Zim cartels pale in comparison to Anglo

Source: Zim cartels pale in comparison to Anglo | Herald (Business)

Rutendo Bereza Matinyarare

I just read the report by Daily Maverick, that is purporting to expose cartels in Zimbabwe. The problem with the report is it does not include the obvious and leading cartels in Zimbabwe, (most of the giants listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.)

This immediately begs one to question the efficacy of this report and why a report on cartels in Zimbabwe, would leave out the well-known cartels that control meat, food, sugar, cement, ethanol, banking, horticulture and fuel.

The bias is eerily similar to the kangaroo court being referred to in South Africa as the State Capture Commission, which in a country where 93 percent of the wealth sits in the hands of the white criminals who perpetuated the crime against humanity of apartheid expects us to believe that black people who control less than 7 percent of a shrinking stake of South Africa’s wealth, have somehow become powerful enough to capture the state from the thugs who perpetuated apartheid.

What is even more telling is, the Daily Maverick, which wrote this biased report, is a South African media house that belongs to the Oppenheimers and their Anglo American media empire, that is very notorious for spreading anti-black stereotypes, to maintain white supremacy in South Africa.

It would therefore seem, that this racist rag, has decided to use good old South African style propaganda, to selectively tarnish Zimbabwean companies that are not in it’s orbit of influence.

The only plausible reason for this, is white South Africa is targeting companies that have been assisting Zimbabwe to mitigate sanctions imposed by their kith and kin in the west, as a means of maintaining white South African hegemony upon regional economies.

The problem however, is the Daily Maverick cannot talk about cartels, when the Oppenheimers and their Anglo American colonial charter company that was enriched by the crime against humanity of colonialism, is the leading cartel in Africa, ahead of Glencore and the seven sisters of oil.

They control over 60 percent of the South African economy, with huge controlling interests in almost every economic sector from mining, banking, insurance, weapons manufacturing, teargas production, agriculture, chemicals, media and energy. As a result, in South Africa, it’s an open secret that they captured the South African state on behalf of the Rothschild, Rockefeller combine during the time of Cecil Rhodes.

The 1986 peace talks in South Africa were initiated by the Oppenheimers, who instructed the Broederbond (their Afrikaner underlings), to release Mandela once they had satisfied themselves that the ANC would toe the line. An indication that apartheid was underwritten by them.

On his release, Mandela lived in an Oppenheimer mansion and then moved to Dole Stein’s house, which was later turned into a boutique hotel to capitalise on Mandela’s association.

His cabinet was hand picked by the same family, hence, when we see Zuma being  persecuted for state capture, it’s hypocrisy of the highest order.

At some point, Anglo America was also the biggest investor in Zimbabwe, controlling over 30 percent of the Zimbabwean private sector before the economy was transformed.

Then, they had interests in ZISCO Steel, Delta, Bindura Nickel, Barclays Bank, Blue Ribbon, National Foods, Hwange Colliery, Haggie Randi, Mazowe Estates, Spring Master, Border Timbers Hippo Valley, RAL Holdings, Zimbabwe Alloys and many others.

There is currently, growing suspicion that they are the puppet master pulling the strings at Innscor, which fortuitously bought most of Anglo’s food-related businesses.

It was Anglo America and their steel subsidiary Haggie Rand that were central to the collapse of ZISCO Steel, which in 1980 was the biggest Iron and Steel plant in the Southern Hemisphere and the only one in Africa outside South Africa.  The demise of ZISCO began with Anglo as a shareholder in ZISCO, exerting pressure on the government of Zimbabwe and ZISCO’s board, through ZISCO’s Austrian CEO Kurt Kuhn, to push Lancashire Steel to give in to a hostile takeover by Anglo’s subsidiary Haggie Rand.  Lancashire Steel, was a competitor of Haggie Rand in the manufacture of steel wire and rods. The problem, however, was Lancaster Steel produced higher quality and cheaper steel products than Haggie Rand, putting pressure on Haggie’s supernormal margins in South Africa.

As a result, Anglo sought to takeover or destroy Lancashire Steel, so that they could enjoy an unchallenged monopoly in Africa.

Anglo, in cahoots with former CEO of Voest Alpine (a supplier of steel manufacturing technology to ZISCO, apartheid South Africa and Angola) Kurt Kuhn, who became CEO of ZISCO after 1980, began to pressure Lancashire to sell to Haggie.

Kurt Kuhn had been the former RISCO CEO (Rhodesia Iron and Steel Company), who grew the Redcliff ZISCO complex into the biggest single iron smelter in the Southern Hemisphere by implementing sanctions busting initiatives, with the collusion of the western world. In 1979 he resigned, however, a year later the Zimbabwean government offered him a contract to continue his work.

On his return, he brought staff from Voest Alpine to capacitate ZISCO staff and to undertake an over inflated $200m recapitalization, financed by the West German government. With this, he used his clout as CEO, to mislead the Zimbabwean government into believing that Lancaster Steel was transfer pricing and should be taken over by Anglo.

The Zimbabwean Government, through Minister of Industry Kumbirai Kangai, began to push Lancaster steel to accept the bid from Haggie Rand but they refused.

To induce the sale, the Zimbabwean government gave Haggie Rand bigger subsidies for exports than Lancashire. When ZISCO increased steel and iron prices by 25 percent, they prohibited Lancashire from passing the cost onto their customers.

In 1984, Kurt Kuhn’s contract came to an end and he used his Swiss-based human resources agency to poach Voest Alpine staff and some ZISCO high fliers to leave ZISCO, leaving the company incapacitated.

Jobs were lost at Lancaster Steel, management was purged, until eventually the company was sold to the government and ZISCO. Soon after, Lancashire Steel, now under Government control, signed an exclusive off-take contract with Haggie Rand. With that, in 1985 in the depth of apartheid South Africa’s sanctions on Zimbabwe, the apartheid government imposed a 50 percent tariff on Lancaster Steel products entering the South African market. This made the once competitive Lancashire Steel products uncompetitive against Haggie’s inferior products, resulting in Lancashire making huge loses that wilted the company.

About the same time, huge investment was poured into capacitating South Africa’s recently denationalized steel industry, ISCOR and Anglo smelters, with the assistance of Voest Alpine. Meanwhile, in Zimbabwe, international multi-lateral lending institutions denied Zimbabwe loans to upgrade ZISCO, forcing the country to import steel from South Africa.

By Rutendo Bereza Matinyarare of Zimbabweans Unite Against US War

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