Zimbabwe police have applied to mine diamonds

Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri applied for a diamond concession to be run by the police, a document by Global Witness, a global group that investigates the role of natural resources funding conflict and corruption shows.

Augustine Chihuri
Augustine Chihuri

In a document titled "Financing Parallel government" Global Witness raised serious allegations that Zimbabwe's feared spy agency, the Central Intelligence Organisation is getting funding from a shadowy group of business people based in Hong Kong.

The group claimed the CIO received $100 million and 200 cars from Sam Pa( also known as Antonio Famtosonghiu Sampo Menezes, Xu Jinghua and Sam King) outside national budget allocation.

In the thick document of 33 pages released this week Global Witness claimed Zimbabwe security forces were heavily involved in diamond mining through front companies. In one of its evidence, the group showed a letter purportedly written by police commissioner General Augustine Chihuri to Mines Minister Obert Mpofu applying for diamond concession to mine diamonds.

The letter reads:"Honourable Minister, after scanning the enviroment and a thorough analysis of the opportunities available, I wish to submit the Zimbabwe Republic Police for the area in Chiyadzwa(sic), Marange marked on the map appended to the attached company profile document."

"I hope and trust that this application will meet your favourable consideration."

Meanwhile, Global Witness appealed to the world to investigate the alleged involvement of Zimbabwe security forces in mining diamonds in the vast Chiadzwa diamond area.

“Given the violent reputation of the CIO and military, we fear that this money could fund human rights abuses during the forthcoming election,” said Nick Donovan of Global Witness.

“Off-budget financing of the security sector undermines Zimbabwean democracy by subverting civilian control over key organs of the state. The international community should investigate the activities of Sam Pa, Sino Zimbabwe Development (Pvt) Ltd, and Anjin Investments (Pvt) Ltd to see whether their actions justify imposing targeted sanctions such as asset freezes.”

Information given to Global Witness by sources within the CIO suggests that Sam Pa provided funding and material to the organisation in return for access to Zimbabwe’s diamond, cotton and property sectors. One CIO document put this support at $100 million and 200 pick-up trucks.

Two sources also told Global Witness that the money had been allocated by the CIO towards Operation Spiderweb, covert activities designed to discredit Prime Minister Tsvangarai, Finance Minister Biti, and Industry Minister Ncube, although Global Witness could not confirm the existence of these programmes.

“We gave Mr Pa an opportunity to comment on our findings but he has not responded,” Global Witness said. The group also said some of the allegations raised as well information from its sources could not be independently verified.

Anjin Investments claims to be the world’s biggest diamond miner. Previous research by Global Witness revealed how Anjin’s Executive Board members include senior serving and retired military and police officers, and the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence.

In the report published Monday, Global Witness reveals that 50% of Anjin’s shares are owned by Brigadier General Charles Tarumbwa, the Judge Advocate General at the Ministry of Defence, acting through Matt Bronze (Pvt) Ltd, a front for the Zimbabwean military.

Chihuri and the intelligence agency officials were not available to comment on the allegations raised Global Witness

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