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The Forever Associates Zimbabwe (FAZ) trust, set up to help the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) win the 2023 elections, was established by associates and family members of Asher Walter Tapfumaneyi, the deputy director general of the Central Intelligence Organization (CIO). Both Tapfumaneyi and FAZ deny that the CIO controls the trust. However, this alert provides further details about the past business dealings of Tapfumaneyi and one of FAZ’s trustees that help confirm Zimbabwean media reports about the spy chief’s relationship to the entity.

In particular, FAZ’s official deeds reveal that its trustees and founders include Tapfumaneyi’s family and associates, including Tangisai Tapera, his key ally and business partner in a past oil deal with Iran. In addition, the main phone number for FAZ was used in the past by a CIO officer, according to a review of several phone apps that reveal the names under which a telephone number has been saved by its contacts in users’ address books, suggesting the involvement of the agency.

FAZ’s activities—including a large get-out-the-vote operation—may have helped the ruling party win the election. Observers, including the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and European Union (EU) poll monitors, reported FAZ’s presence at thousands of polling stations, where its reported links to ZANU-PF and the security services may have intimidated rural voters. FAZ also spent at least $4 million—a large sum of money in Zimbabwean politics—importing 160 or more Toyota Hilux pickup trucks for ZANU-PF candidates. FAZ declined to comment when asked whether their activities intimidated voters or whether their spending tipped the electoral scales toward ZANU-PF.

Network graphic showing connections between Asher Walter Tapfumaneyi and FAZ.


The government of Zimbabwe
The government of Zimbabwe should cease using state resources to favor one party.
Zimbabwean electoral law should be updated to introduce campaign expenditure limits; establish public registers of political donations and expenditure by parties; and extend spending limits and the requirement to register donations and expenditure to party affiliates and other entities who are acting in concert with, or otherwise supporting, a party’s election campaign.

Banks and commercial counterparties
Banks and firms doing business with the FAZ trust and company should conduct enhanced due diligence consistent with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. They should look into the ownership structure of the entity to identify and mitigate risks associated with the direct or indirect support for a state security agency whose members are accused of human rights abuses and undermining democracy.


Source Material

2010 Forever Associates Zimbabwe Trust Deed details

2022 Forever Associates Zimbabwe Trust Deed changes

Forever Associates Zimbabwe Pvt Ltd, corporate registry details

List of Zimbabwean attendees at UNFCC conference, 2021

Lionshow Trading Pvt Ltd, corporate registry details

Lionshow Resources Ltd, incumbency certificate, UAE

Letter from Brig Gen Tapfumaneyi to Iranian Ambassador referring to Lionshow Trading, 2011

Moosejaw Enterprises Pvt Ltd, corporate registry details

Rosy Red Capital Pvt Ltd, corporate registry details