McGee was a career diplomat who served as the United States ambassador to Zimbabwe during its darkest period from 2007 to 2009.
Kevin James is a former Zimbabwean businessman who now runs the third largest poultry producer in South Africa, Country Bird Holdings. James established Ross Breeders Zimbabwe and merged it with Crest Breeders International, and then reverse listed the combined business through a merger with a leading listed company in the food sector in Zimbabwe, Consolidated Farming Investments.
He also established Ross Zambia. He left Zimbabwe after the intensified land reform programme to establish CBH in South Africa and reinvested in Zimbabwe after acquiring the KFC franchise.
Bennett roped in one of the top lobbying companies in Washington DC, Goddard Gunster, to prop the Global Alliance for Zimbabwe. It is still not clear how he struck the deal or structured it, but the company boasts on its website: “Goddard Gunster does advocacy better than anyone else”.
Ben Goddard, who was described by the Washington Post as the “Godfather of TV lobbying” launched the Global Alliance for Zimbabwe.
He was best known for his “Harry and Louise” television advertising campaign which helped to kill off President Bill Clinton's proposed health care plan in 1993–1994 and Congressional health care reform proposals in 1994.
He also worked for President Jimmy Carter and helped to create the first ever political advertising campaign in Russia for President Boris Yeltsin.
The firm said it was approached by the Movement for Democratic Change “to help secure the party’s position in Zimbabwe and raise international awareness of terror and corruption going on within the country”.
It added: “We developed an independent non-profit organisation, the Global Alliance for Zimbabwe, to attract influential support and funds to secure a true democratic future for Zimbabweans”.
Ben Goddard even won the 2014 Democracy medal from the International Association of Political Consultancy for “bringing democracy to a country (Zimbabwe) which has been brutalized for many years by an undemocratic dictator who subverted free and fair elections”.
The Insider could not establish the authenticity of the IAPC or its award, but found that the IAPC and Goddard Gunster shared the same address raising questions about the authenticity of the award as no change took place in Zimbabwe, apart from the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front coming back to power in a disputed election and the MDC itself splitting for the second time, but this time into three.
The two organisations were, however, deregistered in September 2014 for failing or refusing to submit returns to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs of the Government of the District of Columbia.
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