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Archive for the tag “Congolese People”

DRC: A Report published today says Getler’s Mineral Royalties daily is the double of Messi’s salary!

Again, the investor and mineral licensing powerhouse in the Democratic Republic Congo, Dan Gertler is even more under fire after the revelations of his illicit trade during the recent years. Now, the formula and the amount of cash he gets from the foreign mineral extraction companies are paying for their passage to him. This as the deals between Getler and Kinshasa authorities are left in the dark. Whatever deal they have, certainly Getler is earning fortunes without doing more, than being connected to the Joseph Kabila government.

This report shows important facts and also bring certainties of the assumed fortunes made by Gertler, even as he is sanctioned and his corporations. Clearly, the mineral extraction is profitable in the midst of insecurity and civilian despair in the republic. While the businesses and the affiliates are eating, the public are fleeing militias and the army itself. The state is not serving the public, but the companies and the persons who has secret deals with the government. It is vicious and the international community let them, even as it is sanctioned, the acts are still appearing and has the ability to earn on it.

Based on a number of assumptions, Resource Matters estimates the royalties to the Gertler-affiliated companies can be expected to amount to about $110 million for 2018 and nearly $100 million for 2019. This means that Gertler risks losing about $270,000 in revenue from Glencore’s operations per day. That is nearly twice as much as the world’s best paid soccer player, Lionel Messi, makes at Barcelona” (Resource Matters, P: 6, 2018).

Glencore therefore has to balance the risk of increased pressure in Congo versus the risk of ending up on the U.S. sanctions list. This means that the royalty payments constitute a significant risk, whether they stop or continue. Investors should be able to know how Glencore will deal with this going forward. U.K anti-corruption organization Global Witness has repeatedly lamented the opacity of Glencore’s royalty payments to Gertler’s companies and called for better disclosure” (Resource Matters, P: 8, 2018).

This conclusion was somewhat hasty. Gertler’s gold companies do not explicitly feature on the sanctions list, but that in itself does not matter. Under the U.S. Treasury’s so-called 50%-rule, any company owned at least 50% by a sanctioned entity is considered, per se, sanctioned because it is deemed to be “blocked property” of the sanctioned person. Both Moku Goldmines and Société Minière de Moku-Beverendi are at least 50% owned by Fleurette, a sanctioned entity, and should be considered sanctioned, too. In addition, the fact that no payments are made to Gertler does not shield Randgold from the risk of being sanctioned. The U.S. Treasury could qualify Randgold’s exploration activities at Moku-Beverendi as ‘material support’ to a sanctioned entity and impose sanctions on Randgold” (Resource Matters, P: 9, 2018).

Gertler might be in hot-water and the Kabila government might have decisions to make concerning their alliance. Still, the trades and contracts has been made, if the Kabila government suspend and revoke it, they might have to pay a settlement. While wait for a new company or middle-man to secure a grand deal for the licensing. We can question if the loyalty will be there, as long as the sanctions might hit the companies who works with Gertler. Because, they do not want to lose the profitable and secure delivery of the cobalt and other minerals in the Republic.

Surely, Getler don’t want to miss his winning ways and his double earnings of Messi. He want it and doesn’t care about how. Getler just continue to score and get contracts, which makes his giant fortune. It is by the blessing of his connections in Kinshasa. Peace.

Reference:

Resource Matters – ‘The Global Magnitsky – Effect How will U.S. sanctions against Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler affect the DR Congo’s extractive sector?” (February 2018).

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Och-Ziff Company and subsidiaries implicated in bribing Guinean, Zimbabwean and Congolese Authorities to get favourable business operations in these nations, Raid January 2017 report claims!

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“The Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, at the FCA’s 2016 Financial Crime Conference, stated:15 ‘The UK is attractive to criminals and corrupt kleptocrats who steal billions from their own people, often some of the poorest people in the world.’ The Home Secretary concluded: ‘If…we develop world leading legislation to combat financial crime whilst continuing to develop the capabilities of our law enforcement agencies, then we will reduce the flow of dirty money into the City….’” (RAID, P: 14, 2017).

Well, this is not the first or the last time we will discuss mineral-resources and the extractions of these to gain quick profits, either in sophisticated ways of administrative affairs between the ones the licence the operations to the company, which usually is government officials who are pocketed by subsidiaries if multi-national corporations; this is happening in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe and Guinea. As showed in the RAID report of January 2017: “Bribery in its purest form”; that I will uncover certain parts of to show the apparent companies and holding-companies that are owning and operating in the these countries by bribing officials to export minerals. They get ownership of giant mines and resources from these nations as they are licenced after favourable transactions for the governments, as they are kept bribed to uphold production as well.

This happening in nations that are sanctioned and has sanctioned persons that should stop these transactions and licences of United Kingdom and United States corporations, even if they have shell-companies and official headquarters in Tax-Havens that proves the ability of extracting the massive fortunes in these minerals, without proper transparency in the nation they operate with their mining operation.

I think the report should speak for itself and should be publically known to show how they are able to take the monies, profit and also bribing the officials without any consequences, even when the nations of Zimbabwe and DRC had sanctions against it; still the His Majesty Treasury of United Kingdom didn’t stop the transactions and trade with them. This proves that the UK Government doesn’t care about their own sanctions and how their businesses are operating without judgement and fear of getting fined for breaking laws to get rights and takeover mining operations in other countries.

Take a look! 

The review of mining licences that the Congolese government embarked on in 2007, which was supposed to clear up the murky legacy of wartime contracts, provided Och-Ziff and its collaborators with a golden opportunity to snap up valuable assets at knock-down prices. Working with the Congolese political elite, this group were able to exploit the threat of expropriation or revocation of mining permits to their own advantage. By 2014, according to Forbes Magazine, President Joseph Kabila had amassed an estimated personal fortune of US$15 billion in just over 13 years of power.xxiv In 2015, The Sunday Times Rich List estimated Michael Cohen’s wealth to be £335 million (US$500 million). Forbes puts Daniel Och’s (the founder and CEO of Och-Ziff) net worth at US$2.5 billion and Dan Gertler’s wealth at $1.18 billion. The DRC is one of the poorest and least developed nations in the world, ranked 176 out of 188 countries.xxv Almost 87% of its 69 million people live on less than $1.25 a day. Put another way, that $1.25 each day equates to $450 per year, and with life expectancy of 58 years, Och’s personal fortune would last the lifetimes of more than 95,000 Congolese at today’s values” (Raid, P: 10, 2017).

Och-Ziff subsidiaries:

“Mvela Holdings is incorporated in South Africa.31 Mvela Holdings is described in the Och-Ziff release as ‘a private investment company founded in 1998 by Tokyo Sexwale, Mikki Xayiya and Mark Willcox. It is the controlling shareholder of JSE-listed Mvelaphanda Group Ltd and has a significant interest in JSE-listed Mvelaphanda Resources Ltd. It has other substantial privately held interests in the mining, energy, real estate and various other industrial sectors in South Africa and Africa.’ It appears that Mvela did not ultimately participate directly in AML” (…) “Palladino Holdings is described as a private investment vehicle, founded in 2003 by Walter Hennig holding ‘a variety of significant mining, energy and other assets in Africa.’32 A company under the name Palladino Holdings Limited is registered in the UK, and recorded as originating in the Turks & Caicos Islands.33 Other market notifications that refer to Palladino Holdings Limited as a shareholder give an address for Palladino in the Turks & Caicos Islands.34 Palladino Capital 2 Limited, a closely-related Palladino subsidiary behind a controversial loan to the Guinea government (see below), is registered in the British Virgin Islands” (…) “Other than Och-Ziff employees, directors of Africa Management (UK) Limited include or have included, Walter Hennig (Palladino), Andre Cilliers (Palladino) and its chief executive Mark Willcox (also Chief Executive Officer of Mvela Holdings)” (Raid, P: 17, 2017).

Guinea agreement:

“Och-Ziff Employee A and Och-Ziff Employee B, along with the CEO of AML and South African Business Partner, conceived of a related-party transaction that would accomplish these goals….According to the deal documents, South African Business Partner was to buy 31.5 million shares in the oil and gas company from the South African conglomerate for $77 million and then immediately resell 18.5 million of those shares to AGC II for $77 million.…” (…) “Contrary to the deal documents…Och-Ziff Employee A and Och-Ziff Employee B knew that South African Business Partner would not pay the full $77 million to the South African conglomerate. South African Business Partner bought 31.5 million shares…for only $25 million, and then immediately resold 18.5 million shares in that same company to AGC II for $77 million, providing South African Business Partner with $52 million and an additional 13 million shares in the company. With the $52 million, South African Business Partner then paid $2.1 million to Och-Ziff to satisfy an outstanding debt relating to AGC I (in which the Investor had no interest), $25 million to the government of Guinea to try to secure access to valuable mining investments there, $1 million to the agent affiliated with the a high level Guinean government official and his family, and the remainder to personally benefit himself and his business partners” (RAID, P: 19, 2017).

Guinea 2011:

“In or about March 2011, a company controlled by Coconspirator #1 [‘the beneficial owner of the Turks & Caicos Entity’ ] entered into an agreement with the Guinean government, which gave the company the option to buy into the SOMC [‘Guinean state-owned mining company’]. On or about April 29, 2011, an affiliate of the Turks & Caicos Entity loaned the government of Guinea $25 million as part of a deal to become a partner in the SOMC. Coconspirator #1 raised the $25 million through a related-party stock sale to the Joint Venture. MEBIAME signed the loan document on behalf of the affiliate of the Turks & Caicos Entity. According to MEBJAME, the partnership with the SOMC ultimately did not go forward due to negative press accounts, which indicated that the deal between the Guinean government and Coconspirator #1 was corrupt” (…) “He [Alpha Condé] said that he agreed. So we made the loan, we signed the loan to Soguipami…,and so I was authorised to sign and make the transfer.’ Another exhibit – a witness statement, from a UK High Court case, made by the chief executive of a company advising BSGR – states:67 ‘funds were transferred to Alpha Condé by way of a recorded loan of $25million and further unrecorded transfers believed to be “much much more”….Alpha Condé attempted to reward his backers. He entered into an agreement known as the Palladino Contract, pursuant to which the provider of the $25million loan would, on default of the loan, become entitled to a 30% share in a new Guinean national mining company established by Alpha Condé.’ Other exhibits in the ICSID case refer to Walter Hennig and AGC” (RAID, P: 20, 2017).

DRC laundering of mining exports:

“Gertler’s use of London markets to launder DRC assets began with another AIM-traded entity, Nikanor plc. Nikanor plc was described as ‘the holding company of a Group with copper and cobalt assets in the DRC’. The company was incorporated and headquartered in the Isle of Man.87 On 17 July 2007, Nikanor was admitted to AIM” (…) “In the Nikanor admission document, reference is made to allegations that Dan Gertler ‘acquired a temporary monopoly on sales of diamonds from the DRC as a result of improper dealings with the Government of the DRC’.88 The Nikanor admission document concludes that: ‘These allegations do not relate to the Company [Nikanor], the Group or any of their activities. They concern Mr Gertler in his capacity as a shareholder.’ Yet it is stated under ‘risk factors’ in the admission document: ‘…each of the Major Shareholders will be able to exercise significant influence over all matters requiring shareholder approval, including the election of Directors and significant corporate transactions.’ Moreover, there is also a reference to how the group of Nikanor companies with mining assets in the DRC and ‘some of the Major Shareholders’ have been ‘subject to criticism from a number of NGOs’ which included lack of transparency in the process by which the assets were awarded, the absence of public tendering and a joint venture agreement ‘unreasonably favourable to the Group and that as a result Gécamines [the DRC’s state-owned mining company] has not received proper consideration for valuable assets with a resulting detrimental effect on the economy of the DRC”(RAID, P: 22 ,2017).

Another DRC Agreement – Camrose transaction:

“The DOJ refers to ‘a $124 million convertible loan through a subsidiary company and AGC to Company B, a DRC Partner-controlled shell entity, funded in or about and between April and October 2008 (the “Convertible Loan Agreement”)’.121 Under the heading ‘C. Corrupt Takeover of DRC Mining Company’” (…) “the SEC Order states: Also in April 2008, Och-Ziff caused AGC I to enter into an approximately $124 million convertible loan with a holding company affiliated with DRC Partner. The stated uses of these funds were threefold: first, to provide DRC Partner with approximately $15 million to purchase a Congolese entity that had acquired the rights to a valuable mining asset in the DRC (the longstanding asset of a Canadian mining company) through an ex parte default judgment in the DRC that resulted in judicial misconduct proceedings; second, to provide DRC Partner with approximately $100 million to purchase a majority stake in that Canadian mining company in exchange for resolving its legal issues; and third, to advance an additional $9 million to be used for future mining operations in the DRC” (RAID, P: 26, 2017). “The transaction gave Och-Ziff control over what assets could be bought or sold by the entity, equity conversion rights into DRC Partner’s entity, a pledged interest in the shares of the Congolese entity, and a right to future deals with DRC Partner in the DRC. Moreover, the transaction gave DRC Partner complete discretion over how to use approximately $24 million of the funds provided by Och-Ziff. Further, Och-Ziff understood this transaction was part of a broader, ongoing partnership with DRC Partner. Finally, both Och-Ziff Employee A and Och-Ziff Employee B knew that DRC Partner was going to use a portion of the funds to pay bribes, and knew that the transaction was structured to accomplish that goal. This knowledge was not shared with others within Och-Ziff or with outside counsel” (RAID, P: 27, 2017).

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Camrose II:

“A 50% interest in Société Minière de Kabolela et Kipese Sprl (‘SMKK’) was acquired on 9 November 2009 as part of the CAMEC acquisition….In 2009 the Group acquired an option, for a cash consideration of US$25 million, to purchase the outstanding 50% of the issued share capital of SMKK by acquiring the entire issued share capital of Emerald Star Enterprises Limited (‘ESEL’), (an entity controlled by the Gertler family trust), the owner of the outstanding 50% of SMKK. The Group exercised this option and the acquisition of ESEL was effectively completed and control obtained by the Group in June 2010. The total cash consideration in respect of the outstanding SMKK shares, inclusive of the US$25 million option, amounted to US$75 million” (…) “Throughout the period of DRC Partner’s acquisition of Kolwezi Tailings and SMKK, DRC Partner continued to make corrupt payments to DRC Official 2. For example, on or about December 23, 2009, DRC Partner delivered $1 million to DRC Official 2; on or about January 5, 2010, DRC Partner delivered $2 million to DRC Official 2” (…) “On or about August 20, 2010, Mining Company 1 acquired 50.5 percent of Company B. Mining Company I agreed to pay up to $575 million over two years, including $50 million in cash. Och-Ziff Employee 3 and Och-Ziff Employee 5 were informed by a co-conspirator that the $50 million was for DRC Partner to “use on the ground” to corruptly acquire Kolwezi Tailings. As part of the deal, Mining Company 1 guaranteed repayment of the Convertible Loan Agreement through a novation of the loan” (RAID, P: 30-31, 2017).

Camrose Resources Limited, BVI company number: 1055983, incorporated in the British Virgin Islands on 9 October 2006. “ (…) ”124 According to the company website: ‘The Fleurette Group is comprised of various businesses organized under Fleurette Properties Ltd., a company established in 2006 for the benefit of the Gertler Family Trust.’ (<http://fleurettegroup.com/&gt;). A press release attributed to Fleurette Properties Limited states: ‘The Fleurette Group of Companies is a Dutch-resident group of companies whose primary activities are the investment in, exploration, exploitation and development of mining assets in Africa. The parent company of the group is called Fleurette Properties Limited, which is owned by Line Trust Corporation Limited strictly and solely on behalf of the Ashdale Settlement, a trust established in 2006 for the benefit of the family of Dan Gertler.’” (RAID, P: 58, 2017).

“Camrose is described as holding indirect interests in five copper and cobalt exploitation licences in DRC, including a 70% interest, via the Highwind Group, in Metalkol Sarl, which ENRC states as owning ‘the tailings exploitation licence covering the Kolwezi Tailings Site (otherwise known as the Kingamyambo Musonoi Tailings, or “KMT”) (PER 652)’. See ENRC plc, ‘Acquisition of 50.5% of the Shares of Camrose Resources Limited’, op. cit” (RAID, P: 59, 2017).

UK gives Concent to Camrose transaction:

“Consent for the Camrose transaction was therefore sought from the UK authorities, consent that was clearly forthcoming. ENRC sought to prevent publication of media reports relating to the SAR: 101Reporters has published not only the SAR, but also the letter it received from ENRC’s lawyers, which stated: ‘you will respect the public interest in maintaining the confidentiality in SARs and remove that aspect from your article.’” (RAID, P: 33, 2017). “There is a permissive pathway by which mines and minerals from zones of conflict and weak governance are transferred to companies trading on AIM who, in turn, through a process of acquisition, transfer these tainted assets to companies in the premium segment of the main market. This process can only be described as asset laundering. Certain of ENRC’s Congolese and Zimbabwean assets, at the heart of the SFO criminal investigation, were derived from the acquisition of AIM-traded Central African Mining and Exploration Company Limited (CAMEC), which was allowed to flourish unchecked on the junior market, despite a myriad of compliance issues that have never been addressed by AIM Regulation” (RAID, P: 34, 2017).

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Zimbabwe Platinum deal:

“On 11 April 2008, CAMEC announced the acquisition of an interest in platinum mining assets in Zimbabwe via its acquisition of 100% of Lefever Finance Ltd, registered in the British Virgin Islands.209 Lefever owned 60% of Todal Mining (Private) Limited, a Zimbabwean company, which held the rights to the Bougai and Kironde claims south west of the city of Gweru in Zimbabwe. 210 The remaining 40% of Todal was held by the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (‘ZMDC’), wholly owned by the Government of Zimbabwe” (…) “…The consideration paid for Lefever was a cash payment of US$5 million and the issue of 215,000,000 new CAMEC ordinary shares. CAMEC’s announcement of the acquisition stated:211 ‘Furthermore, CAMEC has agreed to advance to Lefever an amount of US$100 million by way of loan to enable Lefever to comply with its contractual obligations to the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe. Repayment to Lefever is to be made from the ZMDC’s share of dividends from Todal.’” (…) “According to the company’s own 11 April news release announcing the Zimbabwean platinum deal, CAMEC advanced the $100 million loan to Lefever to enable it ‘to comply with its contractual obligations to the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe “ (PAID, P: 38, 2017).

“Och-Ziff had control over divesting from CAMEC after the platinum deal was announced (Mugabe and senior Zimbabwean government figures were already designated under US sanctions) or after the designation of both the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC – CAMEC’s state-controlled partner in the platinum venture) and Billy Rautenbach, later described by the US as a ‘Mugabe crony’. Och-Ziff, however, held onto its CAMEC shares into 2009, selling its remaining holding only when ENRC acquired CAMEC in November of that year” (RAID, P: 41, 2017).

Important Notes:

Africa Management is referred to in the Memorandum of Association of Camrose Resources: ‘…Africa Management Limited, a company incorporated in Guernsey with registered number 47651 and whose registered office is at Ogier House, St Julian’s Avenue, St. Peter Port.’ (See Memorandum and Articles of Association of Camrose Resources Limited, Incorporated 9 October 2006, Amendment registered in this 20th day of November 2008, Memorandum of Association, 10 Definitions and Interpretation, 10.1, “Africa Management Limited”)” (RAID, P: 55, 2017).

Mail&Guardian graphic about how Tokyo Sexwale investing in Gertler corporations.

Mail&Guardian graphic about how Tokyo Sexwale investing in Gertler corporations.

That this company Och-Ziff and their subsidiaries are handling their business in this way is not acceptable, the way they are catering to corrupt government officials and stifling the citizens of the nations they are earing fortunes. These corporate-stooges are writing-off dozens of nations desirable taxes and regulated levies on businesses. As they are bribing both high-level like Alphe Conde who accepts the deals in Guinea, as well as friends of Joseph Kabila in Democratic Republic of Congo, even getting Tokyo Sexwale the former minister of ANC in South Africa to be parts of their network. These levels of bribing and usage of political connection to get resources and takeover companies with ownership of licences of profitable mines, proves the graft and bribe that occurs to secure extravagant luxury for the government officials that are accepting these deals.

The Och-Ziff are using these subsidiaries and corporations to money laundering or tax-exempt them to gain more profits on the mining in the nations. Certainly done with the leadership knowledge and showed their employee tactics to bribe and secure the transactions and ownership of profitable mines. That is certainly the reason for these sophisticated business-models, that enrichen the corporate leadership and gives government officials giant envelopes to give away nations vital resources. These well-planned well-crafted companies that uses all kind of loopholes and ways to escape the punishment for their breaching of international and national law to salvage as much profit as possible.

The long-term effect is certainly that the Guinean, Congolese and Zimbabwean government get less tax on the dollar as the corporate leadership pays them directly a smaller fee, than actually paying the legitimate taxation for their operation and their owned businesses. These actions shouldn’t be in the wind, it should be in the public and be addressed, even send the corporate leadership and government officials should answer to the public thievery as the minerals are taken without proper legal rights because of the fraud, secondly the corporate and the government officials are implicated in the thievery and should be sanctioned by courts and under the rule of law. Third the corporations themselves should lose the licence and the mining operations as they got them without proper procedure and there is invalid. They should also be fined and get banned from working in this nations or the corporations with these corporate bosses that are acting for them to gain this default destructive profits. Peace.

Reference:

Rights and Accountability in Development (RAID) – ‘‘Bribery in its purest form’: Och-Ziff, asset laundering and the London connection’ January 2017

Congo signs over potential $880m of royalties in Glencore project to offshore company belonging to friend of Congolese President (14.11.2016)

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RDC: Fleurette Group Statement “re: KCC Royalties” (15.11.2016)

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KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, November 15, 2016Fleurette Group notes the statement made by Global Witness today concerning the sale of royalties from Katanga’s KCC project by Gecamines to a Fleurette-owned entity. The Global Witness statement is highly misleading, based on factually inaccurate information designed to manipulate data in an effort to undermine a legitimate transaction.

Fleurette Group categorically refutes the allegations by Global Witness that the DRC economy has somehow lost money through the sale of the KCC royalty stream. The transaction between Africa Horizons Investment Limited (“AHIL” – which is a 100% Fleurette subsidiary) and Gécamines. With hindsight, Gécamines negotiated a highly lucrative transaction to the benefit of the DRC.

Additionally, Global Witness’s financial calculations are amateurish to the point of bogus. They do not follow even the basic valuation techniques used by all professionals in this field, and fail to include further discounts (such as withholding tax payments) that are both obvious and important. Global Witness has no excuse for making these mistakes. The manipulation of data seems wilful in nature, and designed to support a pre-ordained conclusion. It is difficult not to infer that Global Witness is trying to mislead journalists, the general public and other stakeholders at Fleurette’s expense.

DRC made net profit from deal, Fleurette a net loss

The transaction ultimately resulted in Gecamines safeguarding value for the DRC economy and Fleurette making a considerable loss due to the subsequent collapse in commodity prices and suspension of KCC’s operations. This is because Gecamines sold the royalty right before operations at KCC were suspended, meaning Fleurette had paid in full for a royalty stream that that ceased soon afterwards. While Fleurette was left unable to recoup its investment, Gecamines received full value for it.

This should not come as a surprise. Fleurette recognizes this as inherent industry risk in the mining sector. KCC, meanwhile, was well advised. It carried out its own verification, taking reasonable measures in accordance with its procedures to satisfy itself the sale was authorized by Gecamines and that there was an underlying basis for the sale. Independent international financial institutions advised both sides, and the transaction was priced in accordance with the valuations provided to the parties. Global Witness does not acknowledge these facts. Instead, despite these facts, it attempts to crititicize a deal which demonstrably and unequivocally benefited both Gecamines and the DRC.

Global Witness mistakes

Global Witness’ statement implies that KCC royalties were worth $880m to Fleurette. By referencing the Independent Technical Report of March 2012 prepared by Golder Associates, Global Witness was duty bound to provide an accounting and valuation in a bona fide manner, which they did not. Global Witness’ implication that the royalties were worth $880m shows a lack of understanding of the most basic business and accounting principles of Discounted Cash Flow and Net Present Value, used to value royalty streams (as well as a host of other assets that are expected to provide value into the future).

Even though Golder Associates provide a very conservative 10% discount factor to their valuation of the KCC project (including royalty cashflow streams they expected to be generated), Global Witness applied 0% discount when expressing the worth of the royalty stream in their statement. If they had applied an industry-standard 15% discount factor, the cashflow they misleadingly referred to would have determined a $245m valuation for the royalty right until 2030.

There is another valuation factor that Global Witness has omitted entirely, even though it hugely impacts the assessment of value for the KCC Royalty. Crucially, AHIL’s royalty right will almost certainly fall away in on 1 March 2019. As per the terms of the original KCC JV Agreement between Katanga, Gecamines and KCC (all publicly available), Gecamines has a “Replacement Reserves” obligation which requires it to deliver 4m tonnes of copper reserves and 200,000 tonnes of cobalt to KCC. If it doesn’t, under the terms of the agreement, Gecamines needs to pay $285 million to compensate KCC. If it is not able to do that, the JV Agreement requires the repayment to be made by way of set-off of the royalty, ie KCC will withhold the royalty until that debt has been paid. In short, the royalty that Fleurette paid for will not be paid to Fleurette from 1st March (assuming KCC is back in operation and paying royalties), but will be used to cover off a pre-existing Gecamines debt.

Global Witness also intentionally omitted the annual rental deduction of $1.2m from their calculation and 10% withholding tax on royalties.

Questions for Global Witness

Unfortunately for AHIL and KCC, the project ceased production in September 2015. AHIL does therefore not expect to receive any more royalties, and will have suffered a huge loss as a result – as royalties paid up to this point were far less than the amount AHIL paid for the royalties. This is an example of how industry risk can play a major part in the life of a DRC project in addition to the broader risks associated with operating in a country like the DRC.

Global Witness needs to be held to account on this occasion given the unnecessary damage this misleading report will do to the DRC’s extremely delicate economy and the reputation of Gecamines as well as Fleurette, which is leading the recovery effort following the collapse of global commodity prices. In essence, this was a good deal by Gecamines, independently verified by multiple stakeholders, which safeguarded value for the DRC, but a poor deal for Fleurette. It is deeply regrettable Global Witness is publishing such inaccurate information.

-Ends-

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Media enquiries

Powerscourt

+44(0)20 7250 1446

fleurette@powerscourt-group.com

About Fleurette – http://www.fleurettegroup.com / LinkedIn  / Twitter

The Fleurette Group of Companies (“Fleurette”) is an entrepreneurial business with significant investment in diverse sectors, including natural resources, infrastructure, agriculture and technology. Fleurette has substantial investments and operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The parent company of the group, Fleurette Properties Limited, a Dutch resident company, is owned by Line Trust Corporation Limited strictly and solely as trustees of the Ashdale Settlement, a trust established in 2006 for the benefit of the family of Dan Gertler. Mr Gertler is a citizen and resident of Israel and the DRC (and honorary counsel to the DRC) and is committed to developing the country’s natural resources and infrastructure, while investing in the Congolese people and their communities.

Fleurette has a proven track record of successful co-operation with diverse parties, including the DRC State-owned mining company Gécamines, and to date has brought more than USD $7 billion of investment into the DRC, on top of its USD $2 billion in private investment. As a result, Fleurette’s subsidiaries and partnerships support around 30,000 jobs in the DRC and are amongst the DRC’s leading taxpayers, contributing significant revenues to the State.

Fleurette is also a major contributor to social development in the DRC through the Gertler Family Foundation (GFF) and through direct investment in social infrastructure. The GFF is the largest charitable organization in the DRC, funding more than 50 programs and projects across the DRC, which help tens of thousands of Congolese every year. These include rebuilding key hospitals, notably the Kisangini “Hospital du Cinquantenaire”; supporting the Operation Smile campaign in Lubumbashi and Kinshasa; rebuilding Blaise Pascal School in Lubumbashi; and supporting the Lubumbashi Zoo.

Documentary Soicety – Crisis in the Congo: Uncovering the Truth (Youtube-Documentary)

“Millions of Congolese have lost their lives in a conflict that the United Nations describes as the deadliest in the world since World War Two. Rwanda and Uganda, invaded in 1996 the Congo (then Zaire) and again in 1998, which triggered the enormous loss of lives, systemic sexual violence and rape, and widespread looting of Congo’s spectacular natural wealth. The ongoing conflict, instability, weak institutions, dependency and impoverishment in the Congo are a product of a 125 year tragic experience of enslavement, forced labor, colonial rule, assassinations, dictatorship, wars, external intervention and corrupt rule. Analysts in the film examine whether U.S. corporate and government policies that support strongmen and prioritize profit over the people have contributed to and exacerbated the tragic instability in the heart of Africa” (Documentary Channel, 2016).

Congo: 17 killed in Brazzaville clashes; govt blames militia leader (Youtube-Clip)

The Congolese government on Tuesday night announced that 17 people had died in Monday morning’s gunfire in the capital Brazzaville accusing former militia leader, Frederic Bintsamou, of being personally involved in the disorders.  According to Thierry Moungalla, spokesman for the Congolese government, 17 people (3 agents of police, 2 civilians and 12 attackers) were killed in the “terrorist attack” that targeted the southern districts of the capital before “rapid response” of the police” (africanews, 2016).

Press Statement: Results of the Presidential Elections in the Republic of Congo (07.04.2016)

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WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, April 8, 2016 –

Mark C. Toner
Deputy Department Spokesperson

Washington, DC

April 7, 2016

The United States is profoundly disappointed by the flawed presidential electoral process in the Republic of Congo. Widespread irregularities and the arrests of opposition supporters following the elections marred an otherwise peaceful vote.

The United States calls upon the Congolese Government to correct these numerous deficiencies before scheduling legislative elections in order to bring credibility to future electoral processes. We continue to urge the Congolese Government to respect the people’s constitutional rights of freedom of expression, movement, and association. We further encourage all parties to engage in constructive, inclusive dialogue.

The United States is also deeply concerned about the welfare of thousands of Congolese who awoke on April 4 to the sound of gunfire and explosions and fled their homes. A climate of fear works against the national unity and peace that the Congolese people deserve.

We are inspired by the Congolese people, who have demonstrated a strong commitment to democracy and have persevered in difficult times. Their continued peaceful involvement in the political process is vital to the future development of the Republic of Congo.

The President’s Black Book Chapter 3: Bemba and Museveni; what is the ties between the two big-men?

Jeune African Bembe Cover

It’s recently been a court ruling in the International Criminal Court where Jean-Pierre Bemba was sentenced and guilty of crimes against humanity. As this happen there been questions about his sponsors and his actions, was it for his own cause or was it for the greater good? As the violence he spread in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was during the wars in late 90s and beginning 2000s as the Rwandan and Ugandan ignited the wars the neighbor country, even sponsoring guerrillas, while fighting other forces there, as they we’re using different methods even when the world was telling the RPA and UPDF to leave, while the guerrillas would still cover areas of minerals close to the borders, to secure funding for the governments of the neighbor countries. They will by all means repute this as this shadows their reign, but the moneys and sudden export of minerals without sustainable investments and business-growth proves that there was sudden changes by the warfare in the DRC.

In this picture President Museveni did what he could to have allies inside the DRC, so he could have business and projects there to reach his power and make himself even stronger. That has been his game since day one; not only to get rid of the leaders around him who is not loyal towards him, but also to get people who he knows is loyal to him no matter what.

Jean-Pierre Bemba was a useful tool and an allied who even with brokered peace gave more influence of Uganda into the DRC politics, as he was stationed as Vice-President under President Laurent Kabila, while this wouldn’t last, as the Ugandan and Rwandan did not like the idea of being distanced from the State House in Kinshasa. So as the time and dwindling reactions, the neighbors went into attack again, that ousted the transitional government and took down a second president in the DRC! In that picture and time, comes the relationship between Bemba and Museveni, Especially after the human rights violations and victims of war, as the spoils of it cost honor and integrity, also the visible. Even if the relations between the men and their armies lost their value, the open sponsorship and even training at one point proves how Museveni used his power and reach to put his fortune into the leadership of Bemba and his MLC. Take a look at what I have found about this men!

jean-pierre-bemba-01-1024x655

About the MLC:

“Current Leader: Jean-Pierre Bemba

Based in Gbadolite, the MLC has been backed by Uganda since the start of the war in 1998 although there have been occasional differences between the two. The MLC tried twice to establish a foothold in Ituri: in 2001 Bemba had nominal control of the short-lived FPC coalition of Ugandan- backed rebel groups and in 2002 the MLC attacked Mambasa in western Ituri but were forced backed by the APC of Mbusa Nyamwisi. The MLC has occasionally fought alongside the UPC and has been a rival of Mbusa’s RCD-ML” (Human Rights Watch, 2003).

Bemba creating his army:

“In spring 1998, Bemba sought to motivate a group of Congolese exiles to join an armed struggle with support from Kampala. He elaborated a political program with a network of friends and former classmates and discussed financing and training with Museveni. By Bemba’s own account, he met Museveni while exporting fish to Belgium through Uganda in the early 1990s, though it is widely believed that Mobutu used Bemba’s aviation companies to transport goods for Jonas Savimbi, then leader of União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA), through Uganda throughout the 1980s. Another account claims that Bemba met Museveni through Museveni’s half-brother, General Salim Saleh, then chief of staff of the UPDF, while seeking to establish a link between ex-FAZ troops cantoned at the Kitona military base in southern DRC and UNITA forces in Angola. The MLC emphatically denies any involvement with the Angolan insurgency movement. But the firm belief, at least in Luanda, that Bemba, Uganda, and Rwanda had links to UNITA largely accounts for Angola’s switching sides in the Second Congo War to back Laurent Kabila and its strong antipathy toward Bemba to this day” (Carayannis, 2008).

Bemba in 1999:

“The main Goma faction of the rebel RCD on Monday welcomed Bemba’s signing of the accord. Its leader, Emile Ilunga, claimed Bemba was “not to be trusted”, but added: “We are gratified to learn that he has signed the accord as we had hoped he would. We have always wanted to sign the accord together with him”, Radio France Internationale reported” (…) “Ilunga, who was due to travel to Uganda on Monday evening for a meeting with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, earlier that day accused Uganda of not respecting the rebels’ decision-making process. “Wamba has no troops, and there is no point in his signing the ceasefire agreement … We’re astonished by Ugandan support of an individual, rather than working in the interest of the Congolese people,” AP news agency quoted Ilunga as saying”(IRIN, 1999).

“Jean-Pierre Bemba, a millionaire businessman and leader of the Congolese Liberation Movement (MLC), was accompanied to the signing in Lusaka by a senior aide of the Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni, and by Tanzania’s foreign minister, Jakaya Kikwete, officials said” (…)”But Mr Bemba warned that he would go back to war if a rival rebel group did not sign a truce within a week” (…)“Referring to the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD), which has refused to sign the truce, he told Reuters: “If they do not sign within seven days, I will continue the fight to Kinshasa.” The RCD and Mr Bemba’s forces control 50% of Congo’s territory” (Gough, 1999). “Speaking to IPS by satellite-link, Bemba, who is also backed by Uganda, said it was too early to say whether the peace would hold, “but for the time things are very quiet, with no fighting near us” (Simpson, 1999).

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Bemba in 2000:

“A few days ago, Jean-Pierre Bemba, the rebel leader in Equateur Province, issued a challenge to Mr. Kabila and major Western nations that pushed the accord with more vigor than any of those who signed it” (…)”‘We are at a turning point,” Mr. Bemba, a 38-year-old businessman-turned-rebel, said this week in Gbadolite, his headquarters. ”Is Lusaka alive still or not? That is the question.” (…)”It is not certain whether Mr. Bemba is capable militarily of closing the airport. Nor is it clear if his major sponsor, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, would give his approval given that Mr. Museveni’s own friends, the United States and many European nations, would probably hold him responsible for such a departure from the Lusaka accord” (Fisher, 2000).

Bemba in 2001:

“But Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni also reiterated his commitment to pulling his troops from neighboring Congo, saying now that they have defeated Ugandan rebels operating there, it was time for his forces to leave. The force Museveni claims to have defeated is the Allied Democratic Front, a small Ugandan rebel group that has attacked villages throughout western Uganda from bases in Congo” (…)”Some participants appeared unconcerned that Uganda was pulling out of the peace agreement, and were pleased that Museveni would still withdraw his troops. “If the government decides to withdraw its forces from the Congo, it’s always favorable. This is in line with the Lusaka agreement,” said Kamel Morjane, the U.N. special representative for Congo. “If all parties show their goodwill there is no risk.” (…)”Kikaya Bin Karubi, the Congolese information minister, welcomed the promised troop withdrawal and said his country would stick with the Lusaka peace agreement no matter what. The leader of the Ugandan-backed rebels, Congolese Liberation Front Chairman Jean-Pierre Bemba, said the decision would have little impact on the war since, he insisted, Ugandan troops had not been involved in the fighting. Uganda is estimated to have had at least 10,000 troops in Congo at the peak of the war” (Muleme, 2001).

alliances

UN Allegation:

“In 2001, when Bemba took the reins of the unified movement RCD/ML, now called the FLC, he tried in January to broker an agreement between the Hema and Lendu belligerants. He got more than 150 traditional chiefs to participate in this agreement (had the Ugandans acted unilaterally, they would never have managed to achieve this), thus securing a halt to military training and youth recruitment by the UPDF, a measure of security on the roads, food security for the livestock, and the appointment of a governor who was not from the region as a way of providing greater assurance to all the parties. In the end, though, it was Bemba’s dependence on the Ugandans that frustrated the entire peace process” (…)”On more than one occasion, Bemba tried to exert his influence over the Ugandan Government, but Uganda ultimately took the final decisions” (…)”In July 2001, thanks to the efforts of the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, the Mouvement de Libération du Congo and RDC/Bunia joined forces, taking with them Rober Lubala’s RCD/National and thus forming the Front de Libération du Congo (FLC)” (Garreton, 2009).

Bemba in 2002:

“Another former rebel movement backed by Uganda, the Rassemblement congolais pour la democratie-Kisangani-Mouvement de liberation (RCD-K-ML), was pessimistic about prospects for the success of the Kabila-Museveni accord” (…)“The DRC is faced with two Ugandas – that of Yoweri Museveni, who acts from a distance in Kampala, and that of his army officers and soldiers involved in the ongoing pillage of gold and diamonds in Ituri [region, northeastern DRC],” said Honore Kadima, in charge of RCD-K-ML external relations. “I don’t see either of these Ugandas adhering to even one comma of the Luanda accord.” (IRIN, 2002). “The mutiny marked the return to prominence of the commanders who had been behind the earlier CMF mutiny. Following their training in Kyankwanzi (for new recruits) and Jinja (for officers), most of them had been sent to Equateur Province to join the MLC’s armed wing. After some months of fighting for Bemba, the soldiers had grown increasingly frustrated. They knew that fellow Hema were still dying in Ituri’s inter-ethnic clashes, and they felt that the MLC used them ‘like dogs’” (Tamm, 2013).

Some more on the MLC:

“The MLC had been involved in Ituri during the short-lived agreement of the Front for the Liberation of Congo (FLC), a platform of the MLC, RCD-N and the RCD-ML, sponsored by Uganda under the leadership of Jean Pierre Bemba. But Nyamwisi refused to accept Bemba’s leadership in Ituri and his forces pushed Bemba and the MLC troops out of Beni and Bunia. In the last months of 2002, the MLC tried to fight its way back into Ituri with the support of Roger Lumbala’s RCD-N, claiming that Nyamwisi had violated the Lusaka Accord. In doing so, their combatants committed violations of international humanitarian law including the deliberate killing of civilians, numerous cases of rape, looting and some acts of cannibalism. Some of these violations may have been directed at the Nande ethnic group, targeted for their connection with Nyamwisi, himself a Nande” (Human Rights Watch, 2003).

ICC Court

ICJ Court case claims:

“The DRC claims to have seised an abandoned tank used in the Kitona attack. The Reply alleges the tank is Ugandan because it is the same mode1 as a tank used later by Congolese rebel leader Jean-Pierre Bemba, who allegedly received his tank from Uganda. (DRCR, para. 2.40.)” (…)”Clearly Bemba’s hesitations vis-à-vis the inter-Congolese negotiations and the disengagement are linked to his quick enrichment, the greed of his Ugandan offïcer godfathers and the politics of self-aggrandizement practiced by his opportunistic, wandering ministers who annoy the people.” (ICJ, 2002).

ICJ Ruling document says:

“For its part, Uganda acknowledges that it assisted the MLC during fighting between late September 1998 and July 1999, while insisting that its assistance to Mr. Bemba “was always limited and heavily conditioned”. Uganda has explained that it gave “just enough” military support to the MLC to help Uganda achieve its objectives of driving out the Sudanese and Chadian troops from the DRC, and of taking over the airfields between Gbadolite and the Ugandan border; Uganda asserts that it did not go beyond this” (ICJ, 2005).

Cooperation in DRC during the war claims:

“The cooperation of the allied MLC rebel force was secured by the pre-payment of taxes. A letter from MLC commander Jean-Pierre Bemba informed civil and military authorities that Victoria was authorised to do business in the towns of Isirio, Bunia, Bondo, Buta, Kisangani and Beni (Ugandan Judicial Commission, Final Report, op. cit., 21.3.4, p.119). This letter was counter-signed by Kazini who further instructed his commanders in the same towns to allow Victoria to conduct its business ‘uninterrupted by anybody.’ The exception was Kisangani town itself, administered by an RCD-Goma backed Governor, although the UPDF controlled areas to the north of the town. Kazini issued a veiled threat to the Governor to cooperate with Victoria and later conspired to appoint Adele Lotsove as Governor of the new Province of Ituri in order to take control of the mineral producing areas, including those previously administrated by Kisangani (ibid., 21.3.4, p.122). In his reply to the Panel, Kazini stated: ‘In some cases, as in the case of Madame Adele Lotsove, in Ituri Province, our duty was confined to supporting existing administration (the Panel report concedes that Madame Lotsove had been appointed by Mobutu and was continued in office by Kabila).’ (See Reaction No.47, written statement from Major General James Kazini to the Panel, reproduced in UN Panel, Addendum, 20 June 2003, op. cit.)” (RAID, 2004).

From the WikiLeaks:

“During a May 24 meeting with Vice President Azarias Ruberwa, the Ambassador asked Ruberwa about his trip to Kampala for the inauguration of Ugandan President Museveni,  and the reported long meeting between the two.  Speaking from memory, Ruberwa provided an extensive read-out, noting by way of preamble that Museveni is a “complicated” person, and often difficult to read” (…)”According to Ruberwa, Museveni flatly denied that  there is continuing Kampala support of Congolese militia  groups.  Ruberwa said that Museveni added that the last support Uganda had provided to armed groups in the Congo was that given to Jean-Pierre Bemba’s MLC, and to combatants associated with Mbusa Nyamwisi. Ruberwa observed that Mbusa was next to him in the same meeting, but did not respond to the Museveni comment” (…)”Ruberwa noted, for example, that if all the detained MRC leaders were found with weapons, all inside Ugandan territory, it seemed logical to assume these weapons would find their way to Ituri, in apparent contradiction to Museveni’s assertions that there are no further arms flows from Uganda to support Congolese armed groups. In any event, Ruberwa asserted it is good periodically to point out to Museveni that the Congolese are aware of what is going on. The Ambassador asked if Museveni did not know that already. Ruberwa said “maybe,” but it seems useful to make it clear. Ruberwa added he believes it important for Kinshasa to send a senior-level person to Kampala to have an exchange with Museveni perhaps every three months to help avoid a major clash between the two governments” (WikiLeaks, 2006).

214850-congo-democratic Bemba 2006

Hope this was insightful and gives an edge as the reports are steady and many. Not only a one place and one person who thinks that there is a specific connection between President Museveni and Jean-Pierre Bemba of the MLC! That is very clear and the ways it happen and the timing prove the value Bemba had for Museveni and his ambition in the DRC. The excuse was always internal guerrillas who moved to DRC like ADF-NALU and LRA, but we all know that more to bait and more to gain by taking mineral rich areas and create businesses and use ammunition to gain that. That is something that never been an issue for Museveni as his best tool is a weapon, not negotiations and agreements, they can break when he see he has the upper-hand and ability to score over his counterparts.

Something he surely will do again. Bemba might never surface with the MLC and the Party MLC in any election in the DRC. As the ICC gave him a verdict and court ruling which set precedence for his life.

I know that the Yellow Men of NRM, and the NRM-Regime will fight against this and say something else, as even Amama Mbabazi did at his time in the ICC to fight the case between Uganda and the DRC on the reasons for the aggression from them. The same might happen again and the viciousness and ruthlessness of the President is visible, as those who studies his history(not the one he has rewritten) but more the remarks and voices around him, you’ll see the temperament and attitude of bush-warfare that is instilled in him, and not the political person or even a statesman of a like which he seems to be. Peace.

Reference:

Carayannis, Tatiana – ‘Elections in the DRC – The Bemba Surprise’ (February 2008).

Fisher, Ian – ‘Congo’s War Triumphs Over Peace Accord’ (13.09.2000) link: http://www.nytimes.com/2000/09/18/world/congo-s-war-triumphs-over-peace-accord.html?pagewanted=all

Garreton, Roberto – ‘REPORT FOR THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT DOCUMENT ICC 01/04-01/06’ – MANDATE OF THE SPECIAL REPORT ON HUMAN RIGHTS IN ZAIRE (20.02.2009)

Gough, David – ‘Peace of the dead in Congo forests’ (02.08.1999) link: http://www.theguardian.com/world/1999/aug/02/6

Muleme, Geoffrey – ‘Uganda Withdraws From Congo Accord’ (30.03.2001) link: https://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/181/33411.html

Human Rights Watch – ‘Democratic Republic of Congo – Volume 15. Number 11. (A)’ – “ITURI: “COVERED IN BLOOD” Ethnically Targeted Violence In Northeastern DR Congo” (July 2003)

IRIN – ‘Bemba signs Lusaka accord for MLC’ (03.08.1999) link: http://www.irinnews.org/news/1999/08/03/bemba-signs-lusaka-accord-mlc

IRIN – ‘DRC: Kabila and Museveni sign troop withdrawal protocol’ (09.09.2002) link: http://reliefweb.int/report/democratic-republic-congo/drc-kabila-and-museveni-sign-troop-withdrawal-protocol

International Court of Justice – ‘CASE CONCERNING ARMED ACTIVITIES ON THE TERRITORY OF THE CONGO – DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

  1. UGANDA RE JOINDER SUBMITTED BY THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA VOLUME 1’ (06.12.2002)

International Court of Justice – ‘CASE CONCERNING ARMED ACTIVITIES ON THE TERRITORY OF THE CONGO (DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO v. UGANDA) – 2005 19 December General List No. 116 (19.12.2005)

RAID – ‘Unanswered questions Companies, conflict and the Democratic Republic of Congo’ (May 2004)

Simpson, Chris – ‘POLITICS: Little To Suggest The Congolese Peace Accord Will Hold’ (06.09.1999) link: http://www.ipsnews.net/1999/09/politics-little-to-suggest-the-congolese-peace-accord-will-hold/

Tamm, Henning – ‘UPC in Ituri The external militarization of local politics in north-eastern Congo’ (2013)

 

WikiLeaks –‘RUBERWA ACCOUNT OF MAY MEETING WITH UGANDA PRESIDENT MUSEVENI’ (02.06.2006) link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/06KINSHASA876_a.html

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