As the final week before the Presidential elections in Zimbabwe is entered, revelations appear that President Robert Mugabe has stashed away millions of USD in foreign banks.
In an article in the British weekly newspaper, The Sunday Telegraph, of March 3rd, it is claimed that Robert Mugabe has deposited 16 million Euro in diverse banks in Malaysia, one of the few countries which still has good relations with Harare. This money, it is claimed, was engineered through a series of movements involving accounts in the British Channel Isles (Jersey and Guernsey).
The same newspaper claims that in the last three months, 96 million Euro have disappeared, stating that it used sources close to the Movement for Democratic change, the main opposition group in Zimbabwe.
Another British weekly, The Sunday Times, claimed that Mugabe has transferred several million USD to accounts in the Bahamas and Malaysia. The article states that this money came from the sale of diamonds offered by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in return for Zimbabwe’s military support.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe newspaper, The Standard, claims that Swiss banks are considering to freeze the 82.5 million USD that President Mugabe and members of his government have deposited in recent months.
A spokesperson for a Swiss bank, quoted by The Standard, said, “The Swiss government considers it appropriate to apply sanctions after the elections, because Mugabe and his ZANU-PF will certainly commit fraud to hold on to power”.
Mugabe appears to be keeping all his options open. In the short term, it appears that he will try to hold on to power for as long as possible, using his military forces, still loyal to him despite his growing record of political assassinations, beatings and threats. Should the situation become untenable, he already has his pockets full, to live out his remaining days in comfort, possibly in Libya.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru