A report written by the private consultancy Africa Risk Consulting (ARC) promises to reignite questions about the capture of Zimbabwe's economy by cartels and politicians that were raised in the report on Cartel Dynamics published by Maverick Citizen earlier this year.
The nearly 50-page report, titled Zimbabwe Political Economy Stakeholder Map, was published in March 2021. It is circulating widely in Zimbabwe but is confidential and not available online. We have, however, confirmed its authenticity.
ARC is a reputable company with operations in many African countries that provides business intelligence informing the investment community. It says the report is based on "open-source research" into "extensive public records, research in subscription access, corporate compliance and legal databases, free-to-use and restricted access online media, local, regional and international news outlets, news media archives, social media, government and corporate websites and Africa-specialist journals".
In a webinar several weeks ago discussing illicit financial transfers in Zimbabwe, former Zimbabwe Finance Minister Tendai Biti described the Cartel Dynamics report as "only scratching the surface of corruption". However, unlike the report published by Maverick Citizen which focuses on five case studies of sectors of the economy that are alleged to have been captured by cartels (roads, fuel,...