Zimbabwean businessman Kuda Tagwirei is in the spotlight again. This time, a United States non-profit organisation, the Sentry, founded by actor George Clooney and John Prendergast, who was at one time the director for African Affairs at the National Security Council, has published a 38-page dossier entitled: Shadows and Shell companies-uncovering an offshore business empire in Zimbabwe.
The Sentry report looks at Tagwirei’s business empire and is largely based on emails leaked by a former “disgruntled” Tagwirei employee and associate Christopher Fourie.
This is the third dossier on Tagwirei’s business empire in six months, the first being: Cartel power dynamics published by the Daily Maverick of South Africa in February.
The second, also highlighted by the Daily Maverick, was entitled: Political stakeholders report by Africa Risk Consulting in March
All three reports contain almost the same information about Tagwirei with emphasis being on how he has “captured” the State and is benefitting from grand corruption and working with the military and top government officials.
The question is, why so much interest in Tagwirei, now especially when all the signs indicate that Zimbabwe is getting out of the woods on its own without outside help?
Even the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have admitted that the country is on the rebound.
Whose toes has Tagwirei and his “cartel” trampled upon? Or is he just a decoy?
One of the key recommendations of the Sentry report seems to point to that as it says the priority is to dismantle Zimbabwe’s kleptocracy.
Kleptocracy is a government whose corrupt leaders use political power to appropriate the wealth of their nation, typically by embezzling or misappropriating government funds at the expense of the wider population.
Another recommendation is that the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union and the World Bank should impose sanctions on those responsible for grand corruption in Zimbabwe.
Tagwirei is already under US sanctions.
Ironically, one of the companies that Tagwirei reportedly owns, Kuvimba Mining House, has just paid out a divided of US$5.2 million, U$1 million of which has been paid to former white farmers as part of the US$3.5 billion compensation package.
The government says it owns 65% of Kuvimba.
The Sentry’s interest in Tagwirei, in view of Prendergast’s previous job, is quite interesting.
According to the Whitehouse website, “the National Security Council is the President’s principal forum for national security and foreign policy decision making with his or her senior national security advisors and cabinet officials, and the President’s principal arm for coordinating these policies across federal agencies”.
It is chaired by the President. Its regular attendees are the Vice President, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Energy, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations, the Administrator of the US Agency for International Development, the Chief of Staff to the President, and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the military advisor to the Council, and the Director of National Intelligence is the intelligence advisor.
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