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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Wednesday 10th of February 2021

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I've already brought them back :-) @J_Bomb_3k

‘The news channel reports on a massive outbreak of wilding in in the city's most prestigious commercial district.’

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08-FEB-2021 :: The Markets Are Wilding [continued]
World Of Finance

@elonmusk I am become meme, Destroyer of shorts

Mr. Musk can pump and dump just about anything with a tweet. he has superpowers.

And on February 4 He tested that hypothesis

No highs, no lows, only Doge @elonmusk Feb 4 

Dogecoin is the people’s crypto @elonmusk Feb 4

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08-FEB-2021 : The Markets Are Wilding [continued]
World Of Finance

You have it all wrong The Pink Tulips aren't Trading Tulips, they're investing Tulips @StockCats

The rise and fall of RCA, the biggest growth story of the 1929 bull market: @WalterDeemer

The hardest thing at the peak is to be the naysayer the short seller.

Anybody can be decisive during a panic It takes a strong Man to act during a Boom. VS NAIPAUL

“The businessman bought at ten and was happy to get out at twelve; the mathematician saw his ten rise to eighteen, but didn’t sell because he wanted to double his ten to twenty.”

...and so then I says to the guy, "listen - you don't understand Radio..." @coloradotravis

So here we are pirouetting atop the most expensive market in history

The 'Buffett Indicator' has hit an All-Time High. Global stocks now worth equal to 122.4% of global GDP.

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08-FEB-2021 The Markets Are Wilding [continued]
World Of Finance

We are at peak vaccine euphoria

Global covid19 cases [are] falling at just under 2%/day @video4me

As al pacino said in scarface the world is yours

"[Manny] Oh, Well What's Coming To You, Tony? [Tony] The World, Chico, And Everything In It."

No one wants to think that

If you have a "normal" pandemic that is fading, but a "British variant" that is surging, the combined total can look like a flat, manageable situation. @spignal

They fancied themselves free, wrote Camus, ―and no one will ever be free so long as there are pestilences.

We've updated our preprint on the transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 VOC 202012/01, aka B.1.1.7, with new statistical and modelling methods. 

Headline: we estimate VOC is 43–82% more transmissible than preexisting variants.

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08-FEB-2021 - The Markets Are Wilding [continued]
World Of Finance

Lets now turn back to the markets

The front end of the us interest rate curve is flirting with negative

The only game in town: @coloradotravis Feb 4

Negative rates are the only escape hatch

Here's my alchemy formula. You take real $ rates, -100bps and you multiply by total debt-to-GDP, 450pc, and you get a negative real cost of debt at the macro level of -4.5pc of GDP, a trillion bucks. @hendry_hugh

Here is why central banks are trapped and cannot raise rates even if inflation rises: @dlacalle_IA Feb 2

Of course timing is everything but a robust pent up recovery is simply fantasy thinking something the imf has been indulging in of late

The U.S. economy has recovered around 12.5 million jobs since April ... but is still around 10 million jobs down from pre- pandemic level from last February. @ReutersJamie

There is no V shaped recovery coming in 2021. Thats just a Fantasy. The Spinning Top

Oil has posted its Best YTD performance in 30 years. @TaviCosta

However this is less a story around increasing demand but one of better supply discipline and management.

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08-FEB-2021 :: The Markets Are Wilding ( continued)
World Of Finance

Gold took a hit

The gold story is very similar to the #Thesilversqueeze a lot of commentators I follow have been very snooty about the merry band of redditeers but the fact of the matter is very simple. 

The paper markets trade a multiple of the physical market and the paper ‘’tail’’ has been wagging the precious metals ‘’dog’’ the redditeers can see this. 

If you squeeze the physical markets then you reprice the paper market and exponentially and asymmetrically to the upside. I expect that to happen this year.

Keep an eye on gold deliveries

The price impulse will be emitted from the gold deliveries situation.

Keep and eye on silver deliveries and etfs

I stand by my forecast

04-JAN-2021 :: What Will Happen In 2021

My Top Trades are Gold and Silver. I expect Gold to top $2,500 this year and Silver to reach $50.00

These are wilding markets. Stay safe.

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Negative rates are here to stay...@dlacalle_IA
World Of Finance

And coming to the UK and US sooner rather than later.

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01-MAR-2020 :: The Origin of the #CoronaVirus #COVID19

“If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.”― Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

 “There's always more to it. This is what history consists of. It is the sum total of the things they aren't telling us.”

“A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what's going on. ”

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It is remarkable that the Propaganda is still being propagated more than a year later.
Law & Politics

Today only the Paid for Propagandists and Virologists and WHO will argue that there is a ''zoonotic'' origin for COVID19. 

It is remarkable that the Propaganda is still being propagated more than a year later. 

There is no natural Pathway for the Evolution of COVID19.

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Lab leak off the table, but frozen food still a possibility?!! @FilippaLentzos

‘’Zoonotic’’ origin was one that was accelerated in the Laboratory.

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Happy to help WH w/ their quest to verify, but don’t forget it’s “TRUST” then “VERIFY”! @PeterDaszak
Law & Politics

@JoeBiden  has to look tough on China. Please don’t rely too much on US intel: increasingly disengaged under Trump & frankly wrong on many aspects. Happy to help WH w/ their quest to verify, but don’t forget it’s “TRUST” then “VERIFY”!


This is a mindboggling and a ''rogue'' Tweet on so many levels 

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In contrast, for SARS-CoV-2 there is a race between infection and vaccination - vaccination rates are limited by supply and logistics, whereas infection can grow exponentially.

In contrast, for SARS-CoV-2 there is a race between infection and vaccination - vaccination rates are limited by supply and logistics, whereas infection can grow  exponentially. 

However, the infection rate can be reduced by a range of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) whilst a vaccine can be targeted to where it will have the most impact 

The future of COVID-19 control is therefore dependent, in a complex non-linear way, on the initial prevalence of infection, the level of NPIs and therefore the rate of growth or decay, the speed with which the vaccine can be rolled out, the targeting and uptake of the vaccine and the vaccine characteristics. 

The uncertainties and interactions between these components necessitates the use of mathematical models to explore scenarios.

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@MLevitt_NP2013 has arrived at an estimate of (only) ~3000 more-than-expected deaths in Sweden in 2020. Unless I am wrong, this is how their estimate looks like. Reasonable? @Marco_Piani

Excess deaths are deaths that go beyond the number one could reasonably expect under standard conditions.  @MLevitt_NP2013 has arrived at an estimate of (only) ~3000 more-than-expected deaths in Sweden in 2020. Unless I am wrong, this is how their estimate looks like. Reasonable?

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.2140

Dollar Index 90.298

Japan Yen 104.42

Swiss Franc 0.8898

Pound 1.3852

Aussie 0.7747

India Rupee 72.8184

South Korea Won 1104.54

Brazil Real 5.3784

Egypt Pound 15.657

South Africa Rand 14.6548

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Deserted debts stir disquiet in the mysterious world of Dubai Inc @Reuters
Emerging Markets

Dubai’s debts have always been something of a mystery for investors but since the coronavirus pandemic hit its economy, things have got hazier, some say.

Over the past 12 months, two firms with links to Dubai’s government and its ruler, respectively, have said they would not meet hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of debt repayments, a rare step in the Middle Eastern business hub, where debts are typically renegotiated and state support is often seen as implicit.

One of the firms, Dubai Holding, the investment vehicle of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Dubai’s ruler, told creditors that it would not service a $1.2 billion loan owed by its subsidiary Dubai Holding Investments Group and was prepared to pursue liquidation for the unit, according to a source and a document sent to investors in December and reviewed by Reuters.

The second firm, state-owned property developer Limitless, told creditors last March it wasn’t able to meet payments for a loan worth about $1.2 billion, according to a company document seen by Reuters. 

It has since been seeking to restructure the debt.

Dubai Holding, which has $35 billion in assets and holdings in property and the hospitality sector, declined to comment on the debts of its subsidiary and repayment plans for other units.

A Limitless spokeswoman told Reuters its restructuring discussions with lenders were continuing but did not comment further. 

Creditors to the company included Dubai banks such as Emirates NBD, Mashreqbank and Dubai Islamic Bank. They declined to comment.

The moves by Dubai Holding and Limitless have weakened the assumption that state support is a given, investors say, prompting some creditors to reassess their appetite for and exposure to Dubai-linked debt.

With tens of billions of dollars worth due for repayment over the next few years, some lenders are selling their exposures or making provisions for future losses, three banking sources told Reuters.

The price of Limitless debt has fallen sharply in the secondary market, according to price sheets reviewed by Reuters. 

The price of Islamic bonds issued by property firm Meraas, which was incorporated into Dubai Holding last year, has fallen steadily this year, according to Refinitiv data.

Dependent on trade and tourism, Dubai’s economy has buckled under the strain of the pandemic and low oil prices. 

Forking out to support so-called government-related entities (GREs) would be a further strain on the public purse.

“The recent defaults have highlighted long-standing concerns about high public and private sector leverage against a backdrop of low growth and a very weak real estate market characterized by chronic over-capacity,” said Cedric Berry, a Fitch analyst.

“In itself, a policy of more limited support is positive for the government’s finances and creditworthiness. However, there is limited transparency on the GREs’ balance sheets and the challenging economic environment has increased the risk that some entities could still require financial support, putting pressure on government finances.”

The Dubai media office did not respond to Reuters queries on Dubai’s indebtedness, Dubai Holding’s exposures or the city state’s plans to tackle the liabilities of state entities.

The United Arab Emirates Central Bank, asked whether it was encouraging banks to make provisions for outstanding Dubai debt, declined to comment.


In the case of Limitless and of Dubai Holding Investments Group, neither the state nor Dubai Holding had any contractual obligation to pay creditors.

Dubai Holding was only responsible for interest payments on the $1.2 billion loan and at its maturity it told creditors that it was “prepared to pursue an insolvent liquidation in the absence of any feasible alternative,” a document sent to investors in December showed.

Dubai’s government explained its approach to GREs in the prospectus for a rare public sale of sovereign debt last year. 

The sheikhdom said that if such companies were unable to fulfil their debt obligations, the government may, “at its sole discretion, decide to extend such support as it may deem suitable.”

But some investors have been working off the basis that there was an implicit government guarantee, two bankers said, a sentiment reinforced by Dubai’s support for Emirates Group, the state-owned airline, during the coronavirus crisis.

The flag carrier  was given a $2 billion equity injection by the state last year.  An Emirates spokeswoman told Reuters that none of its debt has a guarantee by the government or by the Investment Corporation of Dubai, its sovereign wealth fund.

Investor confusion has been compounded by the fragmentation of Dubai’s debt. 

Some sits under the government, some under its sovereign wealth fund, and some under the umbrella of Dubai Holding, the investment vehicle of Dubai’s ruler - a major force in developing the local economy.

“It comes back to the same old argument, which is where does the ruler in his private capacity stop and the obligations of the emirate start. When you talk about an absolute monarchy, it’s a tough line to draw,” a banker at a Dubai lender said.

Some of the debts owed by Limitless, the property developer, were trading at 20 cents on the dollar in December, down from 30 cents a few months earlier, according to secondary loan trading price sheets reviewed by Reuters.

Banks’ provisions for bad and doubtful debts in the United Arab Emirates amounted to nearly $42 billion as of November last year, up from $36 billion at the end of 2019, according to central bank data.

Non-performing loans are expected to account for 7.6% of total loans in 2020, up from 6.5% a year earlier, the Institute of International Finance has estimated.


A dearth of statistics makes it difficult to get a full picture of Dubai’s financial situation. 

Its sovereign bonds are not rated by credit rating agencies and the city state has mostly used private placements and bilateral loans to raise capital.

The government said in August that its debt levels were equivalent to around 28% of 2019 gross domestic product, but that figure goes up to over 100% of GDP, according to estimates by research firms and ratings agencies, if debt raised by GREs is also taken into consideration.

In its bond prospectus last year, Dubai’s government said it had no official estimate for GRE debt.

London Based Capital Economics has estimated that before the end of 2024 $38 billion of Dubai GRE debt is due for repayment, much of it in 2023.

Many of the debts date from the 2008-09 financial crisis. Back then, oil-rich Abu Dhabi gave Dubai a bailout helping its neighbour to support its state-controlled companies. Debts were renegotiated and extended.

This time around, no help has been forthcoming.

Abu Dhabi and Dubai were in talks last year to prop up Dubai’s economy by linking up assets in the two emirates, sources told Reuters at the time. Dubai denied the report.

Abu Dhabi did not respond to a request for comment.

A perception that Abu Dhabi would, however, support Dubai if required is factored into the price of Dubai sovereign debt, according to traders.

Bonds sold by Dubai last year which are due to mature in 2050 are currently trading at a premium of just over 1 percentage point over Abu Dhabi’s paper with the same maturity, despite Abu Dhabi having a top credit rating and much larger financial wealth.

“Dubai benefits from perceived backing from Abu Dhabi, which is still an extremely strong credit, and could choose to provide support if needed,” said Richard Briggs, investment manager at GAM.


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4 FEB 14 :: Dubai is the real transit state, a connection point in an interconnected century
Emerging Markets

“There is nothing like a dream to create the future,” Victor Hugo said.

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CoViD19-ΛFЯICΛ: Confirmed: 3 691 029 (+ 12133) Actives: 369 988 (-3415) @NCoVAfrica

Confirmed: 3 691 029 (+ 12133)

Actives: 369 988 (-3415)

Deaths: 96 241 (+ 705)

Recoveries: 3 222 282 (+ 14843)


Active Cases 28.84% below Record high Print of 520,000 in January 

active #Covid19 cases record 520,000 was in January 2021 @NKCAfrica

According to @NCoVAfrica [1st wave] Peak Daily Infections was 24th July 2020 and 20,873

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Africa is currently reporting a million new infections about every 42 days @ReutersGraphics

5 countries are still at the peak of their infection curve. South Sudan Seychelles 96% Mayotte 96% Ghana 95% Senegal 95% 

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Turning to Africa the Spinning Top

Democracy from Tanzania to Zimbabwe to Cameroon has been shredded.

We are getting closer and closer to the Virilian Tipping Point

“The revolutionary contingent attains its ideal form not in the place of production, but in the street''

Political leadership in most cases completely gerontocratic will use violence to cling onto Power but any Early Warning System would be warning a Tsunami is coming

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9 Feb '21: #COVID19 in #SouthAfrica Daily test positivity = 6.5%. Has not been this low in 105 days • Active cases = 65 137 @rid1tweets

• New cases = 1 742

• New tests = 26 859

• Test positivity = 6.5% 

• Deaths = 396

• Active cases = 65 137

Big Exponential Slide in South Africa Case Load 

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MOZAMBIQUE #CoViD19MZ - Active cases : 17487 @NCoVAfrica


- Confirmed cases of #covid19: 45785

- Deaths: 480

- Recoveries: 27814

- Transfered out: 4

- Active cases : 17487


Test Positivity predicts a much higher Infection Rate 

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Official Ethiopian projections for annual economic growth of 8.4% are dismissed by Erasmus. @NKCAfrica predicts growth of 2.2% given the “dire fiscal position and balance of payments risks.” @TheAfricaReport

“The near-term outlook is clouded by political tensions ahead of the June election, reputational risks related to armed conflict in Tigray, an upsurge in desert locust infestation and forex shortages,” Erasmus writes.

That means the long-awaited liberalisation of Ethiopia’s high-potential sectors such as telecommunications and banking is now urgent. 

This would be the “crucial first step in addressing structural vulnerability and lowering government debt dependence,” Erasmus argues.

Ethiopia’s plan to seek debt restructuring under a G20 common framework agreed in November triggered a sell-off in African debt at the end of January on fears of a contagion effect.

The framework enables debtor countries to seek an IMF programme to strengthen their economies and renegotiate their debts with public and private creditors. 

But such a debt restructuring for Ethiopia would face barriers due a lack of transparency, analysts say.

Any attempt to reconcile balance of payments and published public external debt figures with underlying debt-creating flows shows information gaps and supports “a narrative of opaque lending”, argues Irmgard Erasmus, senior financial economist at NKC African Economics in Cape Town.

Along with Djibouti and Zambia, Ethiopia’s dealings with China “raise the probability of higher-than-estimated debt contracted by extra-budgetary units (EBUs) as well as potentially large contingent liabilities,” she writes in a research note.

China does not publish official or non-official bilateral debt agreements with central governments or state-owned enterprises, she notes.

The channel through which private-sector participation in the framework can be forced is not clear, Erasmus says.

“The agreement of the principles of the G20 Common Framework is positive but negotiations in actual restructurings are likely to be challenging,” says Mark Bohlund, senior credit research analyst at REDD Intelligence in London. 

Lack of clarity on what is owed to China is one obstacle. While he hasn’t seen any firm evidence of Chinese loans to Ethiopia being understated, there is “less transparency” on Chinese lending, he says.


2.2% is out of the Question. I am a Seller. 

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Fitch Downgrades Ethiopia to 'CCC' @FitchRatings

The bulk of Ethiopia's public external debt is official multilateral and bilateral debt. Government and government-guaranteed external debt was USD25 billion in fiscal year 2020 (FY20, which ended in June 2020). 

Of this, USD3.3 billion was owed to private creditors. This includes Ethiopia's outstanding USD1 billion Eurobond (1% of GDP) due in December 2024, with minimal annual debt service of USD66 million until the maturity; and USD2.3 billion government-guaranteed debt owed to foreign commercial banks and suppliers. 

Other SOE debt to private creditors which relates to Ethio Telecom and Ethiopian Airlines is a further USD3.3 billion. While this is not guaranteed by the government, it represents a potential contingent liability.

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Zimbabwe: Explosive cartel report uncovers the anatomy of a captured state @dailymaverick

The 64-page report details the scale of the theft – among others, illicit cross-border financial transactions cost Zimbabwe up to a staggering US$3-billion a year and billions in gold and diamonds smuggled out of the country. 

It is estimated that Zimbabwe may lose up to half the value of its annual GDP of $21.4bn due to corrupt economic activity that, even if not directly the work of the cartels featured in the report, is the result of their suffocation of honest economic activity through collusion, price fixing and monopolies. 

Ironically, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who has been a public critic of illicit financial transfers, is identified by the report as one of the cartel bosses whose patronage and protection keeps cartels operating.

The report, “A Study of Cartel Dynamics”, is a detailed analysis of all the available evidence of the economic cartels and the business people and politicians behind them who have captured the resources and government of Zimbabwe to serve their own interests. 

The report is available here:

Last week, we sent the report to Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe’s ambassador to South Africa, Isaac Moyo, and all those implicated in the report. We asked for their comments but they did not respond.

The report focuses on business cartels because these are the vehicles used for state capture. 

One of the experts we asked to review the report pointed out that normally cartels work to undermine the state. 

In Zimbabwe, however, they are in league with the highest people in the land. #DemLoot, in the now-famous words of journalist Hopewell Chin’ono.

Yet, the report explains, because cartels and corrupt economic behaviour are “by their very nature secretive… it is difficult to accurately measure how much wealth the citizens of Zimbabwe have lost because of cartel activities.” 

Nevertheless, the authors provide several examples that point to the sheer scale of the theft:

Illicit cross-border financial transactions cost Zimbabwe between $570-million and $3-billion a year;

Intra-country fraud associated with cartels could cost up to $1-billion every year;

According to a 2020 report by the International Crisis Group, up to $1.5-billion worth of gold per year is illegally smuggled out of the country;

Billions of dollars in diamonds go unaccounted for; and In 2018 Zimbabwe’s auditor-general noted that 82% of government expenditure had financial irregularity in one form or another. 

Not surprisingly, therefore, Zimbabwe now ranks 157 out of 180 countries on Transparency International’s annual corruption index.

However, what is unusual is that this report goes beneath the big numbers. 

The cartels it lists are unpacked and analysed in five case studies, looking at roads, fuel, agriculture, cigarettes and mining.

It uncovers the ways cartels made Zimbabwean politicians and business people enormously rich, although most of their wealth is hidden and banked outside the country, as revealed in the 2016 Panama Papers (see reports here and here). 

The report argues that the 2017 military coup that removed Robert Mugabe left the economic system he had honed to serve the Zanu-PF elite largely untouched, with only a slight reshuffling of loyalties.

On the other hand, the cartels have left ordinary Zimbabweans among the poorest people in the world:

67% of all its citizens live in poverty and two million live in extreme poverty;

Up to 35% of rural people are food insecure (in a country once described as the breadbasket of southern Africa);

One in three children are malnourished; and Millions of Zimbabweans, perhaps up to a fifth of the population, have left the country as economic migrants.

The Zanu-PF government has responded to this deepening and largely self-made socio-economic crisis by entrenching rule by law rather than rule of law, and the rights in Zimbabwe’s progressive 2013 constitution seem to be observed more by omission. 

In the words of the report, “law is used as a tool of political power to control citizens, rather than rule of law, whereby law is used to control the state and people in power”.

The research that informs the report was undertaken through an exhaustive literature review, as well as interviews with a number of people in Zimbabwe. 

Because of the threat of repression the interviewees are all anonymous and records of interviews have been destroyed. 

To ensure the integrity of the report Maverick Citizen undertook an independent fact-checking exercise and can vouch for the veracity of the information it contains.

It is, therefore, we believe, the most up-to-date and complete analysis in the world of how a whole economy is being hijacked.

Why the report is relevant to South Africans

First, our countries’ destinies are inextricably linked. We are all Africans, all victims of colonialism, of the arbitrary drawing of borders and now of predatory post-colonial elites.

Second, the report offers an anatomy of advanced state capture which should be instructive to how we understand our own recent experience. 

As witnesses to the Zondo Commission reveal more every day, Zimbabwe is an example of the country South Africa could have become were it not for the resistance of civil society, the media and the judiciary. 

The parallels and similarity in modus operandi are remarkable. 

For example, the report (p20) details how the Zimbabwe National Road Authority (ZINARA), awarded a contract to a company for motorised graders “worth $8-million in 2012 where other bidders have quoted for $5.2-million. ZINARA ordered 40 more machines in 2013, despite criticism that the graders were inappropriate for Zimbabwean conditions.” 

This seems troublingly similar to the scandal over the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA) purchase of trains that were too large to fit on South Africa’s railways, and the manner in which PRASA, like ZINARA, was captured and then looted for private gain.

Third, it is important because South Africa is deeply implicated in Zimbabwe’s ruin. 

Our crooked businessmen are the buyers of the diamonds, gold and tobacco smuggled or sold from Zimbabwe, but not declared or accurately priced for tax evasion purposes. 

Our ruling party, the ANC, continues to cover for a political party that long long ago shed its progressive credentials. 

And, as Chin’ono pointed out on Instagram several weeks ago in response to South Africa’s increasing militarisation of its borders to keep hungry Zimbabweans out, the problem is that 

“President Ramaphosa stands in solidarity with President Mnangagwa’s regime which authors unemployment and has destroyed the job opportunities that Zimbabweans seek in your country. It is a political problem that will remain in place until it is solved and when your own political elites in the MyANC stop supporting the political rot in Harare directly or implicitly.”

In its conclusion, the report admits that “curbing the activities and impact of cartels is a very daunting task for which there is little political will among those in power”.

“A clear majority of the actors whose responsibility it is to address cartel behaviour have become financially dependent on, and complicit in, their activities.” 

External monitoring of Zimbabwe, together with supporting key institutions and individuals within Zimbabwe, are identified as key activities, something South Africans should be doing much more of. 

Despite rule by law, institutions like the Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission, the Office of the Auditor-General and key NGOs continue a valiant struggle for good governance, constitutionalism and social justice. 

The report advises that we should find ways to support them.

In addition, given the snuffing out of civic space in Zimbabwe, there is a heavy responsibility on people outside Zimbabwe who can act in solidarity by, for example, applying external pressure on companies and individual businessmen that are profiteering from state capture, and requiring that they implement responsible business legislation and policies developed by the United Nations.

With the election of Joe Biden as US president there is one less “big man” in the world behind which tyrants can hide, and it is hoped that through multilateral institutions (rather than unilaterally) the US will become a force to advance democracy and human rights again. 

But in all of this South Africa has a unique role: our media, our revenue services, civil society, business and government all could play a much greater role in reversing cartel capture of the Zimbabwean state and the immiseration of millions of people. 

It is with that expectation that we have decided to publish this report. Hopefully, the truth will help set Zimbabwe free. DM/MC

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9-SEP-2019 :: Emmerson @edmnangagwa who was eulogising Mugabe as a Revolutionary Icon has failed and is frankly as untenable as his erstwhile Mentor.

Today, Zimbabwe is the region’s basket case and this is a country with a literacy rate of 85%, in the top quintile of Sub- Saharan Africa countries.

More than three million Zimbabweans have fled and that’s about one in five Zimbabweans. 

Zimbabwe is ranked 45 among 47 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region.

The economy has crashed and burned not once but repeatedly. 

Inflation whilst not hitting the levels we saw in 2008 is flying off the charts again.

This is an economy which was the ‘’breadbasket’’ of the region. 

Most of Zimbabwe’s citizens are ‘’born free’’ the fight for independence was real but is no longer relevant is it?

We are grateful to all those iconic leaders who liberated our continent of which Mugabe is one but at what price? 

Fighting for independence is not the same as building an economy which provides opportunity for all its citizens.

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Ivory Coast’s Reopened Eurobonds Get Orders Triple Offer @markets

Investors placed orders for more than triple the amount of Eurobonds offered by Ivory Coast in a reopened sale Monday, evidence of the unrelenting appetite for higher returns on riskier frontier-market assets.

The west African nation, the world’s largest cocoa producer, issued 600 million euros ($725 million) more of its existing euro-denominated 4.875% coupon bonds due 2032, and 250 million euros more of the 6.625% coupon securities maturing 2048, a person familiar with the transaction said. 

The country received 2.8 billion euros of demand from investors, the person said.

Optimism about global recovery on the back of a flurry of fiscal stimulus coupled with the global rollout of Covid-19 vaccines is driving yields lower in developed markets. 

That’s prompting investors to look for returns among the world’s lower-rated sovereigns. 

Egypt raised $3.75 billion Monday, selling securities due in five, 10 and 40 years.

Ivory Coast, rated six levels below investment grade by Moody’s Investors Service and one level lower by Fitch Ratings, appointed BNP Paribas SA, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Standard Chartered Plc to manage the sale.

Yields on the 2032 notes rose by 4 basis points to 4.40% as of 10:37 a.m. in London on Tuesday. The 2048 securities were little changed at 5.83%.

Benin became the first African country to tap debt markets for euros this year, issuing 700 million euros of 11-year bonds and 300 million euros of 31-year securities last month.


Clever Supply management drip feed 

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Death Takes the Lagoon the sinking of the MV Wakashio off the coast of Mauritius @GrantaMag @Ariel_Saramandi

Mahebourg: the ancient capital; traditional, relatively untouched by frenetic development. It’s still the place where people sit on their flowerpot-adorned balconies drinking tea, watching and commenting on passers-by. 

The only place where you can eat noodles with local scallops. Its family-run restaurants are lauded in international magazines. The government had a grand, tourist-friendly refurbishment plan for the town before Covid-19.

On the waterfront crowds gather around the Rezistans ek Alternativ base. It’s described as a ‘people’s factory’, a ‘mobilization zone’: people come to make booms, but also create art and discuss the region’s future. 

The base is adorned with posters expressing grief and anger at the government’s inaction, hope for a people’s revolution.

Residents of the town are anxious. Children can’t go to school because of the smell. Oil laps the shore around Cité La Chaux, a poorer part of Mahebourg. Residents fall ill but the government doesn’t evacuate the area.

Fishermen and boaters don’t know how they’ll survive. They gather at the waterfront base to talk about their future. 

Their income was already precarious before the spill. Fishermen from other parts of the coast come to join them: the oil has travelled up the east coast, coating mangroves, beaches, animals, their children’s feet.

Everyone on the waterfront has an eye on the helicopters and boats circling the wreck. 

The ship is hanging by a sliver of metal. There’s some hope all the oil will be pumped out before it breaks in two.

The news of the spill is covered not just by the largest of the international news media, but in places like Vogue. 

People donate millions, and I am relieved that the money is going to trusted, non-governmental organisations. 

There are also strange reactions: Lana del Rey posts a filtered, supposedly cryptic picture of the spill. Disaster aesthetics. Her fans wonder if this is the cover art for her next single.

‘You’ve probably been put on some sort of list, so be careful,’ my parents say after I appear on the BBC. I am interviewed along with other Mauritians. 

The BBC also shows footage of the leader of the opposition criticising the prime minister in parliament. After our appearances, the prime minister is interviewed live by Samantha Simmonds.

‘Critics and many local people are saying that the government hasn’t done enough,’ Simmonds says. ‘They say there’s a huge amount of inaction by the government, and that you owe them an apology.’ 

She evokes the 2.3 million kilometres squared of maritime space belonging to Mauritius, the necessity of an action plan. 

The prime minister appears flustered, starts talking about his government’s exemplary handling of the Covid-19 situation and then his connection is cut off.

In the afternoon the prime minister holds a press conference. He prevents two openly dissenting news stations from attending. 

He is asked questions about his BBC appearance, the apology owed to us. ‘Ou kapav dir mwa kot monn fauter?’ he asks. Can you tell me what I did wrong? 

‘Is the BBC a court of investigation?’ he says disdainfully. ‘And who are the people talking on BBC?’ He mentions members of opposing political groups, activists. ‘And then there are other so-called ‘experts’ who say we didn’t do this and that. Kitesurfers have become experts now.’

On 13 August, the day after his interview, police officers prevent the leader of the opposition from holding a press conference in his office in parliament.

On the coast, a volunteer is pressured by government agents to remove a sign saying, ‘I love my country, I’m ashamed of my government’.The slogan goes viral. 

At night, the BBC interviews the former prime minister and leader of the Labour Party. After a few seconds I’m unable to watch the channel. It has been replaced by a Chinese news station. By the time connection to the BBC is re-established, the interview is out of the news cycle.

I lock the door to my home when I’m inside. I wait for the police to show up, declare that I’ve been charged with an annoyance, hurting my country’s reputation. I sleep even less. I

 leave my British passport on Antoine’s bedside table, along with a list of journalists and lawyers to contact if ever I’m arrested. 

I keep a box of formula in the pantry, so that if I’m taken away at least there’s milk for our son.

On 15 August the ship breaks into two. The crowd on the waterfront isn’t watching the wreck, though: policemen have descended upon the Rezistans ek Alternative base to disband their operations. They only back off when the radio starts to report their harassment.

Later in the week, an informal protest is held in front of the Mahebourg court. The Minister of Environment and the Minister of Fisheries are due to appear; Bruneau Laurette, a social activist and maritime security professional, has lodged a case against them. 

The crowd, mostly comprised of Mahebourgeois, make their grievances known to the MPs as they walk by. That night, two protesters are arrested by the police without a warrant and are jailed.

On 29 August around 100,000 of us fill the city’s streets. It’s the largest protest in Mauritian history. No political party or specific individual is at the helm: it’s all citizen led, though the activist Bruneau Laurette and the Rezistans ek Alternativ party have a large role in shaping the movement.

We’re of all ethnicities and of all ages. Some march with walking sticks. Others are carried on their parent’s shoulders. 

Those of us abroad watch the protest online and gather in capitals around the world in solidarity. 

We sing Bob Marley’s ‘Redemption Song’ and the national anthem. We wave the Mauritian flag.

There is a sign that many people carry. The prime minister’s infamous declaration: dir mwa kot monn faute. Tell me where I went wrong. Protesters have turned the statement into bloody stencils.

Against all international recommendations, despite our outcry and outrage, the government sank half of the Wakashio in great haste on 24 August. 

Two days later, melon-headed whales washed up around the south-eastern coast. Dead, mutilated, glossy bodies

Authorities haul them onto the back of pickup trucks, tails hanging out. Authorities cover them in white sheets. Videos of dying whales bobbing helpless in the ocean. 

Video of a mother whale trying to nudge her dying baby above the waves so that it can breathe; she watches as it dies, then dies a little while later, too. 

Fishermen say the ship was sunk in a whale breeding ground, that some of the corpses they found were of pregnant females.

The images choke us. We shake, we cry. We carry dolphin plush toys, plastic blow-up dolphins, dolphin art to the march. 

Authorities say neither the spill nor the scuttling had anything to do with the fifty-one deaths. 

We chant bour li dehors. Get them the fuck out of here. Get the government the fuck out of here.

The prime minister says the march showed that ‘democracy was alive and working’, but the government’s Facebook page mocks protesters in a series of memes. 

On the night before the second major protest of 12 September, social media accounts of activist groups and journalists are hacked. 

In October, Bruneau Laurette’s requests to protest are systematically denied. Attempts are made to arrest him.

Before the spill I thought my son’s first proper meal would be fish and rice; our fish, once considered some of the finest in the world. 

Now when I buy fish I make sure that it’s imported. Parastatal fish farms are still readily selling their produce, since officials don’t believe that they were contaminated.

Hydrocarbons were found in the whales’ bodies, and they suffered some kind of barotraumatic pressure – likely the result of the scuttling of the ship, if dynamite was used. 

The government has never specified where the Wakashio was sunk, and where. The necropsy report on the whales’ deaths will not be made public, either.

It is summer. Our reservoirs are almost empty. It is too hot for jeans, which stick to my skin. Too hot for make-up. Too hot to do anything but swim on the weekends.

I’d planned my son’s first proper swim soon after he was born. We’d been told to wait until he was six months old, but that would be June, winter in Mauritius. It’d be too cold. 

We thought that the beginning of summer would be ideal. Antoine and I would drive down to Pointe d’Esny a little after dawn. 

We’d sit on the edge of the shore. The waves would lap around my son’s suncreamed thighs. 

Perhaps we’d see a starfish or two in the water. He’d splash his hands and kick and laugh.

I take my son to Pointe d’Esny late in January, just for a few minutes. 

The front half of the ship is still there, on the coral reef. The authorities say that oil-cleaning operations have been successfully completed. 

I walk timidly to the shore, my baby in my arms. The sea is luminous, coloured like a slice of blue agate. It is clear. It wets my feet and I flinch. There’s no question of my son swimming here for another decade.

I remember watching two young boys in Palmar last year: they’d emerged from the sea, had shaken most of the saltwater off their bodies, and were carefully reclothing themselves in stiff white shirts and black trousers. 

Perhaps they’d briefly escaped a ceremony of some sort to find relief in the water. They’d be itchy in the hours to come: the fabric of their shirts would chafe against their skin, their hair would be crisp and stiff with salt. 

But they thought their discomfort was worth it for those ten minutes of joy.

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The remains of 36 known ships lie on the ocean bed off Kenya. Mostly cargo vessels and Portuguese war ships, some have been there 500 years. @hallaboutafrica

Literal graveyards entombing the remains of crew and passengers, they are spooky, haunting places of tragedy and loss.

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
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February 2021

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