Less well known but critical to Buckingham's African empire are his extensive interests in Namibia, where he's had close connections with influential politicians since the early 1990s and has established a profile as an entrepreneur committed to Africa. The most important contact is Trade and Industry Minister Hidipo Hamutenya, whose unofficial advisor, British expatriate Russel Hay, is a friend of Buckingham’s. Another important contact is a South African, Pierre Roux, who in 1993 helped to ensure that the Namibian government, which was still nervous of potential Pretoria-inspired destabilisation, gave tacit consent to overflights of its territory by aircraft transporting Executive Outcomes operatives to Angola. EO had a contract with the Luanda government to protect Soyo oil installations from the União Nacional para Independência Total de Angola. Despite official denials, it has long been an open secret in Windhoek that the government allowed EO aeroplanes to refuel at Namibian airports.
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