In his book Africa--Altered States, Ordinary Miracles, Richard Dowden quotes John Robertson, a Zimbabwean economist, on corruption. Robertson says: “We imagine corruption to be like a tick on a dog. There are some places in Africa where the tick is bigger than the dog.”
Transparency International’s 2009 Global Corruption Report (GCR) bears out Robertson’s insight. Yet, corruption in Africa does have its explanation. In her book Dead Aid, the Zambian economist Dambisa Moyo, writes: “Throughout the latter half of the twentieth century and up until the 1990s, the Cold War had provided richer countries with the political imperative to give aid monies even to the most corrupt and venal despots in Africa. One of the features of the Cold War was the West’s ability and eagerness to support, bankroll and prop up a swathe of pathological and downright dangerous dictators from Idi Amin… to Mobutu Sese Seko… to Samuel Doe. Bokassa’s coronation as Emperor of the Central African Republic in 1977 alone cost $22 million.” This view is augmented by a World Bank study which found that as much as 85 percent of aid flows were used for purposes other than that for which they were initially intended, often diverted to unproductive, if not grotesque ventures.
According to Transparency International, Mobutu is estimated to have looted Zaire of $5 billion. Roughly the same amount was stolen from Nigeria by President Sani Abacha and placed in Swiss private banks. In Africa, natural resources such as oil, minerals and high-quality wood provide unlimited opportunities for personal wealth accumulation.
Corruption happens at many different levels of bureaucracy, and has become a way of life. According to Transparency International, in Africa, the informal sector amounts to more than 40 per cent of the economy in many countries, reaching well over 50 percent in Nigeria and Tanzania. The lack of legal protection and the desire to dodge regulations makes the informal sector easy prey for extortion and the solicitation of bribes by corrupt officials. According to a May 2008 study, 90 percent of entrepreneurs in Burundi think paying bribes is standard practice. The main reasons include reducing tax payments, advancing a file in the tax service and avoiding fines. But other reasons include “persuading” an official to retrieve a “lost file” urgently needed for business or immigration purposes, and avoiding the harassment of police for invented traffic offences.
In Morocco, integrity studies found that only 7 percent of Moroccan companies say they have attempted to act when faced with corruption. Companies were unsure if they would be vindicated for their actions or even feared reprisals if they reported corrupt activities. In the words of the Transparency International report: “corrupt practices constitute a destructive force that undermines fair competition, stifles economic growth and undercuts a businessman’s own existence.”
In the last two years alone, billions of dollars have been paid in fines due to corrupt practices. This brings about low staff morale, loss of trust among customers and prospective business partners. To paraphrase author Moyo: In a world where money is just for the taking, there is no need or incentive to trust your neighbor, and no need for your neighbor to trust you. Thus the essential fabric of trust that is needed between people in any functioning society is eroded.
A section of the Transparency International report is dedicated to regulations, procurement, transparency and undue influence. In Angola and Uganda, for example, the costs of starting a business surpass the average per capita income, putting formal status well beyond the means of many informal entrepreneurs. According to Ethiopia’s Central Statistical Agency, the urban informal sector of this overwhelmingly rural country comprised almost one million people in 2003, with an initial capital of $4 billion, despite the rapid growth of the formal sector.
Morocco experiences an annual loss of some $3.6 billion, owing to lack of transparency, a considerable portion of the $13.8 billion spent annually on public procurement.
Specifics abound. In 2006, the Tanzanian government contracted a U.S. firm to build and operate a power plant. Most of the contract negotiations were carried out in secret and ultimately the plant fell behind schedule, incurring great costs. An investigating committee issued a detailed report in 2007 alleging that high-ranking officials had influenced the decision to retain the U.S. firm despite objections made by the technicians. As a result the prime minister and the current and former ministers for energy and minerals resigned.
Transparency International’s report documents many cases of managers, majority shareholders and other actors inside corporations who abused power entrusted to them for personal gain. In developing and transition countries alone, companies colluding with corrupt politicians and government officials have supplied bribes estimated at up to $40 billion annually. Research shows that one half of the international business executives polled estimated that corruption raised project costs by at least 10 per cent. Ultimately it is the citizens who must pay.
The revolving doors between public office and the private sector, also documented in the report, provide a smooth path to deceitful public procurement deals where non-competitive bidding and opaque processes lead to immense waste and unreliable services and goods. Again, it is the ordinary man and woman who suffer the devastating consequences of corruption, through water and power shortages, exploitative work conditions, unsafe medicines, illegal logging, and poorly and illegally constructed buildings that collapse and kill.
But there are promising public and private sector developments. When Ghana began to facilitate and promote registration of informal businesses, entrepreneurs reported being exposed to less corruption. Ghana and Senegal have licensed or are considering licensing informal water vendors, and have established guidelines for tanker operators and independent entrepreneurs, in an effort to reduce exposure to abuse. And in Kenya, in 2007, a new licensing law eliminated over 140 different business licenses that had previously been necessary to open a business. These excessive regulatory requirements had bred widespread opportunities for bribery in order to avoid compliance. Almost 90 per cent of the top 200 businesses worldwide have adopted business codes, according to the Transparency International, but fewer than half report that they monitor compliance. This type of corporate ethics lip service is exactly why corruption in still one of Africa’s leading growth sectors.
LANCASTER, PENN. - You'd have to be living in a cave not to know that Martha Stewart got a "five and five" sentence a few weeks ago for lying about her stocks. Chances are, you're not living in a cave, but you still don't know about one of the biggest con jobs of our time: The misuse of foreign aid to Africa.
Perhaps this is because it's not as sexy as Ms. Stewart's trial or as gut-wrenching as the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. Or perhaps, it is because it has been such an embarrassment to Western governments and private organizations who keep on believing that foreign aid will help Africa.
As long as corruption exists at its current levels in Africa, and as long as donors continue to look the other way, foreign aid will simply serve to keep African kleptocrats in power.
Consider this: Sub-Saharan Africa has received an estimated $114 billion in bilateral and multilateral aid from 1995-2002. Yet African countries have consistently ended up at the bottom of the United Nations Development Program's Human Development report, which measures life expectancy, gross domestic product per person, and literacy.
So you may ask the billion-dollar question: Where did the money go? Perhaps the British high commissioner to Kenya, Edward Clay, was asking the same question about official graft last month when - suggesting donor aid to Kenya could be suspended - he publicly accused unnamed Kenyan officials of behaving so gluttonously at the aid trough that they are now "vomiting on the shoes" of donors.
And sub-Saharan Africa has seen the likes of many gluttons. Some of the most infamous include Mobutu Sese Seko, the former president of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) who allegedly stole $5 billion, and Sani Abacha, former president of Nigeria, who allegedly looted more than $2 billion. Both former leaders are dead, but their legacy of corruption continues to afflict their nations.
Corruption may not be as bad as genocide, but it is also a crime against humanity. Corruption is a killer of initiative and trust. It drives away foreign investment and undermines the development of the rule of law.
But most callously, corruption robs African children of a better future. Just ask the students in Kenya who could have had 15,000 new classrooms with the $188 million that Mr. Clay alleged has gone missing under President Mwai Kibaki's so-called anticorruption administration.
Transparency International, a Berlin-based nongovernmental organization (NGO) that tracks global corruption, ranks most African countries at the bottom of its list. Even some of the purported African success stories, such as Uganda, are at the bottom of that list.
But is there hope for the future? Much hope has been placed in the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), an Africa-wide initiative that calls for good governance, accountability, and a peer-review mechanism as part of its monitoring process.
The African Union (AU) - the successor of the Organization for African Unity - even adopted a Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption last year, and 30 countries have signed it. But only three countries have ratified it - and it requires 15 ratifications to take force.
The UN has also initiated a UN Convention Against Corruption that has been signed by more than 100 countries, including Kenya which has also ratified it.
But why should America care? While many Americans are debating whether Martha Stewart should have gotten more or less than the five months in prison and five months house arrest she got for lying about her stocks, African bureaucrats are literally getting away with millions. For donor agencies and nations, as well as African societies themselves, not to make political and civil leaders accountable for aid money is to be complicit in the perpetuation of corruption.
Congress is poised to increase foreign development assistance to the world's poorest nations by nearly $2 billion, with most of that money going to combat HIV and AIDS. But HIV and AIDS spending is not free from corruption either. Fly-by-night briefcase NGOs have sprung up everywhere, even with AIDS funds and even in countries that have a great track record like Uganda.
Some donors have taken a hard line against corruption, such as DANIDA (Danish International Development Agency) which cut off aid to Malawi and Kenya as a consequence of blatant corruption. The IMF and the World Bank have also instituted the HIPC Initiative (Highly Indebted Poor Country), which provides debt reduction tocountries that have developed transparency, accountability, and a poverty reduction strategy. To date, 23 of the 27 countries under the HIPC initiative are African.
The US Millennium Challenge Account - which disburses aid to recipient countries on the basis of their good governance, health and education initiatives, and free market economic policies - is a step in the right direction.
Ultimately the only real security against corruption is if Africans make their leaders accountable and demand transparency. The international community has an obligation to help eradicate poverty, but the international community also has the right and the obligation to demand accountability and transparency as well. Donors should work more closely with each other to ensure that African governments that turn a blind eye to corruption get cut off from foreign aid.
Kudos, not criticism, should go to Edward Clay for having the courage to speak bluntly against corruption in Africa.
• Susan Dicklitch is associate professor of government at Franklin & Marshall College and has conducted research in Uganda, Cameroon, and Ghana. She wrote 'The Elusive Promise of NGOs in Africa: Lessons from Uganda.'
TODAY I bring you the details of the sprawling business and property empire that Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo as mysteriously built over the years.
Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo Although Chombo clearly attempted to hide his empire under shelf companies and various other guises its sheer size meant that this was ultimately an exercise in futility.
Chombo is currently locked in battle over property with his senior wife, Miriam Chombo.
Dozens of housing stands and other property amassed by Chombo over the years have been listed under several shelf companies or in the names of his sons in a desperate bid to cover up the minister’s sprawling empire.
The concealment of Chombo’s properties under shelf companies and third parties was facilitated by Attorney General Johannes Tomana, who masterminded the transfer of the properties to some of Chombo’s sons and investment vehicles.
Chombo’s letter addressed “to the attention of Mr Tomana” states: “Can the following assets be transferred to the named persons as follows:-
1.Enoch Masimbaashe — House No. 79 West Road, Avondale West, Harare; Benz 320. 2.Tafadzwa Rugara — Flat No. B320, Odzi Court, Eastview Gardens, Harare. 3.Dylan Chombo — San Sebastian Flat, Cnr Tongogara/6th Street. 4.Dr I Chombo — Flat No. B319, Odzi Court, East View Gardens, Harare. 5.Nimrod Gilford Chombo — Volvo, Norton business stand, Chishawasha residential stand, Chinhoyi business stand, Chelsea Flats, Block of 4 units. 6.Ignatius Morgen Chiminya Chombo Jnr — Norton Business Stand, Chishawasha residential stand, Banket business stand, Chelsea Flats, 1 block of 4 units. 7.Marian Chombo – Greendale House, Glenview 1 House, Glen View 7 House, Land Cruiser. Item No. 7 to be transferred into Marina Chombo’s son trust. Chombo’s letter also advises Tomana to transfer 100 percent shareholding of Growfin Investments – his major investment vehicle – into Chombo Family Trust. He also advises the AG to transfer new Allan Grange Farm to the Chombo Family Trust.
The contents of other documents in our possession bear witness to Chombo’s incredible wealth: stands in Epworth, Chirundu, Kariba, Ruwa, Chinhoyi, Mutare, Chegutu, Binga, Victoria Falls, Zvimba, Chitungwiza, Beitbridge, Harare and Bulawayo.
All these stands are mostly commercial, some of them residential, hidden under investment vehicles Dilcrest Investments, Hutmat Investments, Growfin Investments, Teamrange Investments, Waywick Investments, Harvest-Net Investments, Waycorn Investments, Tonewick Investments, Aixland Investments, and Nedbourne Investments. All the investment vehicles were created by the minister to hold his properties.
Pride of place must go to the more than dozen housing stands accumulated in Harare’s leafy suburbs, including Stand 61 in Helensvale which is hidden under Harvest-Net Investments. It is fully paid for and awaiting title deeds.
The minister has also acquired residential stands 257 to 260 in Borrowdale Estates under investment vehicle Waywick Investments, residential stands 251 to 255 again in Crowhill Borrowdale estates under Tonewick Investments, stand 293 in Avondale under Waywick Investments, and stand 365 Beverly in Harare under Nedbourne Investments.
Below is the full list of some of the minister’s properties:
•243 Arcturus Rd, Greendale •79 West Rd, Avondale West •2334 Mwenezi Avenue, New Marlborough •House No. 187, 24 Crescent Glenview 1 •House No. 7386 – 4th way Glenview 7 •Chelsea Garden Flats – 3 Clyst road, Chadcombe •Flat no. B319, Odzi Court, East view gardens …..
•3 grinding mills, •3 graders •2 generators •2 compressors •2 welding machines •2 gas welding and cutting sets •2 centre pivots •10 pumps – 1 Hydroflo •9 100HP pump units •6 storage tanks •2 grinders More than 1000 pipes and ancillary equipment such as taps, bends, end plugs reducers
•Epworth commercial stand hidden under Hutmat Investment paid in full, need to be fenced •2 Chirundu local board commercial stand under Growfin Investment •Kariba stands No. 1201, 1202 commercial stands hidden under Hutmat investments – paid for •Ruwa local board stand No 23407 hidden under Teamrange investment – paid in full •Chinhoyi stand No. 6819 hidden under Nedbourne Investments – paid in full •Mutare commercial stand Hutmat Investments – not yet paid for •Chegutu stand No 30250 Hutmat Investments paid in full •Binga Lakeshore commercial stand No 1493 Teamrange Investment – waiting EIA •Victoria Falls stand No 1382 and 1383 Hutmat investments – application made •Zvimba Rural District Council by Brockfield Waywick Investments – application made •City of Harare Stand 61 Helensvale Harare – Harvest-Net Investments – fully paid awaiting title deeds •Chitungwiza Stand No 29540, Unit G Seke – commercial stand Hutmat Investments – paid for •Beitbridge town residential stands – Waywick investments – application made •Beitbridge town residential stand 4691 – awaiting lease documents •Harare Crowhill farms, Borrowdale Estates residential stands 261 to 265 Waycorn Investments – processing title deeds •Crowhill Farms, Borrowdale Estates residential stands 251 to 255 Tonewick investments – processing title deeds •Harare stand 293 Avondale Waywick investments – fully paid awaiting title deeds •Harare stand 365 Beverly Nedbourne Investments (Pvt) Ltd, fully paid awaiting title deeds •Bulawayo residential stands 93 Matsheumhlope, Aixland Investments …
ZIMBABWE – HARARE – It has been revealed that Gideon Gono as the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe abused funds meant to fight HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in 2008 to aid Zanu PF’s political campaign. The Zimbabwe Telegraph reports.
This was revealed on Friday when The Global Fund pledged $37.9 million to assist the fight against tuberculosis, malaria and HIV, resuming support after getting assurances from the new unity government that the money would not be misused the Zanu PF way of doing things.
The fund said last year Zimbabwe’s central bank had confiscated $7.3 million in 2007 meant for health programmes. The head of the Global Fund’s Africa Unit, Fareed Abdullah, said the money, previously managed by the state-appointed National Aids Council, would now be overseen by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Zimbabwe.
“We’re glad that today marks a turning point in the relationship between Zimbabwe and the Global Fund, after the troubled history of the past 18 months,” Abdullah said at a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
“The reason behind getting the UNDP as the principal recipient is to do with that history, no doubt.”
Abdullah said apart from helping in the fight against HIV/Aids, the money would also be committed to tuberculosis and malaria programmes.
Tsvangirai said the grant showed increasing confidence in the unity government he formed with rival President Robert Mugabe in February in a bid to end a political and economic crisis.
“There have been a number of skeptics. I can assure you that this government is indeed consolidating and is beginning to respond to the needs of the people, he said.
Zimbabwe has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world, although the rate has been coming down in recent years.
The country’s economic woes — which critics blame on Mugabe’s policies — have destroyed the public health system, a factor highlighted by last year’s cholera outbreak which killed almost 5,000 people.
MUGABE'S RIGHT-HAND MAN BUILDS 112-ROOMED MANSION Fri 17 December 2004 HARARE - Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor and President Robert Mugabe's right hand-man, Gideon Gono, is building a 112-roomed mansion, with four helipads in Harare's plush suburb of Borrowdale.
Architects told ZimOnline that they expected the opulent structure, whose interior furnishings are mostly imported, to cost more than US$5 million (about Z$25 billion) on completion. US$5 million is enough to build and equip at least four primary schools in Zimbabwe.
The house, whose construction began in 2001, when Gono was still head of the partly government-owned Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe, is located at Number 2, Luna Road on Sunlands Farm, which is part of Borrowdale Estate.
Gono could not be reached for comment last night. The central bank governor - who has led a government crackdown against corrupt company executives and politicians who looted public funds to finance lavish lifestyles - is however said to have denied having anything to do with the Borrowdale mansion.
But government Deeds and Registry office records shown to ZimOnline indicate that the farm on which the imposing castle-like house stands is registered in Gono's name under deeds registration number 6225/00.
And sources said Gono had also been seen at the site on several occasions checking on progress. The house is likely to be finished sometime early next year, sources said.
"Mr Gono supervises the construction himself," said one source who did not want to be named.
According to sources on the site, Gono, who is also Mugabe's personal financial adviser, had demanded the faces of his wife, children and himself be carved onto the house's stone castle tower.
And among some of the features of the beautiful mansion are an art gallery, billiard room, library, a 60-guest dining room, servants' quarters, and plasma televisions in virtually every room. The grounds boast a magnificent swimming pool, with three islands and a gazebo.
The house, believed to be the biggest in Harare, has a Victorian shingle style. Sources said the interior is expansive, but contains many classical elements.
"The original quarter-sawn golden oak woodwork is magnificent," said a source. He added: "The home is furnished with museum quality oil paintings, furniture, and family heirlooms."
Under the Gono-led anti-corruption drive, several top ruling ZANU PF party officials have been arrested mostly for siphoning foreign currency out of the country.
But South African lawyers acting for Finance Minister Christopher Kuruneri, arrested for illegally externalising foreign currency to buy properties here, told a Cape Town court that Gono helped Kuruneri get the hard cash he is accused of siphoning out of Zimbabwe. - ZimOnline
At a time when all but a few hundred of Zimbabwe's white farmers have been kicked off their land, fugitive businessman Billy Rautenbach has been handed a vast tract in the south, left in trust by former Nationalist leader Joshua Nkomo to develop black agriculture.
Some black farmers there claim Rautenbach has interfered with their ranching and is trying to push them out.
This was revealed in a documentary in the Dispatches slot on Britain's Channel 4 last Monday.
The film also shows how a British company, Camec plc, whose chairman is former Test cricketer Phil Edmonds, was involved in mining deals in Zimbabwe which the Movement for Democratic Change claims funded Zanu-PF violence during the election period last year.
Rautenbach is a major shareholder in the opaque shareholdings of Camec, which has periodically talked up its share price in London and made some public statements about operations which contradicted the reality. Its assets are far fewer than regularly reported in the British press, and at present it has only one which is active, in Katanga province of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Rautenbach is on the US and EU sanctions list, which means he cannot travel there nor can citizens of those countries trade with him, but he bankrolls some of Camec's activities in Zimbabwe, and uses a Camec-connected company's bank account at Jyske Bank, in British crown colony Gibraltar.
South Africa's prosecuting authority applied for Rautenbach's extradition from Zimbabwe more than two years ago for trial on massive customs fraud in SA, but this request was ignored by the former Zanu-PF government.
Rautenbach has just completed drilling tests in platinum sites in central Zimbabwe wrested from Anglo Platinum by the former government last year.
CAMEC CEO Andrew Groves, schooled in KwaZulu-Natal, confirmed the company had paid President Robert Mugabe $100 million (R7.9 billion) for the concessions which Anglo Plats was forced to hand over to protect the development of its platinum mine in central Zimbabwe.
It was this money, several top MDC leaders claim, which helped fund the election violence last year in which about 200 MDC supporters were killed and hundreds injured.
Extraordinarily, Rautenbach has been given access, via a majority share in a new company, Cutstar Investments (Pvt Ltd), to more than 300 000ha of Nuanetsi Ranch bought by Nkomo in 1989 and held in a trust to promote black agriculture.
Dozens of smaller-scale black ranchers have established herds of beef cattle on Nuanetsi and they told Channel 4 Rautenbach was harassing them. They claimed their operations were at risk, that their fences were torn down and their water supplies interrupted.
Rancher Moffat Ndou told Channel 4 journalist Aidan White: "We were invited to a meeting at (Nuanetsi) ranch headquarters. At this meeting we had Billy Rautenbach, we had the managing director of Nuanetsi ranch and we were then informed that Nuanetsi ranch had got into a joint venture.
"He (Rautenbach) said (to us) 'what part of f**k off do you not understand?'"
Another rancher, Terry Mkowa, also resisting eviction efforts, said: "He (Rautenbach says he is well-connected... you cannot do anything to me. I am a powerful man."
The pro-Zanu-PF Sunday Mail ran a full front page on July 19 headlined "Mega bucks project", which claimed a mystery investor was pumping $1 billion into Nuanetsi and part of the development would be the establishment of 100 000ha of sugar cane to be turned into ethanol to reduce Zimbabwe's fuel bill.
However, water experts say there is not enough water to support so much sugar. "Even if all local water available was dammed, there wouldn't be nearly enough, so this project is just talk," said a veteran farmer.
Rautenbach is the "mystery investor". He went into the DRC to take over state mining company Gecamines when Mugabe's troops entered the war there in 1998, but was sacked by late DRC president Laurent Kabila, who accused him of stealing the state's share of the cobalt joint venture.
After Kabila's assassination, Rautenbach went on to develop a cobalt site given to him by the DRC, but was deported two years ago. He sold his DRC assets to CAMEC and continues to run its one cobalt mining project from Harare, say some of his staffers.
CAMEC says it has frozen Rautenbach's shareholding in the company, because Rautenbach is on the sanctions list, but its operations in Zimbabwe, at least in platinum drilling, are organised by Rautenbach and financed from the Yske Bank account in Gibraltar, belonging to one of its subsidiaries.
The results of the drilling of Anglo Plats's former concessions produced predictably good results, but mining insiders say it would take several years and hundreds of millions of rands of investment before CAMEC could produce any platinum.
Rautenbach claims he has made good contacts with the MDC since the formation of the inclusive government. Two important members, Finance Minister Tendai Biti and deputy agriculture minister designate, Roy Bennett, don't seem to agree.
"What I know of him is not complimentary. I wouldn't want to be his friend."
Bennett added: "There has to be an audit of everything. Every single ministry within Zimbabwe has to be audited and basically it needs to be done in a transparent and open manner. Any dealings that are transparent and open for the benefit of the country and benefit of the people of Zimbabwe will be honoured.
"But any deals that can be seen to have political patronage or political involvement definitely will be undone."
He confirmed this would apply to CAMEC as well.
South African prosecutors believe they have proof that Rautenbach attempted to have charges against him withdrawn, or reduced, by sending one of his emissaries with $45 000 to former police commissioner Jackie Selebi.
This was contained in an affidavit made by Glen Agliotti, accused of murdering SA mining magnate Brett Kebble.
South African prosecutors have in the past year met Rautenbach in three countries to discuss a possible plea bargain.
Rautenbach tells associates in Zimbabwe that he met the South Africans to discuss dropping charges.
Channel 4 gave both Rautenbach and Edmonds the opportunity to answer questions. Both declined. - Independent Foreign Service
Mr. Chiluba owned more than 100 pairs of size 6 shoes, many affixed with his initials in brass. He is just a little over five feet tall, and each pair has heels close to two inches high.
LUSAKA, Zambia — As the gleaming black Mercedes-Benz pulled up to the courthouse, an aide rushed to the passenger door, bowed deeply and then ceremoniously opened it. A foot, finely shod in a dove-gray shoe, appeared, followed by the rest of the man, Frederick Chiluba.
For a decade, he was president of Zambia. Now, more than seven years after he left office, a court is deciding whether he stole from his impoverished people. A verdict is to be announced July 20.
As common thieves and drug peddlers milled about, Mr. Chiluba strode through the corridors to his hearing, shaking hands, smiling magnanimously, throwing an arm around a co-defendant to chuckle over a private joke.
Amid men in dingy shirts and worn trousers, he was impeccably dressed in a double-breasted charcoal suit, with a red silk handkerchief peeking from his breast pocket and a gold, diamond-studded watch glinting at his wrist.
But once he was in the dock, his jovial demeanor evaporated. In the thin, sickly light that filtered in from narrow windows one recent morning, Mr. Chiluba replied somberly when the magistrate asked why his lawyers had failed to present a written summation on time.
“I wasn’t aware, your honor, until today that the submissions are not made,” he said.
Mr. Chiluba is a rarity in Africa, a Big Man brought low by corruption charges. He says he has done nothing illegal, but his many critics say his fall was brought on by the usual sins of the powerful — greed, vanity and pride — and a major tactical blunder: he underestimated the man he handpicked in 2001 to succeed him as president, the plodding, diligent lawyer Levy Mwanawasa.
Mr. Mwanawasa died last year after an illness. But his pursuit of Mr. Chiluba outlived him.
“Chiluba called himself the political engineer and he believed Mwanawasa would be his puppet,” said Mark Chona, who was appointed by Mr. Mwanawasa to lead a task force to investigate abuses of the Chiluba era. “But he misread Mwanawasa. For us, it was divine providence.”
Even as Mr. Chiluba awaited judgment, his wife, Regina, was convicted on corruption charges in March and sentenced to three and a half years in prison.
Mr. Chiluba faced a London civil court judgment in 2007 in a case brought by Zambia’s attorney general. He is still contesting the payment of damages.
In that case, Justice Peter Smith of the High Court ruled that the former president owed Zambia $57 million for, among other things, expenditures from a secret intelligence agency bank account in London that was “set up primarily to steal government money.”
“He should be ashamed,” Sir Peter wrote.
The judge concluded that though Mr. Chiluba had a salary of only about $10,000 a year during his decade in office, he spent more than $500,000 in a single shop, Boutique Basile, in Geneva.
“The president (unlike the emperor) needs to be clothed,” Sir Peter archly noted in his judgment.
The shop owner, Antonio Basile, testified last year that payment for the clothes sometimes arrived in suitcases stuffed with cash.
The goods are now stored in battered metal trunks by Zambia’s anticorruption task force. There are piles of designer suits, monogrammed dress shirts and elegant ties, silk pajamas and dressing gowns.
But most remarkable are the more than 100 pairs of size 6 shoes, many affixed with Mr. Chiluba’s initials in brass. He is just a little over five feet tall, and each pair has heels close to two inches high. They are a riot of color and texture: jade-green lizard skin and burgundy suede, cream-color ostrich and lustrous red silk.
As his second term drew to a close, Mr. Chiluba claimed that a popular clamor had arisen for him to stay in office. A third term would have required amending the Constitution. But by then, Mr. Chiluba, a former trade union leader elected as a reformer, led a government renowned for corruption. Civic groups and churches organized to stop him, and succeeded.
Not long after he withdrew from political life, The Post, an independent newspaper, quoted a member of Parliament as saying that Mr. Chiluba was a thief. The state pressed charges of criminal libel against The Post’s editor and the politician.
The legal maneuver backfired. Mutembo Nchito, the brash young lawyer representing The Post pro bono, effectively put Mr. Chiluba’s integrity on trial. He won access to records of the intelligence agency bank account in London, and discovered evidence of generous payments to Mr. Chiluba’s children, the boutique and even the chief justice of the Zambian Supreme Court, among others.
“You never expect to find a smoking gun,” he said in wonderment.
But before Mr. Nchito could introduce the bank records into evidence, he needed President Mwanawasa’s permission.
Mr. Mwanawasa, who could have cited national security to hush up the scandal, instead gave Mr. Nchito permission to use the records, led an effort to strip Mr. Chiluba of immunity and named Mr. Chona to head the task force on corruption. Mr. Nchito was hired to prosecute criminal charges against Mr. Chiluba, who was accused of stealing about $500,000.
The task force, now headed by Maxwell Nkole, has won convictions against Ms. Chiluba and former military commanders, among others.
Mr. Mwanawasa not only pushed the prosecution of a leader from his own party but also, in the final months of his life, sharply criticized President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe for his violent repression of the opposition there. Despite his staid manner, Mr. Mwanawasa proved himself a maverick, challenging the patronage politics and tolerance for authoritarian rule that have marred many postcolonial African nations, historians and analysts say.
Mr. Chiluba, in unsworn testimony earlier this year, expressed outrage at what he saw as Mr. Mwanawasa’s rank betrayal.
“The presidency in Africa is not cheap,” Mr. Chiluba said, according to a transcript. “People die to secure the presidency. But here was Mr. Mwanawasa, who received it on a silver platter from my hands. He stabbed me in the back badly. I still bleed.”
In his testimony, Mr. Chiluba denied that he had ever stolen public money. Instead, he said that he had spent money donated in political campaigns by corporate interests and other “well-wishers.” The identity of these contributors was secret because of what Mr. Chiluba called “the golden rule of anonymity.” The donors, he said, were made aware that “the party’s president has personal needs.”
After the recent hearing, Mr. Chiluba walked quickly to his Mercedes, waving off questions with a flick of his hand.
Back in the courtroom, Moffat Kabamba, a skinny 21-year-old in windbreaker and sneakers, was the next defendant in the dock. He was charged with stealing a cellphone and a bicycle. He mournfully confided that he had decided to confess because he was guilty.
Philip Chiyangwa (born 1959) the founder of the Affirmative Action Group, a chair of Native Africa Investments Ltd and has served as an MP for the ZANU-PF party in Zimbabwe.He is a cousin of President Robert Mugabe.Philip Chiyangwa grew-up in Chegutu town, some 100km south of Harare. He went to St. Francis school. His mother was from the Guta raJehovah sect. His young brothers James (Jimalo), Josphat and Mophat went to Pfupajena school.
He worked for Chakari Mine before he was called up as a member of the BSAP African Reserve.Chiyangwa was the party chairman of Mashonaland West, one of the party's most powerful constituencies after Mashonaland Central.
Chiyangwa is the proprietor of Native Africa Investments Ltd. based in Harare. His company has been involved in a few high profile takeovers, the most famous being G&D Shoes which he tried, without success to save from liquidation. He was also responsible for the 1998 visit to Zimbabwe by singer Michael Jackson and after announcing to National media that he would be working with the singer on various business projects.
As a member of the BSAP African Reserve and served for several months in the lead-up, during and post the March, 1980 election. In the November, 2000, publication 'The History of the British South Africa Police', Chiyangwa was featured in a photograph taken at the time of the election lying prone with a police-issued FN, chatting to a senior, white BSAP officer. A copy was leaked to Zimabwe's independent press bringing a vehement denial by Chiyangwa who offered a substantial reward for information as to (the photo's) source. The photo was, in fact, taken from the BSAP's magazine 'Outpost' archives in the early 80s, to be used at a later date for the-then unplanned history.
Chiyangwa's fortunes seemed little affected by the revelation and he later became front page news with his construction of a multi-bedroomed, massive mansion and fleet of imported luxury cars, all in the juxtaposition of incredible poverty among Zimbabweans in general.
"I own some of the world's most expensive cars. A Mercedes-Benz S600 (US$120 000), a Bentley which is worth US$150 000, a 10-seater private jet, more than 20 plush houses in the country, hotels and several other small businesses in and outside Zimbabwe."
"I own Pinnacle Investments, a multi-billion-dollar construction company that is generating trillions of dollars in local currency. Just look at the Chisora Village in The Grange, the five-star Pentagon II Hotel in Borrowdale and the Zimbabwe Engineering Company (ZECO), which manufactures railway rolling stock, locomotives, structural steel works as well as diesel plants and machinery. These businesses are generating millions for me."
Chiyangwa boasts several personal valuable assets and estimates his wealth at around US$30 million.
Chiyangwa is married and has children.
Chiyangwa's fortune is estimated at about USD30 Million.
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