Global Witness says Hong Kong businessman is funding CIO


Global Witness, the London-based non-governmental organisation that pulled out of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme after it lifted its ban on Zimbabwe’s Marange diamonds, says Hong Kong businessman, Sam Pa, is funding the Central intelligence Organisation.

The organisation says Pa, who is also known as Antonio Famtosonghiu Sampo Menezes, Xu Jinghua and Sam King, is doing so through Sino Zimbabwe Development where CIO operatives are directors.

Sino Zimbabwe Development, which is not the same at the cement producer in the Midlands, runs diamonds, cotton and property businesses in Zimbabwe.

Global Witness says Pa is reported to have provided $100 million as well as 200 Nissan pick-up trucks to the CIO.

The amount was more than the budgets of most government ministries and was only $21 million shy of the entire budget for the President’s office in 2011.

It names the CIO operatives that are directors as Gift Kalisto Machengete, Pritchard Zhou and Masimba Ignatius Kamba.

Global Witness says there are three main reasons why this funding should be of concern.

“First, by its very nature any off budget financing for the secret police undermines democratic processes and institutions in Zimbabwe. Off budget funding subverts civilian and democratic control of the CIO, and allows the secret police to set, and fund, its own agenda.

“Second, Sam Pa’s likely financial support for the CIO may undermine Zimbabwean democracy directly. According to two sources, one senior Zimbabwean government official and one source within the CIO, the secret police is engaged in Operation Spiderweb, covert activities designed to discredit senior figures from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, including Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Finance Minister Tendai Biti and Industry Minister Welshman Ncube…”

“Thirds members of the CIO have been repeatedly identified as perpetrators of violence in the recent past, and therefore Sam Pa’s apparent material assistance may fund future human rights abuses in the run up to the forthcoming election.”

Global Witness therefore believes that Sam Pa and Sino Zimbabwe Development should be placed under sanctions. It also says consumers should not buy diamonds originating from Marange.


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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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