[Marxism] The company `anti-imperialist' Mugabe keeps
glparramatta at greenleft.org.au
Fri Jul 4 18:24:13 MDT 2008
Two items that shed some light on the reality of Mugabe's ``land
reforms'' and the true extent of ``sanctions'' on his authoritarian
capitalist regime ...
From News24 (SA), 2 July
SA expat in bid for Zim land
Julian Rademeyer, Beeld
Johannesburg - A South African expatriate has paid millions of dollars
to a former Israeli gun-runner with links to Robert Mugabe in a bid to
secure 99-year leases on farmland seized by the Zimbabwean government as
part of its land-reform programme. Paul Calder le Roux, 35, hired Ari
Ben-Menashe, a self-proclaimed former Mossad spy who famously tried to
discredit Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai by implicating
him in a plot to assassinate Mugabe, to facilitate the land deal.
According to documents filed with the United States Justice Department,
Le Roux - who now lives in the Philippines - transferred at least $12m
(nearly R94m) to Ben-Menashe's Canadian consultancy, Dickens & Madson,
between March 2007 and February this year. Beeld managed to track Le
Roux to Manila and contacted him by phone and e-mail. "Thank you for
your e-mail. However, I have no comment," was all he would say.
In an interview with Colin Freeze of the Globe and Mail, Ben-Menashe
said: "Those deals are just land in Zimbabwe, that's all ...This is not
money that has come into our (Dickens & Madson's) pockets." He added
that his relationship with the Mugabe regime had been "helpful" in
facilitating the deals. "Now, the government is willing to lease all
kinds of land to all kinds of people. Things are cheap there... The
owners and masters of the land are the black government." He refused to
comment on his dealings with Le Roux. "It's private... I don't want to
get into details." But Le Roux's involvement with Ben-Menashe - the
self-described "man of infamy" who set up Tsvangirai - raises serious
questions. In February 2002, Tsvangirai was charged with treason in
Harare after Ben-Menashe leaked grainy videotapes of talks with the MDC
leader in Montreal in which he appeared to be asking for Dickens &
Madson's help in "eliminating" Mugabe. Tsvangirai denied the allegation.
He admitted attending the meeting with what he thought were political
consultants, and said he left the room when those present began talking
about killing Mugabe.
Ben-Menashe was the Zimbabwean government's star witness, but the judge
eventually threw out the case, describing Ben-Menashe as a "rude,
unreliable and contemptuous" witness. He found that "nowhere" in the
tape was there a "direct request made by the accused... to assassinate
the president". Ben-Menashe later went on to do public relations work
for his "old friend, Bob" Mugabe. Beeld has seen a copy of an agreement
between Le Roux and Ben-Menashe, which was signed on April 2 2007 in
Montreal. The vaguely-worded document makes no mention of Zimbabwe and
states that Le Roux has retained Ben-Menashe's firm to "lobby the
executive and/or legislative branches of the government of the United
States of America and of any other mutually agreed upon country" on his
behalf. It states that Dickens & Madson will "provide other confidential
services to assist Mr Le Roux in achieving his goals". According to the
document, Le Roux had to pay $1.2m for Ben-Menashe's "services" on
signing the contract.
Submissions made to the US Justice Department by Ben-Menashe in terms of
the US Foreign Agents Registration Act stated that Le Roux "intends to
become involved in the leasing of real estate for farming and other
purposes in Zimbabwe". A document dated April 6 last year goes further,
stating that Dickens and Madson Canada Inc "will attempt to arrange
meetings with representatives of the executive and legislative branches
of the US government in order to attempt to generate policies favourable
to the business activities of (Le Roux), in particular, but without
limitation, (his) efforts to lease farmland from the government of
Zimbabwe". Le Roux is described as a businessman who "deals in internet
commerce and in the installation of call centres in southeast Asia,
Costa Rica and Israel". By his own account, he was born in what was then
Rhodesia and wants to "set down roots" in Zimbabwe. He remains something
of an enigma. He lived in Krugersdorp. In 2002, he registered a company
called Planetsolar. Then he emigrated. He lives in Manila in the
Philippines in an exclusive, high-security suburb, Dasmari'as Village,
which is home to politicians, businessmen and more than a dozen foreign
Anglo American Defiant On Zimbabwe
Lionel Laurent, 06.25.08, 9:50 AM ET
LONDON - Zimbabwe may not be top of anyone's list for best places to invest, given the tense political climate and despotic rule of president Robert Mugabe, but Anglo-South African miner Anglo American is defending its controversial plans to develop a platinum mine in the country.
"The responsible development of the Unki mine will create a long-term viable business which will be important to the economic future of Zimbabwe for years to come," Anglo American (nasdaq: AAUK - news - people ) said in a press release on Wednesday ...
Although Anglo American said it was monitoring the situation in Zimbabwe "very closely," and that it was reviewing "all options" surrounding the project, the firm made it clear that withdrawing from Zimbabwe would jeopardize the livelihood of its 650 employees and contractors.
The British mining firm was responding to press reports citing widespread condemnation of Anglo American's decision to invest in Zimbabwe, at a time when most other firms are freezing or scaling back operations. The London Times cited Rio Tinto, Barclays (nyse: BCS - news - people ) and British American Tobacco (nyse: BTI - news - people ) as firms that had refused to expand operations until Mugabe had left power.
A spokesman for Anglo American was unavailable for comment.
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