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Fri Oct 31 09:38:58 SAST 2014

Malema gets cosy with 'business sharks' in Zim

Harare Correspondent | 04 April, 2010 00:000 Comments

ANC Youth League (ANCYL) leader Julius Malema will be roped in to cut deals in Zimbabwe - mainly in farming and mining - say party insiders of Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF.

Malema was received with much fanfare by a group of Zanu-PF-linked businessmen when he arrived in Harare this weekend. Most of those who welcomed him are campaigning for the state seizure of foreign-owned companies.

Zanu-PF insiders believe Malema's visit was motivated as much by business as by politics.

A Zanu-PF official told the Sunday Times: "Look at the people who were at the forefront of receiving Malema. They are not in the Zanu-PF Youth League - some of them are not even in Zanu-PF - but (they) are in business. This tells you what they are up to and what will be going on behind the scenes.

"They are like vultures hovering over a cadaver. Malema is going to be dealing with business sharks, not those party youths who have no money."

When Malema arrived at the airport, Zanu-PF youths sang a variation of the contentious song Dubul'ibhunu (Shoot the boer).

The welcoming party included the head of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment, Saviour Kasukuwere, Mugabe's nephew; business magnate Philip Chiyangwa; and Themba Mliswa, a tycoon who has been involved in seizing farms and muscling his way into established businesses.

Kasukuwere and Chiyangwa said Malema was visiting Zimbabwe to exchange notes on "indigenisation" and economic transformation.

However, the ANCYL said the visit - hosted by the Zanu-PF Youth - was about "strengthening relations with former liberation movements".

Kasukuwere said: "This visit is about forces with a common history coming together to ensure that we take control of our resources for the benefit of the majority.

"Our resources cannot remain under the control of Anglo American, Zimplats and the Australians."

Malema is set to visit Zimplats - which is majority-owned by South Africa's Implats - on what Zanu-PF said was "a familiarisation tour".

The company has sought assurances that it will not be grabbed by Mugabe's cronies.

Malema is expected to meet Mugabe today.

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