Mawere claims his assets paid IMF loan
By Dumisani Muleya
PROMINENT Zimbabwean tycoon Mutumwa Mawere, now a South African citizen, claims part of the money used recently by President Robert Mugabe’s regime to cover the International Monetary Fund (IMF) arrears came from his seized companies.
Mawere’s disclosure reinforces reports that Mugabe’s government raided exporters’ foreign currency accounts and the forex auction system to raise the $120m it paid to the IMF to reduce its $295m debt.
The revelations raise questions about the propriety of the sources of the money Harare paid to the IMF after failing to secure a loan from SA to settle the arrears. Zimbabwe rejected the conditions Pretoria attached to the loan.
In a recent letter to the IMF’s MD, Rodrigo de Rato, Mawere said Mugabe’s government used proceeds from his confiscated companies to help repay the IMF.
The letter was copied to
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, World Bank president Paul
Wolfowitz and senior IMF officials.
The payment of part of the IMF debt and concessions on economic reforms saved Zimbabwe from immediate expulsion.
Harare was given another
grace period of six months to put its house in order.
“I am sure that if your executive board was aware that part of the source of payment from Zimbabwe directly originated from the proceeds of the state’s illegal activities, your institutions would have arrived at a different conclusion in your deliberations.”
Mawere lost his flagship conglomerate, Shabanie Mashaba Mines, which he had bought for $60m from British company Turner & Newell in 1996, to the state. His mines, together with companies in finance, insurance and agriculture, were seized by presidential decree.
Mawere was accused of externalising foreign currency and was specified under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
He was arrested in SA last year, but freed after Zimbabwe failed in its bid to get him extradited.
Mawere said that
he felt compelled to bring the issue to the IMF’s attention because
of a misrepresentation of facts about Zimbabwe’s payment - Business
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