Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Nchindo’s ghost haunts Botswana / De Beers negotiations

He probably knew it would be a tough job when he took it on. The late Louis Nchindo, former Managing Director of Debswana – a 50/50 partnership between De Beers and Botswana, however could not have imagined the role would involve committing suicide.

On the morning of 8th February 2010, Nchindo’s headless corpse was discovered in the Chobe wilderness. The official version is that he put a gun to his head and blew his brains out.

It is a story with implausible characters and plot twists.  There is the De Beers illicit trade in conflict diamonds with UNITA. There is a De Beers engineered plot to get rid of former President Sir Ketumile Masire. There is the Presidential succession plan put together from the De Beers’ offices to pave way for Lt Gen Ian Khama’s presidency.  There is the secret vehicle used by De Beers to hide the movement of secret funds throughout the world including to the BDP. There is a honey trap and an attempt to blackmail former President Festus Mogae. There are doctored Debswana records in favour of De Beers. There is a mercenary operation with Apartheid South Africa in Botswana sponsored by De Beers. And at the heart of it all, there is Louis Nchindo and his De Beers handlers who are up to their eyeballs in political scheming to ensure the Botswana government remained in the De Beers’ hip pocket.

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