Zanu financier Rautenbach earns $75m in 3 weeks

via Zanu financier earns $75m in three weeks | The Zimbabwean 19.03.14

Billy Rautenbach

Billy Rautenbach, the mega-rich mogul and long-time Zanu (PF) financier, made about $75 million in three weeks through shady deals facilitated by President Robert Mugabe’s government in 2008, says an investigative report.

According to a document penned in December 2013 following investigations by a group of volunteer whistleblowers, Rautenbach benefited from a complex process whereby mining assets were stripped from a legitimate investor and transferred to a shell company before being sold to another company for super profits.

The document has been sent to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) head office as evidence that the government’s shady deals contravene its rules and regulations.

While the murky mining deal has been reported in the media before, the document breaks new ground by naming Rautenbach as the owner of the company that benefited from the string of clandestine transactions involving offshore companies with nameless proprietors.

Quick buck

According to the private investigators, whose research spanned at least 10 countries, a London-listed company, Central African Mining & Exploration Company Plc (Camec), purchased a 60 percent mining interest in Todal from the Anglo American multinational on April 10 2008.

Todal, located some 80km from Gweru and 350km south of Harare, is a platinum mining venture jointly owned with the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC). Camec reportedly purchased the shares from a company called Meryweather Investments Limited and trades as Lefever in the joint ownership with ZMDC, which has 40 percent while Lefever has 60 percent shareholding.

Meryweather had held the shares that it sold to Camec through Lefever for only three weeks and received about $75 million after the purchase, earning the mega-buck businessman a fortune in a short space of time. “Meryweather received $5 million in cash, plus 215 million shares of CAMEC, which it eventually sold for approximately $70 million,” says the report.

At the time, the British Virgin Islands-domiciled Camec refused to divulge the ownership of Meryweather. But the investigators say Rautenbach is the major shareholder, even though other co-owners – who could be government officials – remain a mystery.

$100 million loan

Earlier, the government had received a $100 million loan from Camec that would be serviced through the ZMDC shares in Todal. The loan was made as Mugabe’s government was holding onto the results of the first round of the 2008 presidential elections. It is believed to have funded the subsequent run-off that was marked by widespread violence.

The then US Ambassador, James McGee, expressed concern over the deal in a cable: “The GoZ (Government of Zimbabwe) appears troublingly willing to sell the family silver or in this case platinum in shadowy deals for short-term benefit to questionable investors with no experience in platinum and absent public tender or public scrutiny of the terms.

“Desperate for forex, the GoZ has opted for a quick return that will provide some short term support but will most likely line the pockets of a select few and ultimately leave Zimbabwe all the poorer.”

Rautenbach is also the owner of the controversial ethanol project in Chisumbanje. His links to Zanu (PF), which he has admitted to fund, date back to the early 2000s when he was revealed by the United Nations to be working closely with Mugabe’s henchmen in illegally exploiting minerals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

At one time, he was fugitive from justice in South Africa where he was wanted for tax evasion and embezzlement. He is under US and European Union travel and business restrictions for his close ties with Zanu (PF) and Mugabe. Rautenbach could not be traced for a comment.


  • comment-avatar
    kagamba 8 years ago

    Corruption yezimbabwe inonyadzisa & u become speechless about the mess coming out

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    Does not look like Billy to me.Must have changed a lot over the years.

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    Ruramai 8 years ago

    Rautenbach or should we say Rottenbach is a very special white man indeed. White farmers lost their land because they are not indigenous and it was necessary to correct past wrongs, we were told.

    Strangely, in Chisumbanje, the indigenous peasants lost their land, without compensation too, to Rottenbach. Now all motorists must enrich him through buying the overpriced ethanol blended fuel, whether or not it ruins their vehicles.

    It looks like the white farmers simply didn’t know whose palms to grease. That’s how cheap Mugabe has made our country.

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    Roving Ambassador 8 years ago

    That’s why we went qto war in DRC, for these chaps to loot… Him and Mnangagwa are co- owners of these dodgy companies.
    Bob is at the top of the corruption kuk.

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    This guy is unbelievably vile in every way, lower than a snakes belly. He would certainly have been a prime candidate for leadership of Hitler’s SS if geography and time had allowed. The sooner IMF, US, EU, ICC or whoever caught up with him and put him away the better all humanity will be.

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      Angela Wigmore 8 years ago

      Absolutely agreed! Pure scum. He and Bob were made for each other – not an iota of decency, integrity or conscience. I hope the Buddhists are right about karma.

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    Reverend 8 years ago

    I am sure he is proud of himself alongside Bredencamp, Davies, and a few more.

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    Zvarwadza 8 years ago

    Billy your time is inexorably tied to mugabe’s.

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    Parangeta 8 years ago

    And to think I went to Prince Edward School with all of them!

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    Manuch 8 years ago

    Scum all, Davies, Bredenkamp and Rautenbach have no scruples,morality or empathy. Imagine being married or a child of such scumbags.

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    George 8 years ago

    Billy, as you have probably heard the Presidential Scholarship fund has been suspended for lack of funds. It owes South African Universities US$1 million dollars. Our young brilliant students are reduced to prostituton to survive. Can you fund this program by donating a fraction of investment earnings. I have nothing against rich folks..I just hope you make this world a better place. When you go, we will only remember you for your good works.