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Published 18th July 2008

Vol 49 No 15


Zimbabwe

ZANU-PF stashes the cash

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures
Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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As they drag out negotiations with the opposition, the ruling party's acolytes are hiding millions of US dollars in offshore accounts

Leading members of President Robert Mugabe's regime and their business allies are transferring tens of millions of US dollars out of Zimbabwe to safe havens to avoid the threat of tightening sanctions and the possibility of financial scrutiny by a power-sharing government. Almost all of these transactions are illegal under Zimbabwe's foreign exchange laws and Africa Confidential has seen bank documents that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Gideon Gono has violated the monetary rules he claims to enforce. This capital flight drives inflation ­ now officially reckoned at 2.2 million per cent ­ and is set to overtake the previous world inflation champions Brazil, Argentina and Peru within the next three months.


Britain and the sanctions question

China and Russia's dual veto of a draft sanctions resolution against Zimbabwe at the United Nations Security Council on 11 July took nostalgic diplomats back to the height of the C...


A hotel, a minister and a scandal

The newspapers and the ODM are having fun but what really happened?

The government's secret sale of Nairobi's Grand Regency Hotel has caused a political storm, induced the resignation of Finance Minister Amos Kimunya on 8 July and raised many unans...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

‘Blood Oil’ is the term coined by Dele Cole, a veteran politician from Nigeria’s River State, for the billions of dollars of oil stolen yearly from the Niger Delta. Oil companies in Nigeria reckon the country is losing more than 100,000 barrels a day in organised heists, often with the connivance of the security forces. It was a short trip for Cole from an opinion piece in London’s Financial Times to driving an international campaign. Cole prompted President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to raise the ...
‘Blood Oil’ is the term coined by Dele Cole, a veteran politician from Nigeria’s River State, for the billions of dollars of oil stolen yearly from the Niger Delta. Oil companies in Nigeria reckon the country is losing more than 100,000 barrels a day in organised heists, often with the connivance of the security forces. It was a short trip for Cole from an opinion piece in London’s Financial Times to driving an international campaign. Cole prompted President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to raise the blood oil banner at the G8 summit in Japan and in talks this week with Gordon Brown, the British Premier. Brown has offered ‘to assist the Nigerian government to launch a campaign at the UN to declare stolen crude to be blood oil – just like they’ve done with the Kimberley diamond (process),’ Yar’Adua told Africa Confidential. He added that Britain was willing to help set up a tracking system for the stolen crude and declare it contraband. Such cooperation may have unintended results, as could Cole’s idea that private military companies police the oil cargoes and take a percentage of all stolen oil retrieved. After Brown offered training for Nigerian soldiers in the Delta, militants said they would end their ceasefire and that British interests ‘would suffer the consequences’. Undaunted we hear that private military companies – such as Aegis and Blackwater – are prospecting for business in the Niger Delta. Apparently Iraq’s regulations are getting too onerous.
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The Colonel's shopping spree

Libyan investment in Kenya has grown over the past three years from almost nothing to an estimated tens of billions of Kenya shillings. The Libyans are now on a shopping spree, wit...


Abyei - a border that shapes the future

As the International Criminal Court laid charges of genocide against President Omer el Beshir on 14 July, Africa Confidential obtained a United Nations' internal report that blames the Khartoum regime for much of the death and destruction in Abyei in May. The report criticises the UN's shortcomings in Sudan but also notes that government bomber aircraft targeted aid headquarters and that local people regard goverment strategy as ethnic cleansing.

The immediate trigger for the crisis over Abyei is Khartoum's refusal to accept a ruling made by the Abyei Boundaries Commission (ABC) under the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement ...


Not the plane truth

The investigation into how the state was tricked out of $40 million is shaking up Yaoundé's political elite

Some of Cameroon's biggest political names are at risk as the Police Judiciaire de Yaoundé continues investigations into the biggest and most complex corruption case in Pres...


Zuma takes the provinces

The fierce struggle for the presidential nomination is going Jacob Zuma's way - fast

Supporters of Jacob Zuma, the President of the African National Congress, made their boldest effort yet to take over the government when they brought Kgalema Motlanthe into the cab...


Boom time

For once world prices are moving in Africa’s favour, and governments are trying to grab what they can

Asia's appetite for resources - and speculative investment in commodity markets - have pushed up the prices of Africa's minerals and metals, and of some farm commodities too. Oil e...


Pirates of the Horn

The brigands of the sea make big money and threaten their country with mass starvation

Somalia faces a worsening food crisis, largely ignored in the graphic reports of clashes between President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed's regime and its nationalist and Islamist opponents...



Pointers

Radio Silence

A six-month ban on broadcasts by Radio Despertar, the voice of the opposition União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola, was imposed on 8 July by the Ministr...


War crimes

Will Khartoum finally drop President Omer Hassan Ahmed el Beshir, charged on 14 July with ten counts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity? That is what Khartoum did ...


Land grab

Plots in the 3,000 acre Moi Ndabi settlement scheme in Naivasha were laid out by the government in 1994 for victims of ethnic clashes. They went instead to politicians, civil serva...


Wako's war

Attorney General Amos Wako's delays in prosecuting officials accused of involvement in the Anglo Leasing scandals (AC Vol 45 No 11) means the Kenyan courts may dismiss the cases th...