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Pandora papers: From Congo to Zimbabwe, the implicated African leaders

By Jaysim Hanspal

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Posted on October 7, 2021 12:08

Kenya Pandora Papers
Kenyans read the papers reporting a statement by President Uhuru Kenyatta following reports that he is among more than 330 current and former politicians identified as beneficiaries of secret financial accounts, in the low-income Kibera neighborhood of Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Brian Inganga)

The Pandora Papers, the latest offshore leak investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), has implicated many African politicians – 49 to be exact – from Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta to Gabon’s President Ali Bongo. In this roundup, we focus on five current politicians with secret links to offshore companies, and the implications of these revelations.

Denis Sassou-Nguesso – President, Republic of Congo

Sassou-Nguesso seized power after a civil war in 1997 and has remained in control ever since.

The Papers show the president owned a company that controlled diamond mines. Like most powerful figures exposed in the investigation, the ICIJ shows the lengths that Sassou-Nguesso went to hide his involvement in the company. Inter African Investment was incorporated in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) in 1998, with an account at the London branch of Banque Espirito Santo.

Under its ownership was another BVI company, Ecoplan Finance Ltd. One of Sassou-Nguesso’s daughters, Julienne, served on Ecoplan’s board of directors. According to the ICIJ, Ecoplan owns the majority of shares in Escom Congo, a construction and real estate firm, which holds the rights to diamond mines in the country.

Diamond mining in Congo-Brazzaville has had its share of

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