Breaking News

Why reward Mugabe?

by Jim Armitage
19 February 2013 | 3857 Views
BRUSSELS - Global Outlook Rewards for the punished are only meant to be for good behaviour.

So why are we about to give a glittering prize to the unpleasant government dominated by Robert Mugabe?

Today, in Brussels, the European Union's Foreign Affairs Council will lift certain targeted sanctions on the country.

William Hague will sign up to the moves, which are being championed by the high representative, Labour's Baroness Ashton.

It is not clear yet exactly which barriers will be removed, but I'm reliably informed they will include the lifting of travel restrictions on certain members of the Mugabe regime, plus the unfreezing of some of their assets.

Many of Mugabe's top officials have become spectacularly rich from his decades in power.

Perhaps we should applaud as his newly liberated big guns come to Sloane Street to splash out in Rolex and Louis Vuitton – our economy needs all the help it can get.

But l am not entirely sure that boosting London's luxury goods industry is what the EU Foreign Affairs Council should be all about.

Zimbabwe remains a deeply troubled State, arguably run largely for the benefit of its leaders.
 
Its diamond industry, as l wrote some weeks ago, is deeply flawed and open to corruption.

Large amounts of money from its diamond mines flow into the coffers of Zanu-PF, Human Rights Watch suggests, while its highly partisan police force continues to harass and arrest opposition activists.

So why are we about to give Mugabe a big pat on the back?

Hague, Ashton and company argue the sanctions should be lifted to recognise the fact that the government has said it will hold a referendum in March on a draft constitution.

General elections should follow later in the year.

But, setting aside all the other allegations of ongoing corruption and human rights abuses, why would we want to be rewarding the regime for something it hasn't even done yet?

The Zimbabwean sanctions should remain in force until free and fair elections have been held - and note that expression: "free and fair".

At a cost of $800 to $1 400 per ticket, the dozens of businesspersons attending the ZimInvest London 2012 Forum last November will have been hoping for more than just a few egg-and-cress sandwiches.

They will not have been disappointed.

The five-star Le Meridien Piccadilly, not known for skimping on the catering, laid it on in luxurious style.

More importantly, the suits who assembled - fund managers and others looking to invest in Zimbabwe - met senior honchos from the country in what the event's marketing blurb described as "an excellent high-level networking platform".

The lifting of sanctions today will be used by said honchos as a major recruiting tool in future conversations, we can have no doubt.

Attendees included the London Stock Exchange's Richard Webster-Smith, Old Mutual's Patrick Bowes and Standard Bank's London-based Matthew Pearson, all talking about the everyday realities of doing business in Zimbabwe.

Not present were the 11 British and Dutch folk who bought farmland in the country in the 1980s, when Mugabe was encouraging inward investment.

They were evicted in 2002 and, despite winning a World Bank arbitration hearing awarding them $35 million compensation, are still waiting for their money.

Only last week, the Zimbabwe government confiscated thousands of hectares of mining land from Zimplats, while Standard Chartered, Barclays and other firms this week were said to face being forced to sell majority stakes of their Zimbabwean businesses to "indigenous Zimbabweans".

Hopefully the well-fed ZimInvest guests were warned: investing in Mugabe's Zimbabwe is still risky business.

Mehmet Dalman, the Labour-supporting chief executive of that controversial mining group ENRC, was at the Conservatives' Black and White Ball in London the other day.

David Cameron was, of course, the keynote speaker (somewhat underwhelming, l am afraid).

I am sure Dalman will have taken the opportunity to congratulate the prime minister on his enthusiasm for the extractive industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), which aims to reduce corruption in mineral-rich Third-World countries such as the Congo, where ENRC is a major player.

Glencore, Xstrata, Barrick Gold and others have all become, or are in the process of becoming, signatories, and Cameron was trumpeting the cause at Davos.

Yet Dalman's ENRC, famed for its deals in the Congo with the infamous Israeli diamond tycoon Dan Gertler, is seen in the industry as being something of a laggard on the whole process.

Under EITI, money paid by companies for mining rights has to be matched by money received by the States' Treasuries.

Both amounts have to be published - the idea being to make it harder for cash to disappear into certain back pockets en route.

That can make it a tad more difficult doing business in certain parts of the world.

The PM wants to get all of G8 to sign up to EITI while Britain has presidency of the group this year.
 
(Silvio Berlusconi, if he gets himself elected, is hardly likely to be an enthusiast.

This week he declared bribery was fine if it meant winning lucrative contracts.)

It is to Cameron's credit that his vision for the developing world is that Western firms behave honourably and transparently.




Somewhat embarrassingly, though, we Brits aren't signed up to EITI yet.

Hopefully we √¢‚Ǩ‚Äú and that means ENRC - will have signed by the time the great and the good meet up at the Lough Erne summit in June. 


Mugabe


Disclaimer:
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

Source: Independent.co.uk

Is Tsvangirai's BIG TENT leaking?

Yes
18.52%
No
25.93%
Not bothered
55.56%
27

Comments

News Updates

Email:

Latest News

Woman throws newborn in sewage - A 23-year-old Zimbabwean woman li...

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2014 | 654 Views

Shock as cow 'gives birth to a human' - Curious residents have flocked...

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2014 | 1192 Views

Liverpool 2 -3 Coventry City 1994-95, Peter Ndlovu hat-trick - Video -...

by Sports reporter | 17 September 2014 | 596 Views

Mr Tsvangirai, leaders are changed through the ballot - HISTORY should...

by Mukachana Hanyani | 17 September 2014 | 480 Views

'Zimbabwe economy could collapse on Zimdollar reintroduction' - ZIMBAB...

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2014 | 708 Views

Tsvangirai's MDC-T demands end to police HQ siege - THE MDC-T has cond...

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2014 | 617 Views

Mugabe ready to testify in US court - LAWYERS for a Chicago man charge...

by Chicago Tribune | 17 September 2014 | 546 Views

Russia's Foreign Minister, Lavrov leaves Zimbabwe - Russia's Foreign M...

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2014 | 410 Views

Zimbabwe, Namibia conduct airforce drills - Zimbabwe and Namibia on We...

by Blessing Zulu | 17 September 2014 | 464 Views

US reviewing Zimbabwe situation - The United States Ambassador to Zimb...

by Taurai Shava | 17 September 2014 | 713 Views

Subscribers cry foul over NetOne blackout - Tonnes of farm produce is ...

by Moyo Roy | 17 September 2014 | 717 Views

Zanu PF members will decide who to lead the party during the congress...

by Kennedy Mapesa Mandaza | 17 September 2014 | 861 Views

Obert Mpofu attacks striking NRZ workers

by Staff Reporter | 17 September 2014 | 1565 Views

Zanu-PF orders farm invaders to vacate or face eviction - The governme...

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2014 | 1831 Views

IMF delegation jets into Zimbabwe - An International Monetary Fund (IM...

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2014 | 916 Views

Was TB Joshua Right? - Iraq Ambassador claims ISIS plans to assassinat...

by Lee Seung | 17 September 2014 | 1963 Views

Delta Beverages slashes beer prices - Delta Beverages has slashed bee...

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2014 | 1782 Views

'SA Deputy President Ramaphosa murdered workers,' Parliament told - C...

by news24 | 17 September 2014 | 1465 Views

MDC-T SA on Zimbabwe special permits update - Feedback from the Meeti...

by Staff Reporter | 17 September 2014 | 2617 Views

Okapi killer sentenced - A 19-year-old Gwanda teenager who fatally st...

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2014 | 1832 Views

MDC-T official drags MDC Renewal official to court - An MDC-T official...

by Lesley Moyo | 17 September 2014 | 1339 Views

'NRZ is the backbone of Bulawayo industry'

by Hangoyapalala waTjibundule | 17 September 2014 | 1763 Views

Kaindu refuses to give up

by Sports reporter | 17 September 2014 | 1896 Views

Mutamba to fight suppression of controversial Mtukudzi book - Shepherd...

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2014 | 1789 Views

Brothers impregnate physically handicapped sister - TWO brothers were ...

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2014 | 2542 Views

Demos are non productive Mr. Tsvangirai!

by John Mukumbo | 17 September 2014 | 1596 Views

Bosso itching for revenge - AT this point in the Castle Lager Premier ...

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2014 | 1670 Views

Entertainment

Zuma daughter's new soapie to replace Generations - JOHANNESBURG - Sow...

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2014 | 2547 Views

Afrika Revenge reunites - Award winning duo of Willis "Afrika" Kachamb...

by Sophia Chese | 16 September 2014 | 1769 Views

Usandikanganwe - Lady Bee ft Manhanga

by Staff Reporter | 15 September 2014 | 2123 Views

Generations actors agree to go back to work - The 16 Generations stars...

by City Press | 14 September 2014 | 4145 Views

Bulawayo born singer wows X Factor Judges

by Staff Reporter | 13 September 2014 | 3113 Views

Byo singer wins 80K recording deal, duped by sponsors

by Hangoyapalala waTjibundule | 12 September 2014 | 3313 Views

Axed Generations actor's marriage crumbles - Menzi Ngubane better know...

by Times LIVE | 12 September 2014 | 6543 Views

'Nollyhood' comes to Byo

by Hangoyapalala waTjibundule | 11 September 2014 | 2679 Views
iBlog

Positions To Make Female Orgasm Easier During Intercourse

some women are fortunate enough to be able to climax easily, and in almost any sexual position. the majority of women though, sometimes find it difficult to orgasm especially when they are with a partner. sometimes this difficulty is just a result ... Read More
adoniadennis 12 May 2014 ago

The Nsa Gets An Ok For Telephony Metadata Collection Yet Again

As much as we’d like to forget about the national security agency (nsa) and its mass surveillance program, it seems that there is no distracting ourselves from this unnerving reality.missing from the news for quite some time now, the issue has resu... Read More
SecNews 09 July 2014 ago