Tony Buckingham, the man said to be behind 'Executive Outcomes', has been building a business empire in Namibia. However not everything has gone smoothly or according to plan.
Tony Buckingham, the secretive British businessman linked to Executive Outcomes and Sandline International, has taken legal action against hundreds of small-time tourmaline miners in the Karibib region of North West Namibia, forcing them out of their homes and out of work and into makeshift shacks.
The miners call themselves 'the Lost Community of Neu Schwaben' and represent the latest clash between Western interests and the interests of the people of Namibia, a country with staggeringly rich mineral deposits but whose indigenous people remain, for the most part, in abject poverty.
The dispute has the potential to split the Namibian Government down the middle, with the Ministry of Mines and Energy on one side, and the Ministry of Trade and Industry on the other.
It reveals the full extent to which Buckingham has entrenched himself and his interests within the Namibian business community.
First published in Pete Sawyer's 'Assignments Unlimited' homepages 1999.