Wednesday, October 18, 2006

$300 mn Russian pledge for Zimbabwe mystery

Moscow: An announcement last week by Zimbabwe government officials in Harare that a Russian group has signed a pledge to invest $300 million in Zimbabwe's mining, power, and aviation sectors is unsupported by the Russian side, and may even be a hoax. On the other hand, the past history of Russian visitors to Harare suggests that RusAviaTrade may be the camouflage for something more serious that is yet to be disclosed.
Russian Aviation Company (RusAvia) told Mineweb that, despite the similarity in name, it has never heard of RusAviaTrade. RusAvia says it operates only within Russia, repairing World War II-vintage aircraft, and publishing books and magazines for Russian plane enthusiasts. A company source said RusAvia has a representative in India, but it has never been in Zimbabwe.
17/10/06 John Helmer/Mineweb, South Africa
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