Thursday, November 27, 2008

Unconfirmed report suggests piracy on land in Africa is systemic


The following unconfirmed reports points to the fact the leadership in the SADEC countries in the sub-Sahara is corrupt to such an extent that it far outweighs the criminality attributed to pirates and rebels.

With no food, no education, no water, no electricity and no medical care and no leadership it is no wonder that countries like Zimbabwe stand every chance of dragging the region into a fatal spiral of failure from which it is unlikely, from this vantage point, that it can recover.


This has a private source that I cannot disclose, but the person who has done this research has professional intelligence training and lives in the region with excellent contacts throughout. I can confirm other deals such as the BBR and the New Limpopo Bridge Company as well as contracts involving oil trade that have directly benefited both ruling parties and individuals in leadership in regional States; these are not covered in the analysis below and could be included.



The web of corrupt Practice and Politics in the SADC region

As part of an effort by the MDC to disrupt the flow of cash to Mr. Mugabe ' s regime I have been researching some of the financial interests of Zanu (PF) and its top leadership. Those interests seem to network strongly with senior politicians in The Congo, Angola , Namibia , Malawi and South Africa . All of these countries support Mugabe and are vocal in Africa opposing any deal that might compromise Mugabe. Mugabe ' s right hand man in The Congo, Billy Rautenbach stands accused of bribing South Africa ' s Police Commissioner. Interestingly Mbeki has done all he can to stop the investigation, including sacking the Director of The National Prosecution Authority, arresting the man investigating Selebi and disbanding the elite anti corruption squad; The Scorpions.

Below I list a summary of my research. Unfortunately I have to start with a brief summary of The Congo wars to understand the current military and financial forces in Southern Africa at present.

Let ' s start the story in August 1998.

Laurent Kabila (Senior), the newly installed leader of The Democratic Republic of The Congo is in big trouble . The D.R.C. was previously called Zaire under Mobutu ' s reign. Kabila had only overthrown Mobutu a year before and had only managed that with the help of Rwanda ' s disciplined RPF forces and the Ugandan military. Rwanda had invaded Zaire/The Congo to pursue the genocidal Hutu Interhamwe militias who were continuing their genocide against Tutsis in the Congolese areas surrounding Rwanda . But the Rwandan forces did not stop there and in association with Kabila conquered the rest of The Congo, including the mineral rich Katanga Province .

Kabila was initially hailed as a savior in The Congo having finally rid the Congolese of Mobutu ' s tyrannical regime which had plundered the country for decades. It soon became apparent however that Kabila was every bit as bad and corrupt as Mobutu. He was also having problems with internal rebellions and the fact that the Ugandan and Rwandan forces were showing no signs of leaving The Congo. Far from leaving they were consolidating their control of the vital mineral rich Katanga province. In August 1998 he ordered that the Ugandan and Rwandan forces leave The Congo along with all ethnically Tutsi Congolese.

The Rwandans and Ugandans replied by sending more troops to overthrow Kabila. This started the Second Congo war in which 5.4 million people died making it the deadliest war since the Second World War. The Ugandan and Rwandan backed rebels had quick and dramatic victories over Kabila ' s forces and within two weeks it seemed he would be ousted imminently.

On April 19, Kabila flew to Harare and met Mugabe who at that time was heading SADC ' s Organ on Politics and Defence. Three Three SADC countries; Zimbabwe , Angola and Namibia came to his immediate rescue. They were later joined by Sudan and Libya . It is alleged that Kabila signed $200 million worth of deals with Mugabe.

Once the Katanga province had been secured by Mugabe and Kabila ' s forces, Mugabe and Mnangagwa insisted that Billy Rautenbach lead Gecamines , Congo ' s state ' s mining company. Through Operation Sovereign Legitimacy (OSLEG) the Zimbabwean military involved itself in all sorts of mining deals. These are well documented in a UN report.

Namibian President Sam Nujoma also secured many contracts for his own businesses and those of his family. They remain heavily involved in The Congo ' s mining activity. Namibians worth investigating include The Permanent Secretary for Defence, Erastus Negona, T . Lamec, David Shimuuino, Army Chief Major General Shalli, Deputy Police Commissioner Fritz Nghiishililiwa and Police Inspector General Raonga Andima.

The Angolans grabbed the opportunity to invade their enemy UNITA ' s bases within the Congo . Until then UNITA had been involved in an illegal diamond scheme estimated to be worth about $500 million a year by De Beers. This then came under the possession on senior Angolan generals and politicians. The Angolans are listed second only to Zimbabwe in corruption lists of Southern Africa . In 2004 Human Rights Watch said that $4 billion was missing from the government ' s finances. "Angolagate" is shocking because it involved senior French Government officials, not least of whom was incumbent President Mitterrand ' s son, Jean Charles Mitterand. Jacques Jacques Chirac ' s knowledge of the deal is implicated too. Mitterand, Minister Pasqua and others were convicted in 2004 of tax evasion. In 2007 an investigative magistrate recently been indicted 42 people including Mitterand and Minister Pasqua.

On the issue of presidents sons, I have been unable to link Simon Mann and Mark Thatcher ' s attempted coup to any particular African politician. The fact that they landed in Harare for their arms makes it extremely likely that some Zanu politicians were involved before the deal turned sour. Both Thatcher and Rautenbach, and Rautenbach ' s son, are rally drivers.

So much for Zimbabwe , The DRC, Angola and Namibia . The story now jumps to May 2007 and to Pretoria , South Africa .

South Africa had an elite anti corruption investigative unit called The Scorpions. The Scorpions consisted of 2000 of the best police, financial, forensic and intelligence experts in South Africa . They came into being after the passing of The National Prosecuting Authority Act, 32 of 1998. This was one of Mandela ' s last projects before he stepped down in 1999. The Scorpions answered to the Head of The National Prosecuting Authority, not to The Commissioner of Police.

When Mandela took over in South Africa he appointed a professional Policeman, George Fivaz, as his Commissioner of Police. Mbeki replaced him Jackie Selebi who had no police experience whatsoever but was a trusted ANC man. He has been described as "the gatekeeper" of the ANC ; privy to all it ' s financial dealings. It appears that in 1999, as Mandela stepped down, South Africa involved itself in a controversial arms deal totaling $US4.8 billion. It appears over $200 million was paid in bribes. The Scorpions were investigating increasingly more senior members of The ANC about the deal. Names included Thabo Mbeki, Jacob Zuma, Zuma ' s financial adviser Schabir Shaik, his brother Chippy Shaik and Joe Modise, founder of the ANC ' s military wing and then minister of defence.

The Scorpions brought a successful prosecution against Schabir Shaik, Zuma ' s financial adviser. Shaik was given two 15 year imprisonment sentences. The Scorpions then turned their attention to Jacob Zuma, then Deputy President. Zuma ' s house was raided repeatedly. On 28 December 2007 The Scorpions served Zuma an indictment to stand trial in The High Court on counts of racketeering, money laundering, corruption and fraud.

During 2007 the Scorpions started to become concerned about Jackie Selebi, Mbeki ' s Commissioner of Police.

Selebi, it turns out, had been up to all sorts of unsavory business. His personal friend Glenn Angliotti turned out to be a mafia kingpin and drug dealer. Selebi claims they never discussed Agliotti ' s criminal activities but does admit to warning him of a British Intelligence request for information about him. Agliotti funded Selebi to the tune of about $170 000. Part of this funding was used to successfully lobby for Selebi ' s appointment as head of Interpol. Interestingly Zimbabwe ' s Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri has also had senior positions in Interpol. The senior Interpol positions are said to be useful in covering international money laundering and corruption tracks.

Among many other charges of corruption it is alleged that Selebi, in full police uniform, met Billy Rautenbach ' s lawyer and accepted US$ 40 000 to have the corruption charges against Billy Rautenbach dropped. Besides being Mnangagwa ' s right hand man, it turns out that Billy Rautenbach had many other financial projects. One of them was a transport company called "Wheels of Africa" which dominated SADC transport, especially up to The Congo. Through this he also had the exclusive deal for Sub Saharan Africa for Volvo and Saab. But it wasn ' t for his Volvo and Saab trucks that he got into trouble but rather his part in the sale of 35 BAe Saab/Volvo Gripen fighter planes which he allegedly sold to The South African government at the hugely inflated price of $65 million per plane (their real value was probably about $35 million).

Rautenbach ' s company Camtec acquired the Bougai and Kironde platinum concessions in Zimbabwe in April this year with an alleged payment of $100 million to a Zanu chef.

Mbeki ' s response to the charges laid out in front of him in May 2007 by the National Prosecuting Authority boss Vusi Pikoli against Police Commissioner Selebi was astonishing.

Instead of doing anything about Selebi, Mbeki in fact sacked the National Prosecuting Authority boss Vusi Pikoli, saying that there had been an irretrievable breakdown in the professional relationship of Vusi Pikoli and the Minister for Justice. The Scorpion Policeman investigating Commissioner Selebi, Gerric Nel, then found himself arrested on charges of "perverting the course of Justice."

The National Prosecuting Authority is still trying to pursue the case but fears the case will fall apart as The South African Police Service refuses to hand over vital documents on "security grounds". These include the details of Rautenbach ' s deal. Mbeki caused a stir last week by extending Jacki Selebi ' s contract. Mbeki has since had the Scorpions disbanded.

The most damning evidence though comes from The ANC ' s own Andrew Feinstein. Feinstein was head of The ANC ' s Parliamentary Public Accounts watchdog SCOPA. He was shocked when he tried to launch an investigation into the affair and was told that there was a financier, close to Mbeki and Zuma, who was off limits to his investigation. Feinstein resigned in disgust and wrote a book " After The Party" which has scandalized South African and international political commentators.

In view of these allegations listed above I believe the world should be very circumspect of any deals Mbeki negotiates. especially in mineral rich areas such as Darfur .

The story now moves to Blantyre , Malawi where President Mutharika astounded Malawian journalists last week when he told them to stop the negative reporting about Mugabe and Zimbabwe . He has since said he recognizes Mugabe as Zimbabwe ' s legitimate President. His brother and Vice President Peter Mutharika attended Mugabe ' s inauguration ceremony. Mutharika has many suspect ties with Mugabe ' s regime. He has diverted huge amounts (300 000 tonnes) of maize to Zanu PF, most recently during the just passed Zimbabwean election. There has been no entry in Malawian National Food Reserves Agency ' s regarding these deals. Similarly he has supplied Mugabe with fuel and also tear gas which killed 11 Zimbabweans in a single incident in 2005. Interestingly Mutharika has a farm in Zimbabwe , which is guarded by Mugabe ' s Presidential Guard.

Mutharika ' s past also merits some investigation. He was sacked when he was Secretary General of COMESA in 1995 for stealing money and diverting it to his Zimbabwean farm. He came to power in Malawi as The UDF ' s presidential candidate after the incumbent, Muluzi, had served the specified maximum number of terms. Soon after he came to power he began upsetting senior UDF and government people. His response was depressingly familiar. He undermined the Anti Corruption Bureau and then replaced the heads of the offices of The Director of Public Prosecutions and The Police Commissioner with trusted political associates. He had Muluzi arrested and Muluzi is currently being tried. Muluzi has dismissed the documents the state has offered to make its case as "laughable and fake." Their blatant forgery is reminiscent of many trials in Zimbabwe , such as that of Tendai Biti. The Zimbabwean CIO are said to be increasingly active in Malawi .

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