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Vol 44 No 4

Published 21st February 2003


Succession for sale

Business interests are trading favours, and newspapers, to buy political advantage

Zimbabwe's power-brokers take the struggle to succeed President Robert Mugabe seriously and ingratiate themselves with whomever they think likely to win. Some stand by Mugabe, believing he can still pick his successor. For example, South Africa's mining giant Anglo American last month made a US$30 million credit line for fuel available to the government, providing the foreign exchange at US$1=Z$1,300 way above the official exchange rate but well below the current market rate of US$1=Z$5,000. Anglo approved the deal after Zimbabwe's state oil company, Noczim, failed to secure a new line of credit from Libya. Fuel imports cost Zimbabwe about US$40 mn. a month and shortages are crippling.

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