government, who is safe?


Zimbabwean Platinum mines.

Harare - Zimbabwe's ZMDC has said CAMEC, a company linked to Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and his business partner Billy Rautenbach, holds the legitimate mineral rights to the disputed Bougai and platinum reserves.

The Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation is now run by members of the Central Intelligence Organisation and reporting to JOC said Central African Mining and Exploration Company, an associate shareholder in Todal Mining, holds the legitimate mineral rights to the disputed Bougai and platinum reserves, near Gweru, along Zimbabwe's Great Dyke mineral belt.

As chair of the Joint Operations Command (JOC), which brings together the security chiefs, Mnangagwa holds a powerful and influential position, and he is long-touted as Robert Mugabe’s potential successor.

Controversial Zimbabwean businessman Billy Rautenbach, used to be a major shareholder in Aim-listed Central African Mining and Exploration (Camec), which owns copper mining properties in the DRC.

A top legal official in the Democratic Republic of Congo withdrew a key licence held by Camec, the mining group a day after the company launched a hostile all-share takeover of its rival Katanga Mining.

Camec was founded and run by former England test cricketer Phil Edmonds, who has a number of other African interests in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), as well as other interests in Mozambique, Mali and Zimbabwe.

In September 2009, an Israel company Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC), a London-based Kazakh miner, announced that it had agreed to buy Camec, for as much as £584m.

ZMDC's latest comments are well timed as Zimbabwean parliament will soon debate legal reforms in the mining sector which are urgently needed by Zimbabwean secretive Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and his foreign business Associates, to allow them unfattered access to mineral rights of the World's second largest platinum deposits after Russia.

The Movement for Democratic Change and its unsophisticated leadership, has a majority in Parliament but they will be used to rubber stamp legislation which will literally hand over Emmerson Mnangagwa and his associates control of the country's mineral resources in the name of attracting foreign investment.

Robert Mugabe has opened a new session of parliament which officials say will consider amendments to the Mines and Minerals Act and a bill governing the operations of the central bank.

The Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation's latest comments come in the wake of a reported legal dispute simmering between CAMEC, 60 percent shareholder in Todal Investments, and Kameni, a shadowy unlisted mining company based in South Africa.

Sources said, Kameni is backed by another rival Zanu PF faction headed by General Solomon Mujuru.
The local State enterprise, ZMDC, the original holder of rights to the mineral reserves before a partnership with Lesever, now controls 40 percent of Todal while Lesever, owned by CAMEC, holds the remaining 60 percent.

CAMEC said it paid over US$205 million in cash and shares for its stake in Todal.

Foreign companies with operations in Zimbabwe include Angloplat, Implats and Rio Tinto, majority owner in the country's biggest diamond mine.

In 2008, Kameni widely advertised that it controlled Bougai. In its marketing messages, Kameni claimed that its subsidiary Mid-Ma Platinum, 74,9 percent held by Pomachan, a 100 percent subsidiary of Kameni, holds Bougai.

In December 2008 Kameni announced plans to raise R6,5 billion (about US$630 million) on the Johannesburg bourse, by mid-2010, "the funds being intended to build platinum and chrome mines in South Africa and Zimbabwe".
Early this year, Kameni further announced that "it had raised R300 million -- its minimum capital raising requirement, in seed capital raising to fund its exploration programme in South Africa and Zimbabwe".

Kameni advised further that its "two major assets -- the near-surface PGM (platinum group metal) Kalkfontein Project in South Africa and the surface PGM and chrome Bougai Project in Zimbabwe -- lend themselves to rapid exploration, development and cash-generating mining".

However, ZMDC chief executive Dominic Mubaiwa said the issue of Bougai platinum reserves was not just about recognising who owns the Bougai platinum, but was about who holds legitimate rights to the minerals.
"It is not a question of recognising who owns the mineral. It is very clear who has the mining title to the properties. ZMDC went into a joint venture with Todal, based on the mineral rights held by ZMDC (over Bougai).

"The mineral rights to Bougai and Kironde are held by Todal through a joint venture with Lesever, which is owned by CAMEC," said Mr Mubaiwa.

Contacted for comment on the dispute over Bougai Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu said there was only one legitimate holder of the mining title to the disputed assets, but declined to say who that was.

"The ministry knows who the legitimate owner of the mineral rights is and those with disputes should come to Government for solutions," said Minister Mpofu.

Kameni has reportedly insisted that it is the rightful owner of the Bougai platinum reserves and also claimed that it has supporting documentation.

Kameni, in its capital raising marketing campaigns has repeatedly stated that it controls the Bougai platinum reserves.

Despite a full-blown dispute in the background, Kameni's seed raising continued.

Late last year Todal's managing director Mr Walter Shamu wrote to the mining commissioner, Gweru, expressing alarm that Kameni's Mid-Ma was apparently claiming rights "over mining claims already granted to Todal".

Kameni has claimed in the media that Bougai was sold twice adding that: "as we have said to you at least twice now, the matter has been referred back to the appropriate authority, the Zimbabwean Ministry of Mines, for clarification and Kameni is confident of an outcome in its favour".

"Mr Rautenbach and Emmerson Mnangagwa have amassed a large number of mineral and other assets in the DRC during the civil war and subsequently. We also believe that South African politicians have been introduced to this network by these two," one source said.

In another development, a $800-million coal mine deal, which has been on the cards for years, is set to take off, following the signing of a deal between the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) and Mnangagwa and Billy Rautenbach's Clidder Minerals.

It involves the construction of a coal mine in the Hwange western coalfield, owned by Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), a power-generating subsidiary of Zesa, and two power units at Hwange power station.

Zesa, through ZPC, will hold a “yet to be disclosed but minority shareholding” in the venture. Clidder, an investment vehicle owned by businessperson Billy Rautenbach, will be the majority equity holder.

“Billy Rautenbach will have the majority stake in the joint venture and government, through Zesa, will be the minority shareholder,” says a source.

Currently, Clidder Minerals mines coal at Hwange colliery under a contract.

Zesa CEO Ben Rafemoyo has declined to comment on the latest developments.


Camec JV to launch platinum mine in Zimbabwe.

HARARE - London-listed Central African Mining & Exploration Co Plc (Camec) said on Thursday its joint venture company in Zimbabwe would launch a platinum mine in the country, producing 400 000 oz annually in six years.

Phase one of the mine will require about $250-million to start producing 160 000 oz/y, Gordon Thompson, Camec's chief operating officer told Reuters at a mining conference.

He said the joint venture company was about to get a licence to start building the initial phase of the mine.

Thompson said Camec owns 60% in the joint-venture firm, Todal Mining, while the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation owns the rest.

"We have got a big ore body and we intend to tackle it in three phases," Thompson said.

"The three phases will be ready within six years, and the entire project will produce 400 000 oz/y," he said.

"This is our first attempt in Zimbabwe, we are very encouraged by what we have heard here in the past two days," he said referring to the mining conference.

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe set out in a speech on Wednesday to calm fears that mines could be expropriated. The country passed a nationalisation law in 2007, paving the way for the government to seize majority shareholding in mines, in some instances without paying a cent.

Zimbabwe is holding the conference as part of efforts by a new power-sharing government to attract mining companies to invest into a sector shunned by foreign investors over fears that their businesses could be expropriated.

Following the collapse of commercial agriculture, mining has emerged as the top foreign currency earner, with gold alone raking in a third of total export earnings.

Thompson declined to comment on a move by Kazakh mining group ENRC to acquire Camec for about $950-million and expand into mineral-rich Africa.

The move by ENRC, one of the world's biggest ferrochrome producers, might spark a bidding battle with Chinese parties seeking to lock in supplies of cobalt, analysts said.

Buying Camec would allow ENRC to expand into mineral rich Africa, where Camec has cobalt and coal operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a stake in the Bokia platinum project in Zimbabwe, a bauxite operation in Mali, and a stake in a flourspar operation in South Africa.


Rautenbach is a major shareholder in the opaque shareholdings of Camec, which has periodically talked up its share price in London and made some public statements about operations which contradicted the reality. Its assets are far fewer than regularly reported in the British press, and at present it has only one which is active, in Katanga province of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Rautenbach is on the US and EU sanctions list, which means he cannot travel there nor can citizens of those countries trade with him, but he bankrolls some of Camec's activities in Zimbabwe, and uses a Camec-connected company's bank account at Jyske Bank, in British crown colony Gibraltar.

South Africa's prosecuting authority applied for Rautenbach's extradition from Zimbabwe more than two years ago for trial on massive customs fraud in SA, but this request was ignored by the former Zanu-PF government.

Rautenbach has just completed drilling tests in platinum sites in central Zimbabwe wrested from Anglo Platinum by the former government last year.

CAMEC CEO Andrew Groves, schooled in KwaZulu-Natal, confirmed the company had paid President Robert Mugabe $100 million (R7.9 billion) for the concessions which Anglo Plats was forced to hand over to protect the development of its platinum mine in central Zimbabwe.

It was this money, several top MDC leaders claim, which helped fund the election violence last year in which about 200 MDC supporters were killed and hundreds injured.

Extraordinarily, Rautenbach has been given access, via a majority share in a new company, Cutstar Investments (Pvt Ltd), to more than 300 000ha of Nuanetsi Ranch bought by Nkomo in 1989 and held in a trust to promote black agriculture.

Dozens of smaller-scale black ranchers have established herds of beef cattle on Nuanetsi and they told Channel 4 Rautenbach was harassing them. They claimed their operations were at risk, that their fences were torn down and their water supplies interrupted.

Rancher Moffat Ndou told Channel 4 journalist Aidan Hartley: "We were invited to a meeting at (Nuanetsi) ranch headquarters. At this meeting we had Billy Rautenbach, we had the managing director of Nuanetsi ranch and we were then informed that Nuanetsi ranch had got into a joint venture.

"He (Rautenbach) said (to us) 'what part of f**k off do you not understand?'"

Another rancher, Terry Mkowa, also resisting eviction efforts, said: "He (Rautenbach says he is well-connected... you cannot do anything to me. I am a powerful man."

The pro-Zanu-PF Sunday Mail ran a full front page on July 19 headlined "Mega bucks project", which claimed a mystery investor was pumping $1 billion into Nuanetsi and part of the development would be the establishment of 100 000ha of sugar cane to be turned into ethanol to reduce Zimbabwe's fuel bill.

However, water experts say there is not enough water to support so much sugar. "Even if all local water available was dammed, there wouldn't be nearly enough, so this project is just talk," said a veteran farmer.

Rautenbach is the "mystery investor". He went into the DRC to take over state mining company Gecamines when Mugabe's troops entered the war there in 1998, but was sacked by late DRC president Laurent Kabila, who accused him of stealing the state's share of the cobalt joint venture.

After Kabila's assassination, Rautenbach went on to develop a cobalt site given to him by the DRC, but was deported two years ago. He sold his DRC assets to CAMEC and continues to run its one cobalt mining project from Harare, say some of his staffers.

CAMEC says it has frozen Rautenbach's shareholding in the company, because Rautenbach is on the sanctions list, but its operations in Zimbabwe, at least in platinum drilling, are organised by Rautenbach and financed from the Yske Bank account in Gibraltar, belonging to one of its subsidiaries.

The results of the drilling of Anglo Plats's former concessions produced predictably good results, but mining insiders say it would take several years and hundreds of millions of rands of investment before CAMEC could produce any platinum.

Rautenbach claims he has made good contacts with the MDC since the formation of the inclusive government. Two important members, Finance Minister Tendai Biti and deputy agriculture minister designate, Roy Bennett, don't seem to agree.

"What I know of him is not complimentary. I wouldn't want to be his friend."

Bennett added: "There has to be an audit of everything. Every single ministry within Zimbabwe has to be audited and basically it needs to be done in a transparent and open manner. Any dealings that are transparent and open for the benefit of the country and benefit of the people of Zimbabwe will be honoured.

"But any deals that can be seen to have political patronage or political involvement definitely will be undone."

He confirmed this would apply to CAMEC as well.

South African prosecutors believe they have proof that Rautenbach attempted to have charges against him withdrawn, or reduced, by sending one of his emissaries with $45 000 to former police commissioner Jackie Selebi.

This was contained in an affidavit made by Glen Agliotti, accused of murdering SA mining magnate Brett Kebble.

South African prosecutors have in the past year met Rautenbach in three countries to discuss a possible plea bargain.

Rautenbach tells associates in Zimbabwe that he met the South Africans to discuss dropping charges.

Channel 4 gave both Rautenbach and Edmonds the opportunity to answer questions. Both declined. - Independent Foreign Service.


While everyone is performing and peeing all over the place about Grace Mugabes pathetic bit of milk being bought by Nestle ''mugabe'',Rautenbach and ''mnangagwa'' are taking over the Zimbabwe mining industry.....Rautenbach while being on the targeted sanctions list is getting financed by a Yske Bank account in Gibraltar for the mining etc in Zimbabwe......


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