The international community must act to prevent off budget financing of Mugabe's feared secret police, said Global Witness in a report published today.
The report, Financing a Parallel Government?, reveals that Zimbabwe's Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) appears to have received off budget financing from a Hong Kong-based businessman at the same time that the CIO is alleged to be engaging in a campaign to discredit key members of Zimbabwe's opposition.
CIO members exercise joint control over Sino Zimbabwe Development (Pvt) Ltd, a diamonds, cotton and property company in Zimbabwe. Their partner is businessman Sam Pa, a prominent member of the Queensway Syndicate, a network of companies with a track record of negotiating opaque resource for infrastructure deals across the African continent.
The report also exposes how a Zimbabwean military lawyer owns half of Anjin Investments (Pvt) Ltd, the biggest diamond company in Zimbabwe's controversial Marange diamond fields, on behalf of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Defence.
"Given the violent reputation of the CIO and military, we fear that this money could fund human rights abuses during the forthcoming election," said Nick Donovan of Global Witness. "Off-budget financing of the security sector undermines Zimbabwean democracy by subverting civilian control over key organs of the state. The international community should investigate the activities of Sam Pa, Sino Zimbabwe Development (Pvt) Ltd, and Anjin Investments (Pvt) Ltd to see whether their actions justify imposing targeted sanctions such as asset freezes."
Information given to Global Witness by sources within the CIO suggests that Sam Pa provided funding and material to the organisation in return for access to Zimbabwe's diamond, cotton and property sectors. One CIO document put this support at $100 million and 200 pick-up trucks.
Two sources also told Global Witness that the money has been allocated by the CIO towards Operation Spiderweb, covert activities designed to discredit Prime Minister Tsvangarai, Finance Minister Biti, and Industry Minister Ncube, although Global Witness cannot confirm the existence of these programmes. We gave Mr Pa an opportunity to comment on our findings but he has not responded.
Anjin Investments claims to be the world's biggest diamond miner. Previous research by Global Witness revealed how Anjin's Executive Board members include senior serving and retired military and police officers, and the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence. In the report published today, Global Witness reveals that 50% of Anjin's shares are owned by Brigadier General Charles Tarumbwa, the Judge Advocate General at the Ministry of Defence, acting through Matt Bronze (Pvt) Ltd, a front for the Zimbabwean military.
"Since ZANU PF lost control of the Ministry of Finance, they appear to have engaged on a hunt for off-budget financing for the military and secret police," said Donovan. "Zimbabwe's civilian government must exercise democratic control over the budgets of security forces. If not, there is a real danger of a shadow security state emerging, with both a monopoly on violence and secret sources of funding."
1. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangarai, and Finance Minister Tendai Biti are leaders of the Movement for Democratic Change - Tsvangarai (MDC-T). Industry minister Weshman Ncube is leader of the MDC-N.
2. The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) facilitated the Global Political Agreement in Zimbabwe in 2008, leading to the formation of the Government of National Unity between ZANU PF and the MDC. ZANU PF retained control of key security ministries such as the President's Office (responsible for the Central Intelligence Organisation), Defence, Home Affairs (with co-ministers from ZANU PF and the MDC) and the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development. The MDC took control of the Prime Minister's office and the Ministry of Finance, among other ministries.
3. The Zimbabwean members of Anjin's Executive Board are:
- Mr. Martin Rushwaya, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Defense;
- Mr. Oliver Chibage, a commissioner in the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP);
- Ms. Nonkosi M. Ncube, a commissioner in the ZRP;
- Mr. Munyaradzi Machacha, a ZANU PF director of publications;
- Mr. Mabasa Temba Hawadi, a director of Marange Resources (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of the ZMDC;
- Mr. Morris Masunungure, a current or retired officer in Zimbabwe Defence Forces;
- Mr. Romeo Daniel Mutsvunguma, a retired Colonel in the ZDF alleged by Human Rights Watch to have participated in violence in 2008.
4. Please see Global Witness' previous report on Anjin Investments: 'Diamonds: A Good Deal for Zimbabwe?'
5. Please see the Economist, The Queensway syndicate and the Africa trade, 11 August 2011 for more information on Sam Pa and the Queensway syndicate.