Joice Mujuru, who is reportedly behind the dirty gold and blood diamonds deals that were exposed in the international press last week, has been appointed acting president of Zimbabwe, making it possible for her to use her executive office to push through the deals before police get on the case.
Her appointment coming after Mugabe cut short a visit to the Far East and aborted his planned visit to Russia, also shows increasing instability in the government, with talk of a planned coup that has been suppressed.
Zimbabwean ministers and generals have been implicated in the plunder of
resources from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in UN reports, but so far nothing has been done about prosecuting them. This is the first time that evidence has been produced of senior Mugabe officials and their relatives’ involvement in dirty deals involving resources from the DRC.
The website Change Zimbabwe also spoke to a spokesman for Firststar Europe [a company specialising in global distribution and trading of raw materials] who said both the FBI and Interpol had been informed about the dirty deals offered by Nyasha (Mujuru) del Campo (daughter of Joice Mujuru) and her husband, Pedro del Campo.
The deal involved shipping about US $35 million worth of gold nuggets per month to Switzerland for several months – gold that apparently belongs to
several different owners but entrusted to Joice Mujuru and her husband for selling in Europe.
Keep it clean
Vice president Mujuru herself was said to be prepared to finance the
shipment of the 3.7 tonnes of gold, but when Firstar’s due diligence
report showed that the gold belonged to ‘criminals elements’, they decided
not to look into the deal and to expose the criminals as well as blacklist the del Campos\’ companies and Mrs Mujuru.
A Firststar executive said Mrs Mujuru herself had threatened him with a ‘visit’ if he did not remove the company and her name from from the blacklist, but added that he told her that it might be a bit difficult for her to visit him in Europe since she was already prohibited from traveling to Europe.
‘We are doing our best to try to keep our trade clean. That is why we are
exposing this. But ultimately it is the authorities to prosecute these
criminals’, he said.
Zimbabwe is increasingly coming under the influence of criminals, with Robert Mugabe initially reported to have planned a trip to Russia, possibly to offer resources to the Russians in exchange for their continued protection at the UN.
But speculation is that he also came back to Zimbabwe fearing a coup was in progress, and this was confirmed by the immediate relieving of Joseph Msika as acting president and his replacement by Mrs Mujuru. Other speculation is that he has come back to hold the long-requested meeting with Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) over the the MDC’s demand that they must share ministerial portfolios equally; a demand which Mugabe had previously refused to entertain.
Firstar have said that the gold it was offered by Nyasha Mujuru through her husband del Campo, is on the embargo list and that the owners are ‘criminals’. The criminal element was further exposed, says Firstar when Nyasha said she could easily change the origin of the gold from Congo to Kenya.
‘This is obviously very hot and the gold might be offered to other people soon, so we have decided to expose it, but we need help of the authorities to totally put a stop to this syndicate’, said the Firstar executive, who also added that he was dismayed that Zimbabwe’s people were dying of cholera, which could be treated for a few cents yet the vice-president was planning to stash away millions and millions of US dollars in Europe.
Makusha Mugabe is a Zimbabwe journalist who has worked for The Herald, and also was Editor for the Community Newspapers Group paper, The Chaminuka News. He is now based in England and currently the driving force behind Change Zimbabwe
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) continues to witness devastating political violence, but the world refuses to act. Ishiaba Kasonga and Serge Egola Angbakodolo ask why?
When fire safety has become a privilege for the rich, it’s time to stop austerity and fund emergency mass works to raise standards immediately, writes Jane Shallice
The election result has irreversibly changed political discourse in the UK, writes James Fox
In commemoration of the 30th anniversary of Bernie Grant's election to parliament, Ayo Wallace explores the life and legacy of his radical representation of Tottenham's black communities.
Across Britain, hundreds of thousands of people have now taken part in mass rallies for Corbyn's Labour. Eli Regan soaks up the atmosphere in Warrington
The under-30s could be decisive in the general election. Frances Grahl meets young people hit by Tory austerity and looks at what's driving their support for Labour
“To them it’s just another number, someone else being sent back. But when you’ve got three children being left without their dad … it’s quite major,” writes Rebecca Omonira-Okeykanmi.
Hundreds of people surrounded the fences this weekend. Hera Lorandos spoke to women who have suffered inside.
Grassroots posters giving an alternative take on the general election
Laying out the case for Labour's leadership of a Progressive Alliance, Jeremy Gilbert argues that far from posing a threat to the Left, the Progressive Alliance offers a golden opportunity to end Tory rule and build a 21st century government committed to social justice
Brexit, Corbyn and beyond
Clarity of analysis can help the left avoid practical traps, argues Paul O'Connell
Paul Mason vs Progress: ‘Decide whether you want to be part of this party’ – full report
Broadcaster and Corbyn supporter Paul Mason tells the Blairites' annual conference some home truths
Contagion: how the crisis spread
Following on from his essay, How Empire Struck Back, Walden Bello speaks to TNI's Nick Buxton about how the financial crisis spread from the USA to Europe
How empire struck back
Walden Bello dissects the failure of Barack Obama's 'technocratic Keynesianism' and explains why this led to Donald Trump winning the US presidency
Empire en vogue
Nadine El-Enany examines the imperial pretensions of Britain's post-Brexit foreign affairs and trade strategy
Grenfell Tower residents evicted from hotel with just hours’ notice
An urgent call for support from the Radical Housing Network
Jeremy Corbyn is no longer the leader of the opposition – he has become the People’s Prime Minister
While Theresa May hides away, Corbyn stands with the people in our hours of need, writes Tom Walker
In the aftermath of this disaster, we must fight to restore respect and democracy for council tenants
Glyn Robbins says it's time to put residents, not private firms, back at the centre of decision-making over their housing
After Grenfell: ending the murderous war on our protections
Under cover of 'cutting red tape', the government has been slashing safety standards. It's time for it to stop, writes Christine Berry
Why the Grenfell Tower fire means everything must change
The fire was a man-made atrocity, says Faiza Shaheen – we must redesign our economic system so it can never happen again
Forcing MPs to take an oath of allegiance to the monarchy undermines democracy
As long as being an MP means pledging loyalty to an unelected head of state, our parliamentary system will remain undemocratic, writes Kate Flood
7 reasons why Labour can win the next election
From the rise of Grime for Corbyn to the reduced power of the tabloids, Will Murray looks at the reasons to be optimistic for Labour's chances next time
Red Pepper’s race section: open editorial meeting 25 June
On June 25th, the fourth of Red Pepper Race Section's Open Editorial Meetings will celebrate the launch of our new black writers' issue - Empire Will Eat Itself.
After two years of attacks on Corbyn supporters, where are the apologies?
In the aftermath of this spectacular election result, some issues in the Labour Party need addressing, argues Seema Chandwani
If Corbyn’s Labour wins, it will be Attlee v Churchill all over again
Jack Witek argues that a Labour victory is no longer unthinkable – and it would mean the biggest shake-up since 1945
On the life of Robin Murray, visionary economist
Hilary Wainwright pays tribute to the life and legacy of Robin Murray, one of the key figures of the New Left whose vision of a modern socialism lies at the heart of the Labour manifesto.
Letter from the US: Dear rest of the world, I’m just as confused as you are
Kate Harveston apologises for the rise of Trump, but promises to make it up to us somehow
The myth of ‘stability’ with Theresa May
Settit Beyene looks at the truth behind the prime minister's favourite soundbite
Civic strike paralyses Colombia’s principle pacific port
An alliance of community organisations are fighting ’to live with dignity’ in the face of military repression. Patrick Kane and Seb Ordoñez report.
Greece’s heavy load
While the UK left is divided over how to respond to Brexit, the people of Greece continue to groan under the burden of EU-backed austerity. Jane Shallice reports
On the narcissism of small differences
In an interview with the TNI's Nick Buxton, social scientist and activist Susan George reflects on the French Presidential Elections.
Why Corbyn’s ‘unpopularity’ is exaggerated: Polls show he’s more popular than most other parties’ leaders – and on the up
Headlines about Jeremy Corbyn’s poor approval ratings in polls don’t tell the whole story, writes Alex Nunns
Job vacancy: Red Pepper is looking for a political organiser
Closing date for applications: postponed, see below
The media wants to demoralise Corbyn’s supporters – don’t let them succeed
Michael Calderbank looks at the results of yesterday's local elections
In light of Dunkirk: What have we learned from the (lack of) response in Calais?
Amy Corcoran and Sam Walton ask who helps refugees when it matters – and who stands on the sidelines
Osborne’s first day at work – activists to pulp Evening Standards for renewable energy
This isn’t just a stunt. A new worker’s cooperative is set to employ people on a real living wage in a recycling scheme that is heavily trolling George Osborne. Jenny Nelson writes
Red Pepper’s race section: open editorial meeting 24 May
On May 24th, we’ll be holding the third of Red Pepper’s Race Section Open Editorial Meetings.
Our activism will be intersectional, or it will be bullshit…
Reflecting on a year in the environmental and anti-racist movements, Plane Stupid activist, Ali Tamlit, calls for a renewed focus on the dangers of power and privilege and the means to overcome them.
West Yorkshire calls for devolution of politics
When communities feel that power is exercised by a remote elite, anger and alienation will grow. But genuine regional democracy offers a positive alternative, argue the Same Skies Collective
How to resist the exploitation of digital gig workers
For the first time in history, we have a mass migration of labour without an actual migration of workers. Mark Graham and Alex Wood explore the consequences