By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s deputy chief secretary for Administration and Finance and ex-Defence secretary, Martin Rushwaya is accused of facilitating the Zimbabwean military’s secret diamond dealings and off-budget financing through his Greatgem Corp company, the Pandora Papers have exposed.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) says Rushwaya created Greatgem Corp in the Seychelles in 2010 with the help of a Moscow law firm. His company is accused of facilitating the Zimbabwean military’s secret diamond dealings and off-budget financing.
Rushwaya allegedly set up the company around the time the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) entered into a partnership with China’s Anjin diamond company to mine diamonds in Marange.
The dump of more than 11.9 million records, came five years after the leak known as the “Panama Papers” exposed how money was hidden by the wealthy in ways that law enforcement agencies could not detect.
“Rushwaya was one of two shareholders of the shell company. The other was a shell company owned by Moscow resident Olga Bakina. Greatgem’s sole director was Grey Mashava, then a Zimbabwean army colonel. The company had a bank account in Latvia.
“In 2012, the offshore provider Alpha Consulting Ltd which set up Greatgem, reported the company to the Seychelles’ Financial Intelligence Unit. Alpha Consulting noted that media reports identified Rushwaya as the director of a diamond-mining company that allegedly ‘camouflaged the involvement of security forces’ and was involved in ‘off budget’ financing.
Alpha declared in its report, ‘We express a great deal of concern that the above described situation might be linked to the corruption of state high officials’.”
“Rushwaya briefly spoke to an ICIJ reporter and asked for questions to be sent to him via WhatsApp. Rushwaya then did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
Mashava could not be reached for comment. Bakina did not respond to ICIJ’s repeated requests for comment,” ICIJ said. Nehanda Radio