Foreigners spared Zim kangaroo courts

2011-01-19 18:23

Harare - Zimbabwe will not heed a proposal by the president's party to bring American and British business executives before state media to denounce their countries' sanctions, a minister said on Wednesday.

President Robert Mugabe's party has demanded that the chief executives publicly criticise Western economic restrictions imposed on Zimbabwe or forfeit control of their businesses.

Industry Minister Welshman Ncube said on Wednesday that threats of trial by media-style "kangaroo courts" further undermined efforts to stabilise already shaky investor confidence in the embattled economy.

It is illegal under the constitution to force individuals to make public their political opinions, Ncube said.

Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party elite face numerous sanctions for alleged democratic and human rights violations in a decade of political and economic turmoil.

Defense Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa has called for Cold War era-style confessions from executives of some 400 British and US companies operating in Zimbabwe.

He told Mugabe party supporters at weekend rallies that those executives who "fail to take a public position" will be punished anyway, and lose up to 90% of their shareholdings.

Money from seized shareholdings would be used to set up a new "anti-sanctions fund" to campaign aggressively against the measures and "all foreign companies operating in the country will be compelled to assist," Mnangagwa said.

The sanctions, targeted against Mugabe, his loyalists and businesses owned by the party, include visa and travel bans and a freeze on foreign banking and any other business operations by them.

Mugabe insists economic restrictions have had a broader impact and have disrupted the economy. Mugabe's critics blame Zimbabwe's economic meltdown on mismanagement that began with the often violent seizures of thousands of white owned farms in 2000 by Zanu-PF.

An estimated 2 million Zimbabweans need food aid in coming weeks, according to the United Nations.

Ncube described Mnangagwa's remarks as "unfortunate" and said the coalition as a whole will not allow foreign businessmen to be persecuted.

"If it was Zanu-PF alone in government then it will have happened, but it is an inclusive government and we will not agree," Ncube said.

  • Nasdaq7 - 2011-01-19 19:15

    The sanctions must stop. The poor dictator wants to take his billions out of the country before he dies.

  • Bernard - 2011-01-19 19:28

    I am ashamed to say that I was born in (Rhodesia) now Zimbabwe - the country is run by gangsters and thugs who have no shame - they should be horse whipped and then tried for thier crimes against humanity.

  • Grampa - 2011-01-19 20:48

    Julius Malma's tutors together with self appointed Mother of the Nation Winnie

  • FJO - 2011-01-20 00:46

    When it was Rhodesia, there were worse sanctions imposed on the economy and Rhodesia was a thriving economy despite sanctions, what is wrong with the brilliant nation of Zimbabwe?????

  • pragmatist - 2011-01-20 00:52

    Why does the world tolerate this tin pot dictator? Zim is a tiny country in the middle of nothing... Why does bob think that he is so important?

  • spookster - 2011-01-20 06:33

    Mugabe and his cronies are totally insane.He is another Hitler.

  • baxolele - 2011-01-20 08:56

    I hope the world is watching.This total insane.These are the last kicks of a dying horse.

  • Rob Thorn - 2011-01-20 09:41

    The history of Zanu-PF is steeped in and based on the Facist/Maoist philosphy of which Mugabe is an ardent adherent. He continues in his endeavours to mislead his own people by blaming "The West" or "The British" for imposing sanctions on the state of Zimbabwe, when in fact restrictions are targeted against the Zanu-PF hierarchy for crimes against humanity, specifically their own people. Pity the poor suffering masses of Zimbabwe to have to listen to the archaic rhetoric of a so called "freedom fighter". By his own admission, Mugabe waged war on the previous Smith regime for one purpose and one purpose alone - power. And not just transient power but the entrenched everlasting variety.

  • Timbo - 2011-01-20 11:43

    Got to love how they think you can take the interests away from a business person and that means they will make money by sitting on their arses.

  • Kambirimbaro - 2011-01-20 12:10

    One thing some of these boneheads don't get is that Mugabe is absoletely loved by indigenous Africans whom he has made more educated and richer since he came to power. Before Mugabe Rhodesia was in a no-man's land in terms of African literacy rankings, now Zimbabwe is the absolute Number One in ALL of Africa. Before Mugabe Zimbabwe had One university, now, more than 16. Before Mugabe blacks were not allowed to own land, now, they own all of it. Wikileaks showed Tsvangirayi to be an Uncle Tom. Mugabe was first (in Zimbabwe) with a law giving Africans 51% ownership of business in Zimbabwe. Mugabe was first with the Look East policy now even Washington wines and dines Hu Juntao of China for economic favors. Zimbabweans (who are very literate) are well aware of all this in spite of your rantings and they will vote accordingly. Rant on if you like but this will not change where Zim is going. You used to call it a basket case yet it has the fastest growth in Southern Africa right now. So, there!

  • JamesT - 2011-01-20 12:19

    Before Mugabe: 1 university (mainly for whites) low literacy ranking of country no African land ownership no significant African ownership of economy Because of Mugabe: 16 universities and increasing First place literacy ranking in Africa 90% African land ownership and increasing at least 51% indigenous ownership of economy (legislated by Mugabe) As voting African, which was would you vote? (seriously - if you were not an idiot)

  • Shrek - 2011-01-20 13:49

    Those 400 British & American companies should just close down.

  • Timbo - 2011-01-20 15:42

    @Kambirimbaro & @JamesT are you guys been serious or are you taking the piss. Come on if you believe what you are saying I can only guess that you are in SA because you could not get a proper Job in Zim and will try justify your own stuff ups back home.

  • Kambirimbaro - 2011-01-20 17:58

    @Timbo, lets keep the debate civil. Can you refute a single point I made? I guess you can't, so what do you do, like the good old Rhodesians, you attack the messenger. What point we made is not clear or is wrong? Come on now! Shame on you! It's a free world and I can work anywhere economics dictate to be more profitable at any given time but my heart is in Zim. The reason there is a brain drain from Zim to other countries is because there cannot be a brain needed by Zim to drain from the other way round. Zimbabwe stands a chance at being the first truly independent African country, ever! You will never be able to hoodwink her again. Then, when Africans in SA see the progress in Zim they may start asking you why they have to live in poverty while you live in luxury. Prepare your answers rather than attack us.

  • JamesT - 2011-01-20 18:34

    I forgot to mention that in spite of sanctions, Zimbabwe has cut HIV prevallence to under 14%, almost half of the levels in neighboring countries, e.g. SA at 32%. IN SPITE OF DEATH-GRIP SANCTIONS.

  • Masocha - 2011-01-20 20:22

    Robert Mugabe is one bold African leader who does not back down. He lets everyone know where he is going. He is no puppet of noone. I will tell you this, had Mugabe became a Yes man for the West, he would be called 'saint.'His crime is defending our African heritage, pride and ownership. As for corruption, show me one clean country in the whole world where things are above board. And if they are, why is the Wikileaks guy in trouble. No one must use the "corruption" ticket to recolonize Africa. I pray for many mpre Mugabe's to arise not only in Zim but in the whole of Africa. Look at what the International so called powers are doing in Ivory Coast. That is what people like Mugabe are standing against. It is about time people left Africa alone and let us do our own things. Corruption come from the West which pays people like Tsvangirai in order to make sure that they will remain masters and we be their slaves. Just investigate all of the western run companies and tell me you don't meet corruption everywhere you turn. No but since they are western they will not be mentioned. If you are a black man and you hate Mugabe, you have a very big problem. Let us support and help our own and stop hanging all our nappies to appease the colonizers.

  • Mike - 2011-01-20 22:49

    Hey Masocha, you are a sorry excuse for an African. Surely you cannot actually believe all that cr?p you wrote. If you actually believe it and your thoughts and beliefs are what the majority of Africans believe (Although I doubt it) - then God help Africa. The dregs of society are running Zanu PF - You surely could not scrape more towards the bottom of the barrel when it comes to Mugabe and company. Lets all us Africans stand together and force out those like Mugabe that steal, kill, rape and destroy the people and the economy of Africa. We are our brothers keepers and thus God expects us to bring those elements to their knees. Its time for Africa to rise up - as they did in Tunisia - so that Africa can take its rightful place among the decent states of the world.

  • History student - 2011-01-20 23:06

    Robert Mugabe, the Butcher of Bulawayo, the Hijacker of Harare, the Zero of Zimbabwe, a perfect case study for Africa and the world of how power corrupts and of how to wreck a country.

  • Mikemcc - 2011-01-21 00:24

    @Masocha, Kambirimbaro & JamesT: Try considering some of the other great achievements of Mugabe while you enjoy the benefits of SA. 1.Unemployment has reached 95%. 2.HIV infections are definitely decreasing, but these stats are also seen as flawed due to the massive amount of destabilisation of the population as they flee to surrounding countries in search of better conditions. 3.Inflation peaked at unprecedented levels before your own currency was abandoned. 4.Your currency at one time was issued with an EXPIRY date; I kept some as a memento. 5.Whilst the recovery in the GDP growth rate is impressive it does not rank as the highest in southern Africa as you suggest. Mozambique has a higher growth rate and Namibia matches Zimbabwean growth. This is also attributed to the abandonment of the ZW$. 6.Zimbabwe currently has the highest debt to GDP ratio in the world. 7.Zimbabwe used to be a net exporter of food but has become a net importer and heavily reliant on food aid from its neighbours (SA) and the west. 8.The economic sanctions you rant about are only applicable to members of the ruling party and have no influence on the economy. I fail to see where you arrive at the conclusion that Bob has been so good to the Zimbabwean people. If this was the case SA would not have had to make special arrangements to legalise the presence of millions of your people here. My opinion is that should the unity government fail and Bob takes full control again the economy will resume its decline.

  • Erich - 2011-01-21 15:45

    Whenever I see the name/word Zimbabwe I feel like vomiting. It is disgusting. Zimbabweans MUST GO BACK to Zimbabwe. I do'nt know why there are lot of comments about that country. Eish!

  • Mandy - 2011-01-21 16:53

    It is frightening to think that people educated enough to post an article on news24 can believe that Mugabe is any but a greedy, self serving, murdering despot is inexplicable. I have just returned from Zim and whilst there is a flicker of hope, the people are so broken that I'm not sure they have the energy to rebuild what that syphalitic mad man has destroyed.

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