Rwodzi, Mujuru-Interfin Bank axis of looting, and money laundering

Posted on August 2, 2010 | Category: Politics; Business, Sport

 

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Interfin Bank Chairman Farai Rwodzi and his business associates Vice President Mujuru and her husband Retired General Solomon Mujuru have various interests in just about every sector of the Zimbabwe economy. In June 2005 a consortium representing the Mujurus headed by Farai Rwodzi and Adam Molai, respectively founder of the Interfin Merchant Bank and managing director of Savanna Tobacco Company took over Zimbabwe Alloys from Anglo American. It was the first mining investment fronted by Rwodzi which glossed over the mafia tactics used by Farai Rwodzi and Benscore Investments team to arm twist the Zim alloys workers who had been promised the Company by Anglo American.

The Mujuru family using various schemes ,tactics and individuals co-ordinated and fronted by Farai Rwodzi has been on an asset buying spree to launder and clean up their ill-gotten wealth. River Ranch is known colloquially as “Mujuru’s mine”. There But while Mujuru’s ownership may be common knowledge, many other things about River Ranch remain in the shadows. The mine goes to the very heart of Mujuru’s struggle for control of Zanu (PF) and allegations it is being used to launder some of the plunder he and his allies secured in DRC.

In April 2004 Mujuru controversially grabbed the mine with the help of Adel Abdul Rahman al Aujan, a millionaire Saudi real estate developer who also owns luxury beach resorts and safari camps in eastern and Southern Africa that operate under the name Rani Resorts. There are also persistent questions surrounding the company’s ‘official’ production numbers. Although there is no definitive proof Mujuru is laundering Congolese diamonds, RRL’s numbers don’t tally.These tactics are well planned by the Mujurus to take mines and then launder proceeds from other controversial mines like DRC and Chiadzwa
The Zim alloys workers were not happy about the new take over they had been promised a workers buy out. But those vultures got information from Tongai Muzenda that Zimbabwe alloys was up for grabs and had been promised to the wormers and management through a Management Buyout.The management and workers were cowed using various mafia intimidatory tactics of arrests, physical violence and false imprisonment.Farai Rwodzi, Interfin Bank and the Mujurus have refined the art of illegal asset takeovers and laundering the proceeds through Interfin Bank.This is the same tactic Mujuru used to take over River Ranch Mine and now his protégé and business front and partner Farai Rwodzi is reefing the art with additional help from Interfin Bank to make it look professional and above board.

In 2001 Mujuru became the subject of the first legal action against any member of Mr Mugabe’s inner circle implicated in the illegal seizure of land and assets. His seizure of Alamein Farm was ruled illegal by the Zimbabwean Supreme Court.

Popular speculation is that he owns anywhere between six and sixteen farms, including Alamein farm, a productive and high-value operation illegally requisitioned as part of a “landgrab” from Guy Watson-Smith in 2001, as found by the Zimbabwe High Court and international courts.

Farai Rwodzi also got 5 workers arrested at Zimbabwe alloys in Gweru on false and fabricated charges in an attempt to silence them from opposing his bid for Zimabwe Alloys. Other employees were beaten up by ZANU PF youths hired by Farai Rwodzi when they resisted his take over of Zimbabwe alloys
Workers committee members then organised fellow workers to resist farai Rwodzi and Interfin’s team. Farai Rwodzi personally went to Zimbabwe alloys with Tongai Muzenda and the next the 4 workers were arrested for various fabricated allegations. Others “vaingo robhwa vachiudzwa kuti muri Ve MDC munorambidza mwana wevhu kutenga company sei”

Vice President Mujuru’s back ground is very relevant to the current looting spree spearheaded by Farai Rwodzi on her behalf.Before becoming vice-president, she was best known for blocking a bid to set up Zimbabwe’s first mobile phone network in the early 1990s.This was seen as not only a money-earner but a threat to the government’s control of information. As information minister, she managed to thwart Econet long enough for Telecel, rumoured to be part-owned by her husband, to set up.

She was also one of the biggest beneficiaries of a scheme set up to pay compensation to those injured during the war of independence. The scheme paid out huge amounts of public money – one of the sparks for Zimbabwe’s subsequent economic collapse.

The Mujurus are accused of taking over at least one of the farms seized from their white owners in recent years. Guy Watson-Smith has taken Mr Mujuru to court to seek compensation after his farm was invaded by ruling party supporters. He says the famous couple are living on the 3,500-acre Alamein farm, 45 miles south of Harare. Mr Watson-Smith says the infrastructure alone was worth some $2.5m.He won a court order in December 2001 but is still trying to get either the money or the farm. The proceeds from such asset grabs are routinely sent to Interfin Bank for laundering purposes to hide any tracks of the preceeding illegal activities

Mr Mujuru is also a director of the River Ranch mine as described above, which has denied reports of it was trading in illegal “blood diamonds” from DR Congo. River Ranch affords Mujuru unfettered access to his own diamond resource – one that he has protected with ruthlessness.

Those who have borne the brunt of Mujuru’s persecution are the Farquhar’s and their immediate supporters. The couple has repeatedly been singled out for special harassment, including frequent imprisonments, house break-ins and death threats, in an attempt to force them to give up the mine.

The intimidation campaign took a very personal and tragic turn in February 2010, when Adele’s brother, Richard Amyot, and his wife, Tecla, were murdered.

Police ruled it a murder-suicide but forensics done by the family disputed that finding. Tecla was shot four times, including once from close range at the back of her head while she was lying on the floor. Richard was found slumped in a door frame as though running from the room. He, too, was shot in the head, but from medium range. No gunpowder residue was found either on his hands or at the bullet’s entry point.

Mrs Mujuru and her Husband have also been accused of trying to evade international sanctions by using her daughter to sell Congolese gold on her behalf. After their daughter was exposed Farai Rwodzi has taken the lead in trying to evade sanctions on behalf of the Mujurus and hide their ill-gotten gains.It is clear there is blood dripping money in this Rwodzi/Mujuru/Interfin Bank network which must be exposed at all costs.

Interfin does not have any real and meaningful clients or bank business model. Its sole purpose is to launder proceeds of crime as in asset grabs, looted diamonds, corruption this is why Rwodzi was very quick to pay US$ 5.3 million for CFX Bank because it was a real bank with proper network systems and relationship with Money gram which Farai Rwodzi intends to use extensively in his money laundering operations. Moneygram should be aware of the reputational risk that will come with Interfin Bank’s involvement with their brand.

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