Mugabe’s Backers ‘Operate Freely in the UK’

Businessmen who have been accused by the US Treasury of financially supporting Robert Mugabe were operating freely in Britain, the London Times reported on Monday.

This was in spite of UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s declaration that “enough is enough” in Zimbabwe, the newspaper said.

Of 21 companies put on a US blacklist by President George W Bush last month, 14 are based in Britain, two in the Isle of Man, one in Jersey and one in the British Virgin Islands.

The other three are based in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Florida and Zimbabwe itself, the Times said.

Top of the list of alleged Mugabe pals now under sanction by the US Treasury is the British-based businessman John Bredenkamp.

“Mr Mugabe and his henchmen use a number of ploys to stay in power and live in luxury as their countrymen suffer.

“In this they are said to receive the help of white businessmen, several with British passports, and a number of London-based companies,” the Times said.

It added that Britain had failed to take action against individuals and companies while calling for Mugabe to go.

“By contrast, the US Treasury last month named four financier ‘cronies’ – Mr Bredenkamp, Muller Conrad “Billy” Rautenbach, Nalinee Joy Taveesin and Mahmood Awang Kechik – of Mr Mugabe and put them on a blacklist, freezing their US assets and banning American citizens from doing business with them.”

According to the Times, Bredenkamp has been granted indefinite leave to remain in Britain, and operated some of his businesses from an office in Berkshire. – Sapa