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Upholding the Rule of Law: Coca-Cola’s $2.7 million Corruption Scandal in Zimbabwe – Part 2 of the JUROL LITERACY CAMPAIGN TO COMBAT CORRUPTION

Caroline Du Plessis



Set out below if an article authored by JUROL’s corporate law and constitutional experts who in the interests of holding multinational corporations like Coca Cola to account for the toxic role in undermining governance excellence in Africa, leave poor Africans to elect thugs as office bearers while bribing the office bearers who hold voters in contempt resulting in the reality that TCCC paid a bribe of $2.7 million to corrupt holders of public power to use as liquid weapons to corrupt a nation-state under US sanctions without being noticed in the forefront as enablers.

The recent corruption scandal involving Coca-Cola in Zimbabwe has shed light on the challenges faced in upholding the rule of law in the African continent. This article examines the legal, criminal, rule of law, and public issues arising from the scandal and emphasizes the importance of promoting and protecting the rule of law in Africa’s future.


The scandal centers around the expropriation of property from Zimbabwean businessman Mutumwa Mawere, the founder of African Resources Limited (ARL). In 2004, the Zimbabwean government appointed Afaras Mtausi Gwaradzimba as the administrator of SMM Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of ARL. Gwaradzimba proceeded to expropriate SMM’s assets, including a bottling plant leased to Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola paid $2.7 million to acquire the plant, despite being warned by Mawere’s lawyers about the illegality of the expropriation.

Complicity in Corruption

Coca-Cola’s involvement in the expropriation raises serious concerns about the company’s complicity in corruption. By knowingly acquiring property that was unlawfully taken, Coca-Cola became an active participant in the corruption scheme. This not only damages the reputation of multinational corporations but also undermines the rule of law in Zimbabwe and the region.

Multinational Corporations and Corruption in Zimbabwe

Coca-Cola is not the only multinational corporation accused of corruption in Zimbabwe. Several other companies, including Vale, Rio Tinto, and Old Mutual, have faced similar allegations. The prevalence of corruption among multinational corporations highlights the urgent need for stronger accountability mechanisms and ethical business practices in the region.

Implications for the Rule of Law

The corruption scandal in Zimbabwe has significant implications for the rule of law. It undermines public trust in institutions, weakens property rights, and hampers economic development. Upholding the rule of law is essential for ensuring stability, justice, and fairness for the people of Zimbabwe. It is crucial that both domestic and international legal frameworks are enforced to combat corruption and protect individuals’ rights.

Accountability and Restitution

Coca-Cola should be held accountable for its actions in Zimbabwe. The company must return the unlawfully acquired bottling plant to Mawere as restitution for the damage caused. Furthermore, a fine should be imposed on Coca-Cola to reflect the severity of its participation in corruption. This sends a strong message that multinational corporations cannot engage in unethical practices with impunity.

Promoting the Rule of Law in Africa’s Future

The Coca-Cola scandal highlights the pressing need to promote and protect the rule of law in Africa. Governments, civil society organizations, and international partners must work together to strengthen legal institutions, enhance transparency, and combat corruption. By upholding the rule of law, Africa can attract foreign investment, foster economic growth, and ensure a just and equitable society for its citizens.


The Coca-Cola corruption scandal in Zimbabwe serves as a wake-up call to address the legal, criminal, rule of law, and public issues that hinder progress in the region. Upholding the rule of law is crucial for Africa’s future, and it requires collective efforts to combat corruption, strengthen accountability, and promote transparency. By doing so, Africa can build a future where the rule of law is respected, promoted, and protected, benefiting its people and fostering sustainable development.

I hope this article is helpful in raising awareness of the role multinational companies play in undermining the rule of law in Africa.

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