Procurement: The Secret Policeman's Factory


July 25, 2009: Although Zimbabwe's economy has been run into the ground by its dictator, there is one company that continues to flourish. It's Zimbabwe Defense Industries (ZDI). This 25 year old firm was started to manufacture ammo, mostly for Russian small arms and mortars, cheaper than it could be bought on the international market. But ZDI soon got into gunrunning and moving all manner of quasi-legal cargoes around (and in and out of) Africa. ZDI has particularly close dealings with partners in Congo. Various arms embargos put on Zimbabwe have had little impact because of the many trading relationships ZDI has developed with other African nations. ZDI continues to export ammunition, and import whatever it can pay, or barter, for.



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