Home » New report reveals exclusive deal between Zimbabwe and U.S.-sanctioned businessman Kudakwashe Tagwirei

New report reveals exclusive deal between Zimbabwe and U.S.-sanctioned businessman Kudakwashe Tagwirei

by Ishioma Emi

A recent Bloomberg report revealed that Zimbabwe is moving to consolidate its mining assets under a sweeping private-public enterprise, despite evidence linking the project to the U.S.-sanctioned tycoon Kudakwashe Tagwirei.

Tagwirei is a controversial Zimbabwean businessman who was sanctioned by the United States in August 2020 for derailing economic development and harming the Zimbabwean people through corruption. 

According to Bloomberg, previously unreported documents, including correspondence among executives and shareholders, show that weeks after Tagwirei was sanctioned, his Mauritius-based Sotic International Limited began planning to shift its assets to a newly established Zimbabwean holding company, Ziwa Resources Limited. 

Ziwa is the only private shareholder in the private-public partnership, Kuvimba Mining House Limited.

When the United States places an economic sanction on an individual or entity, they are prohibited from transacting with the United States or doing business with its currency or allies. The embargo cuts offenders off from international financial markets.

This means that Tagwirei cannot do business with any U.S. citizen and his assets in the United States are frozen and kept under the auspices of the U.S. Treasury. 

Over the years, the businessman has used complex corporate structures to build and hide his wealth, potentially benefiting from preferential government treatment along the way.

He is a special adviser to President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The Bloomberg report paints the government as a deliberate partner in corrupt affairs and further places the businessman on the wrong side of the U.S. and the international community.

In July, the United Kingdom also imposed economic sanctions on the controversial businessman for gross financial corruption. 

Tagwirei is the founder, CEO and director of Sakunda Holdings Group, a privately owned company in the commodities sector focusing on energy, trading and logistics.

Ziwa Resources

Ziwa Resources is fully owned by Tagwirei. 

In July, the Sentry reported claims by Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube and Kuvimba’s CEO David Brown that the government owns 65 percent of Kuvimba’s shares, while the remaining 35 percent were held by Ziwa Investments, the Zimbabwean subsidiary of the Mauritius-registered Quorus.

Both men denied the involvement of Tagwirei in the new structure.

Intriguing enough, the company records of Kuvimba Mining House are not available in Zimbabwe’s company registry, and Ziwa Investments appears not to exist. 

Nevertheless, Ziwa Resources was registered by lawyers at Tagwirei’s law firm. Its directors include Brown and Simbarashe Chinyemba, Tagwirei’s strong allies.

According to the report, Almas Global Opportunity Fund, formerly used by Tagwirei to invest in Sotic International through the Cayman Islands, owns 65 percent of Ziwa Resources. The other 35 percent is owned by Pfimbi Resources, a Zimbabwean firm whose directors are Tagwirei and his wife.

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