Evidence has emerged of the serving vice-president, Joice Mujuru and her family, husband Solomon, daughter Nyasha, and their son-in-law Pedro del Campo involvement in dirty gold and blood diamonds deals.
The history of the Democratic Republic of Congo has always been one of greed and corruption. In 1998 a 5 year conflict erupted between government forces, backed by Angola , Namibia and Zimbabwe , against rebels backed by Uganda and Rwanda . The fighting was fuelled by the enormous mineral wealth of the DRC and everyone took advantage of the chance to plunder the natural resources, which included gold and diamonds.
The war has been described as Africa ’s world war and Robert Mugabe’s support in this conflict saw the beginning of the collapse of Zimbabwe ’s economy, when he committed Zimbabwean troops to the conflict. An estimated 5 million people died in the DRC , mainly because of the humanitarian crisis that resulted.
For it’s support, Zimbabwe was given a number of concessions by the DRC government, that allowed it to plunder the vast natural resources of the country, including gold and diamonds. A United Nations report and another report by Global Witness, detailed the criminal activities that resulted. The reports clearly showed that Zimbabwe ’s ruling elite and all the senior defence force officials were, and still are, involved in the plunder. In August 2002 United Nations investigations revealed a memorandum from the Defence Minister Sidney Sekeramayi, to Robert Mugabe, proposing that a joint Zimbabwe- DRC company be set up in Mauritius , to disguise the continuing economic interests of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces in the DRC . The UN report showed that an elite network of Congolese and Zimbabwean political, military and commercial interests transferred ownership of at least US$5 billion of assets from the State mining sector to private companies under its control, with no compensation or benefit for the State treasury of the DRC .
Unfortunately this plunder continues and in Hotseat we speak to Mr. Felix Eimer who says he was recently contacted by the daughter of Vice President Joice Mujuru, Nyasha del Campo, who tried to set up a deal involving illegal gold from the DRC . She and her husband Pedro live in Madrid in Spain and have set up two companies, allegedly with the help and financial support of her mother.
The company who were offered this gold is Firstar Europe, a company which trades in raw materials.
Gerry Jackson interviews Mr Felix Eimer of First Star, Europe on the programme, Hotseat. Listen Here
UN report on illegal exploitation of DRC Oct 2002
Correspondence to and from Nyasha del Campo
Letter to journalists from Firstar Europe Ltd
Global Witness report: Zimbabwe’s Resource Colonialism in Democratic Republic of Congo
Corporate offer for 350kg of gold from company controlled by Nyasha and Pedro Del Campo