Deported ex-congressman threatens to spill the beans on Zimbabwe


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Former United States congressman Mel Reynolds says he is planning to expose United States businessmen who are doing business illegally with Zimbabwe involving “blood diamonds” once he arrives in Chicago.

Reynolds who was deported from Zimbabwe last month after violating the country’s immigration laws told a US news agency that he was in hiding in South Africa because he was being pursued by a secret death squad from Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe is still under United States sanctions. Although Zimbabwe diamonds have been cleared by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, they cannot be traded in the US because of the sanctions.

United States businessmen are supposedly forbidden from doing business with Zimbabwe. Two Chicago men, Asiel Ben Israel and Gregory Turner, are charged with violating the US sanctions against Zimbabwe by agreeing to assist President Robert Mugabe and others in an effort to lift economic sanctions against them in exchange for $3.4 million.

Reynolds also said he had information on money laundering by the Zimbabwe government.

The news agency said Deputy Information Minister Supa Mandiwanzira had said Zimbabwe had nothing to hide.

“If the Zimbabwean government had anything to hide, we would have kept him (Reynolds) here. The fact that we did not should indicate to anyone that the claims are not true. The fact of the matter is that he was found to be in the country illegally. He had overstayed his visa and so he was deported.”

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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