Tuesday, June 17, 2014

(STICKY) (HERALD ZW) EU sanctions suit: Britain in no show
June 17, 2014
Takunda Maodza and Fidelis Munyoro—

COMMENT - Upon close examination, the economic (in this case the EU's) sanctions fall apart. It was the British government under Tony Blair and Claire Short, which reneged on it's obligation to fund the Willing Buyer, Willing Seller land reform program (See the link to Swan's article, "The Spark", from November 1997, years before the Fast Track land reform program.

" I should make it clear that we do not accept that Britain has a special responsibility to meet the costs of land purchase in Zimbabwe. We are a new Government from diverse backgrounds without links to former colonial interests. My own origins are Irish and as you know we were colonised not colonisers. "


" Again, I am told there were discussions in 1989 and 1996 to explore the possibility of further assistance. However that is all in the past. "

- MrK

BRITAIN failed to make its representation in the hearing of a case in which Zimbabwe is suing the European Union for the imposition of illegal economic sanctions when the matter opened in the General Court of the European Union last Tuesday in Luxembourg.

The case, which was not against Britain but the EU, was heard by three judges from Sweden, Bulgaria and Greece in an open court last week and it lasted the entire day.

Zimbabwe did not cite Britain in the lawsuit but the United Kingdom begged the court to be included when it successfully applied for an intervener in 2012 claiming it had a personal interest in the case.

Zimbabwe’s legal team led by David Vaughan and Maya Lester of Brick Court Chambers in London argued that, “it is only the Security Council of the United Nations that have the lawful power to impose sanctions on a member country while the rest of the member countries’ obligation was supportive only.”

The lawyers said since independence, Zimbabwe has never been the subject of any such sanctions.

“In fact there were attempts by the United Kingdom to present a draft resolution to the Security Council in 2008 “targeting” 14 persons in the Government of Zimbabwe. The resolution was not passed because the test was not satisfied, that is Zimbabwe’s conduct needed to amount to a threat to international peace and security to attract UN sanctions,” the lawyers said.

The UN Security Council refused to impose sanctions or even condemn the Government of Zimbabwe.

“There is, therefore, no legal basis upon which the EU can continue to target persons and entities associated with the Government of Zimbabwe and or Zanu-PF,” the lawyers argued.

The oral hearing remains open for a period of two weeks to allow for the filing of further documents by all parties and in the case of the United Kingdom, to allow it to make its oral submissions, if any.

A hearing would be handed down in the course of the year.
Instructing attorneys are Michael O’ Kane of Peters and Peters Solicitors from UK, Jacob Mutevedzi of Mutamangira and Associates, and Gerald Mlotshwa of Titan Law Chambers, both of Zimbabwe.

Legal experts yesterday described Britain’s no show as ample evidence that the erstwhile coloniser had no justifiable legal explanation for the ruinous embargo that has bogged down the economy costing the country over US$42billion in lost revenue since the turn of the millennium.

Britain advocated the imposition of illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe after the Zanu-PF Government successfully embarked on the fast-track land reform programme in 2000 to correct historical land ownership imbalances in the wake of the British Labour government’s refusal to honour its colonial obligations.

A Zimbabwean delegation led by Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, comprising Prosecutor General Johannes Tomana and the Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Ray Ndhlukula, attended the hearing.

In a statement, the Zimbabwean delegation said: “The United Kingdom, which had intervened at its own initiative in the case, did not, however, attend the hearing. The reason for the United Kingdom’s absence is yet to be known.”

Zimbabwe’s lawsuit seeks to nullify the illegal sanctions imposed on 112 persons and 11 corporate entities associated with the Government and Zanu-PF.

Legal expert Mr Joseph Mandizha said the attitude of the British government in filing the intervener application, shallow and ill advised as it was, vindicates the position that Zimbabwe has always been communicating to the international community that the sanctions the sanctions were a bilateral issue.

“Harare’s position, which is on record, has always been that the real fact of the matter was that sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe were a consequence of a bilateral dispute between it and its former colonial power and that it was profoundly unfortunate that the rest of Europe was allowing wool to be pulled over its eyes by the British government through the sanctions dispute,” he said.

“It must, therefore, be very embarrassing to the EU that Britain has disingenuously conducted itself in a manner that lends credence to Zimbabwe’s position. It is incumbent upon our Government, however, not to celebrate this court victory and allow the matter to be, but rather to continue to demonstrate to the rest of Europe that it is willing and able to engage with or without the British government.”

Another lawyer Mr Terence Hussein said the failure by Britain to appear in court was a deliberate ploy to delay proceedings.

“Britain is either using delaying tactics to avoid the finalisation of the matter or they are afraid to come to court to justify their case in a court of law,” said Mr Hussein.

He said it was clear that the sanctions were unlawful and motivated by spite.

“Britain should do the honorable thing and show leadership within the EU by conceding that the sanctions had no basis and convince its allies to unconditionally drop them,” said Mr Hussein.

Advocate Fred Gijima concurred adding that the UK’s application was malicious and frivolous, and meant to frustrate the proceedings initiated by Zimbabwe.

“It clear that they are bent on maintaining the sanctions through the back door and did not want to come out on to the play ground and defend their decision in court of law,” said Adv Gijima.

“It is also clear that they have no reason at all whether, legally, socially, economically or politically to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe and encourage the EU to do likewise. They should simply do the honorable thing and concede that the sanctions be removed unconditionally.”

Constitutional lawyer, Professor Lovemore Madhuku said by failing to appear for the hearing Britain was liable to pay “wastage costs”.
Zimbabwe wants the sanctions declared illegal on the grounds that there was no proper legal basis for imposing sanctions on the individuals and companies associated with Government and Zanu-PF.

The sanctions were based on reports from faceless dubious websites and internationally discredited NGOs.

Zimbabwe also argues that in imposing the sanctions the EU failed to give adequate or sufficient reasons for targeting the said individuals and entities.

It failed to provide particulars or evidence to the affected persons and entities to allow them to comment on the case against them.

The EU infringed, without justification or proportion, the applicants’ fundamental rights including their right to protection of their property, business, reputation and private and family life.

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At 1:00 PM , Blogger MrK said...

This is on the prohibition on subletting.

(HERALD ZW) Dawn of new era for A1 farmers
July 3, 2014
Walter Nyamukondiwa Chinhoyi Bureau

Jubilant farmers celebrate after receiving their A1 resettlement permits from President Mugabe at Chifundi Farm in Makonde, Mashonaland West Province, yesterday. — (Picture by Tawanda Mudimu)

President Mugabe yesterday opened a new chapter in the land reform programme when he launched A1 settlement permits which ensure that farmers have security of tenure and can be used as collateral.

The permits, which confirm ownership of specific pieces of land by newly-resettlement farmers, were launched at Chifundi Farm in Mashonaland West Province, where 79 A1 farmers from the farm and from Emily Park Farm were handed the first batch.

The permits are not transferable and bear a map of the plot allocated and details of the beneficiaries and their spouses, even in cases of polygamy.

They state that each farmer is entitled to six hectares of arable land and access to communal grazing land.

The President said the permits were a seal on the land reform programme and would complement the 99-year leases launched in November 2006 in a bid to securitise the land and give beneficiaries security of tenure on the farms.

“Following the successful implementation of our land reform programme, today’s event is appropriately akin to putting the icing on the cake,” President Mugabe said. “Today, we indeed celebrate the emancipation and empowerment of our people as we unveil the A1 settlement permits.”

President Mugabe said the permits would be issued to only those who were productive and had infrastructural developments on their plots.

He said the permits for the A1 farmers and leases for A2 farms were a shield against Western machinations to reverse the land reform programme through the MDC-T.

The President warned people against inviting white former commercial farmers back to the land saying he was aware that some Government ministers were sub-letting farms acquired under the land reform programme to such people, while some chiefs were illegally settling people.

He said ministers should lead by example and warned that action would be taken against those who breached regulations.

“If there are those who still believe that the land they acquired was to afford them places to visit over weekends for braais and picnic parties, or for prestige or as places for interment when they pass on, then surely these will, sooner than later, lose the farms allocated to them,” he said.

“We are aware that some have either abandoned land allocated to them without having constructed any buildings thereon; others have sub-leased the land, or surrendered it to individuals for lease rentals which are a pittance. What annoys us even more is where our own indigenous farmers sub-lease to the very same white farmers we took our heritage from yesterday.”

President Mugabe said the land came as a result of sacrifices by people, both living and dead, including icons such as the late Vice-Presidents Dr Joshua Nkomo, Dr Simon Muzenda, Joseph Msika and John Landa Nkomo.

“Munhu wega wega ngaarege kushaya paanoti apa ndopake, pangave padiki,” he said. “Saka ivhu rakakosha zvikuru. Manzwa Mai Mujuru vachiti vazhinji vakaritambudzikira. Pane avo vataive navo kunze vane ruzivo rwematambudziko ataisangana nawo.

“Saka harisi ivhu rekutamba naro. Wapihwa netsika yakanaka nechidhindo (permit) chatauya nacho nhasi, hatidi mangwana kuti tizonzwa kuti aah nerweseri wakanotsvaga murungu kana mumwewo wakowo wekuzvitorera kana kunaana Harare uchiti aah huya uzogara pano, hazvibvumirwe.”

At 1:00 PM , Blogger MrK said...


President Mugabe called on traditional leaders to desist from distributing land without following laid down procedures.

He said there had been an outcry, particularly in Mashonaland West province, that many white farmers still remained on the land targeted for resettlement under the protection of top Government and party officials.

President Mugabe said Zanu-PF provincial chairman Cde Temba Mliswa had briefed him about the issue.

“Vamwe vanonzi vari mumaconstituency evakuru,” he said. “Asika takarwisa isusu vanhu ivava havasi vekuitira mwoyochena.

Havana kutandwa munyika… kana vari mumaindustry, mumadhorobha, mumaflats avo vaine mabhizimisi. Kune zvimwewo maitiro atiri kuita mumadhorobha. Vane macompanies …fine asi vachiteerera murawo watava kuita iyezvino. But kuno kuvhu revanhu, kwete.”

“Vamwe maministers angu varikudomwa pano apa varikunzi varikuramba kubvisa varungu ivavo mumaconstituencies avo, kwete,” he said. “Ko tinenge tichivadireiko? And we must demonstrate ka to the rest of the people kana tiri maministers isusu kuti zvatiri kuti zviitwe nehuzhinji hwevanhu tiri kuzviita isu vatungamiri.”

President Mugabe chronicled the long road Zimbabwe travelled in a bid to regain its land, saying the journey had been marked by untenable laws and international isolation at the behest of Britain.

He said Britain tried all dirty tricks to frustrate the process, but Zimbabwe remained resolute and the permits were an assertion of the ownership of land by indigenous people.

Farmers, the President said, would now be able to borrow money from banks using the permits as collateral.

He said to those with large tracts of land time will come when the land will have to be sub-divided owing to demand for land as the population grew.

This, he said, would have to be done in an orderly manner following proper procedures, saying self-allocation of land would never be tolerated.

Speaking at the same occassion, Vice President Joice Mujuru said the A1 permits represented a milestone in the struggle for land in Zimbabwe, saying Zim-Asset was anchored on land.

“You cannot plan life without the land, she said. Our livilihoods depend on the land. So, we cannot talk about Zim-Asset without the land. The permits are a seal of our wealth as a nation.”

Lands and Rural Resettlement Minister Dr Douglas Mombeshora said the A1 permits were not transferable and violation would lead to their withdrawal.

At 1:19 PM , Blogger MrK said...

And this is how that story is spun by the new editorial management of NewZimbabwe.com:

(NEWZIMBABWE) Remaining white farmers must go, Mugabe
02/07/2014 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe on Wednesday ratcheted up pressure against few hundred white remaining farmers saying they too must go adding whites would no longer be allowed to own land in Zimbabwe.

In an address filled with anti-western rhetoric at the launch of the A1 Model Settlement Tenure Permit in the Zanu PF heartland of Mashonaland West, Mugabe said Zimbabwe was no country for whites as far as the land was concerned.

“There are white farmers who are still on the land and have the protection of some cabinet ministers and politicians as well as traditional leaders,” he said.

“That should never happen and we will deal with ministers but as for our chiefs we do not want to harass you.

“Chief Charumbira (Fortune and president of chief’s council), you need to help us on this one because we respect you and your members. We do not want trouble.”

He added: “I have been given a list of 35 white farmers in Mashonaland West alone and in just a few districts that have been audited. We say no to whites owning our land and they should go.

“They can own companies and apartments in our towns and cities but not the soil. It is ours and that message should ring loud and clear in Britain and the United States.”

The new tenure system will confirm land ownership and, according to Mugabe,

[Already done - see article above. - MrK]

the government will create modalities within the financial services sector to allow farmers to access funding.

In typical anti-western rhetoric Mugabe took a dig at former British Premier Tony Blair.

[That's not 'a dig', it is a precise description of what happened. See the first article in this thread. - MrK]

“We had an agreement with the Margaret Thatcher government and when Tony Blair came he reneged on that agreement. I pleaded with him to review his decision but he was a boy from the street with no experience so he stuck to his guns,” said the veteran leader.

“I was not amused and told him to keep his England and we would keep our Zimbabwe. We will not pay for our land and we will not ask our people to pay for it because they never paid for it in the first place.

At 1:20 PM , Blogger MrK said...

“They were selling to each other amongst themselves and we will not recognise any of that nonsense.

[This is the Mugabe And The White African claim that 'all the white farmers bought their land after independence' garbage. The sheer arrogance to believe that they could 'trick' African people out of their lands, which was their original myth, that Reverend Helms tricked King Lobengula out of his land, to whitewash the fact that their ownership of Zimbabwean land came about through massive bloodshed. - MrK]

They were living like kings and queens on our land and we chucked them out. Now we want all of it.”

Mugabe’s latest pronouncements are likely to send jitters across the agricultural sector and the remaining white commercial farmers some who have argued that they never benefitted from colonialism.

[Of course they didn't, and Apartheid was a grand exercise in meritocracy. - MrK]

At the turn of the century, Mugabe unleashed veterans of the country’s liberation struggle

[No 'he' didn't. They did so all by themselves, because they were tired of waiting and sick of London's broken promises. - MrK]

on the country’s white commercial farming sector at a time his hold on power was threatened by the emergence of a strong opposition in the form of the MDC led by firebrand unionist Morgan Tsvangirai.

[Nonsense. - MrK]

What followed was a chaotic and violent exercise which saw a handful of white farmers killed in a development that angered the West which reacted with devastating sanctions.

[Oh, so now sanctions DO exist, do they? - MrK]

Destruction of a once thriving agricultural sector and the impact of the sanctions

[No, just the destruction of the Zimbabwe currency through economic sanctions did that. Tobacco exports grew by 10% from 2000 to 2001. Farm invasions had minimal impact on tobacco exports - ZDERA getting into force in 2002 devastated it. - MrK]

triggered a decade-long economic recession that forced millions of Zimbabwe to leave the country.

Mugabe has argued that he is correcting colonial land imbalances skewed in favour of a few thousand white farmers.

[And who would call that simple fact into dispute? 'Mugabe has argued...'? - MrK

At 1:31 PM , Blogger MrK said...

triggered a decade-long economic recession that forced millions of Zimbabwe to leave the country.

Missed that one. No they didn't. Part of the propaganda myth was that there were 'millions' of Zimbabweans in South Africa. This myth, although repeated without basis for years, also took years to debunk. See the My Take at the top left of the page, there were 1.6 million foreigners in South Africa in 2011 (See Table 3.6), and they weren't all Zimbabweans. Also there was study by the Forced Migrations Studies department at Witwatersrand, and they found that there was no basis for the media numbers given - ever.

This lie was part of a pretext against Zimbabwe, so they could make the argument that Zimbabwe should be invaded, because it was 'creating regional instability through refugee flows'.

That's the treasonous MDC for you.

At 1:14 PM , Blogger MrK said...

Also check out: Tony Blair Wanted To Kill President Mugabe - President Thabo Mbeki, Lord Guthrie

(HERALD ZW) Non-existent assets frozen:Blair admits
July 7, 2014
Herald Reporters

THE British government admitted to selling the world a dummy by claiming that the illegal economic sanctions regime imposed on Zimbabwe by the European Union was an ‘’asset freeze on President Mugabe and his inner circle’’ even though prior to the imposition of the sanctions – by their own admission – the Blair regime had failed to locate any bank accounts or assets owned by President Mugabe in Europe.

Britain, the European Union and the United States and their allies have passed the raft of economic sanctions they imposed on Zimbabwe at the turn of the millennium as travel bans and asset freezes on top government officials even though the sanctions cut Zimbabwe’s lines of credit from multilateral lending institutions, and have seen the US Office of Foreign Assets Control seize millions of dollars in revenue belonging to Zimbabwean companies.

The illegal sanctions regimes are estimated to have cost Zimbabwe over US$42 billion in revenue over the past 14 years prompting Government to launch a lawsuit against the EU to which Britain has failed to make representations.

The revelations, that are likely to leave London with egg streaming down the face, are contained in an article titled ‘’Robert Mugabe’s 2013 Presidential Election Campaign’’ that was published in the Journal of African Studies, 2013, Vol 39 on Monday last week.

The article, quoting former South African president Thabo Mbeki, revealed that Britain had “frozen” non-existent assets and that the then British prime minister, Mr Tony Blair, had in 2000 exerted pressure on South Africa in a bid to establish a military base to attack Zimbabwe and depose President Mugabe.

“Britain began saying to us (South Africans) that Bob Mugabe had a castle in Scotland, money in British banks, and these were the things they were going to freeze. We said we cannot stop you. We can stop you (from) invading Zimbabwe from here (South Africa) but we cannot do anything about your sanctions.

“After about three months, Tony’s people came to say to us that we have looked high and low. Bob Mugabe has no assets in Britain but we are going to impose sanctions anyway. So they froze assets that did not exist,” Mr Mbeki is quoted as saying in the journal published online on Monday.

President Mugabe is on record insisting that he does not own any properties abroad and has challenged the West to confiscate anything they might find including his “needle”.

The British embassy this week declined to respond to all the questions sent to it even after spending three days mulling over the questions, asking The Herald to contact Mr Blair or his spokesman in London.

“Thank you for your inquiry. You are advised to get in touch directly with Tony Blair’s spokesperson if you would like to pursue this matter further.”

At 1:14 PM , Blogger MrK said...


Added the embassy: “Meanwhile, find below a brief statement from the British Embassy that you may use in your article. The United Kingdom respects the sovereignty of Zimbabwe. We will do all we can to support the aspirations of the Zimbabwean people for a more democratic, stable and prosperous Zimbabwe.”

Mr Blair’s office did not respond to questions sent to them over the weekend.

According to the Guardian newspaper the European Union ordered the search for President Mugabe’s assets in different parts of the world in 2002 as part of efforts to tighten the illegal sanctions against Zimbabwe and its leadership.

Some British officials thought President Mugabe had money in foreign banks including the Bank of England and some assets in Scotland. In November last year Cde Mbeki revealed that he came under pressure from Blair to help in a military invasion of Zimbabwe.

Mr Blair denied the allegation only to have former British chief of staff Retired Field Marshal Charles Guthrie refute Mr Blair’s claims saying he was asked by the British government if he could look into the possibility of invading Zimbabwe.

He, however, was against the idea saying it would be “a very difficult military operation” given the military might of Zimbabwe and that the operations would be extremely dangerous since the British farmers were all over the country.

Zimbabwe came under attack from Britain’s allies among them the US and some members of the European Union bloc, after the former coloniser managed to internationalise its bilateral dispute with Zimbabwe over land reform.

However, some countries in the EU, among them Belgium, have since mellowed their stance and have started campaigning for the removal of the sanctions and some embargoes slapped on Zimbabwean Government officials.

So far the EU has removed all Zanu-PF officials, Government ministers, service chiefs and some companies from the sanctions list except for President Mugabe and First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe.

At 1:23 PM , Blogger MrK said...

On the OFAC sanctions:

(OFAC) Executive Order - Blocking Property of Additional Persons Undermining Democratic Processes or Institutions in Zimbabwe

Zdera's sanctions:

(c) MULTILATERAL FINANCING RESTRICTION - Until the President makes the certification described in subsection (d), and except as may be required to meet basic human needs or for good governance,

the Secretary of the Treasury shall instruct the United States executive director to each international financial institution to oppose and vote against--

(1) any extension by the respective institution of any loan, credit, or guarantee to the Government of Zimbabwe; or

(2) any cancellation or reduction of indebtedness owed by the Government of Zimbabwe to the United States or any international financial institution.

At 3:10 PM , Blogger MrK said...

Zambians can't be fooled by kcm lies - dipak
By Bivan Saluseki
Mon 07 July 2014, 14:00 CAT

DIPAK Patel says Zambians cannot be fooled by lies from Vedanta Resources-owned Konkola Copper Mines over issues to do with its copper exports.

On Wednesday last week, the High Court of Justice in London heard that KCM was cheating about its copper export prices by underpricing and selling it through its subsidiaries in Dubai.

Then on Saturday, KCM stated that all copper exports done by the mine were at market terms.

But Patel, an ex-commerce minister, said there were liars at Vedanta and that the controversies about KCM were of their own making.

"It is not any Zambian who suggested that KCM is milking US$500 million every year. It was their own chairman Anil Agarwal," he said.

"And to date, he has not issued a statement to clarify whether he was bragging, lying or telling the truth. Further, KCM keeps insisting they have invested US$2.8 billion when the facts say otherwise."

Patel said KCM owed millions of dollars to suppliers and were unable to pay, hence court actions such as that of U&M Mining.

"This just shows how unethical KCM is in buying services and not paying for it. What is revealed in a judgment on 2nd July 2014 in a matter between KCM and U&M Mining is that copper is being sold by KCM (through Standard Bank) to Fujairah Gold, a subsidiary of Vedanta in Dubai in such a way as to result in under - pricing of metal sold to a related company in a manner which was not at arm's length," he said.

"KCM has stated that they have made an investment of US$2.8 billion in upgrading equipment, building new facilities and expanding capacity. The Government Technical Audit Committee (GTAC) findings are that KCM has not made any such investment. The same findings were made by the Grant Thornton Report. The fact of the matter is that the liars at Vedanta and KCM have not taken any financial risk on KCM."

Patel said, in fact, in September 2011, Vedanta had prematurely called in a loan of US$500 million and then replaced it with a bank loan.

"In short, they pulled their money out. The alleged US$2.8 billion investment Vedanta claims it made in KCM was in fact made up of US$2.07 billion of internally generated cash flows and US$739 million through borrowings from banks, mainly Standard Bank. Under any stretch of imagination this cannot be called Foreign Direct Investment by KCM," he said.

At 3:10 PM , Blogger MrK said...


"This is a direct beach of the agreement made between government and Vedanta when KCM was sold to them. This very action by Vedanta makes the sale agreement null and void."

Patel said even some of the actions by government officials on matters pertaining to KCM were puzzling.

"It is difficult to understand what government wants, thinks, understands or even knows. Take for instance the remarks made by the Minister of Mines Christopher Yaluma in his letter to KCM on 3rd March, 2014 on the KCM Business Improvement Plan (BIP) of February 2014. The Minister's letter reads in part: 'We are happy with the discussions and dialogue that the government has had with your team in a bid to resolve the matters at hand. The government of the Republic of Zambia through my ministry greatly value the investment that the company has and continues to make in the mining industry of Zambia. We should continue to dialogue as we have done in a transparent manner and look forward to greater success of KCM Plc. We assure you that the government remains committed to KCM Plc and we look forward to greater success as a result of your Business Improvement Plan of 28th February 2014'," Patel said.

"Yet the observations by Grant Thornton on the KCM Business Improvement Plan which the Minister of Mines was delighted with states that 'the KCM Business Improvement Plan (BIP) fails to provide credible information to support the projections contained in the BIP'."

Patel said another puzzle was that Vedanta through Sesa Sterlite Ltd has restructured all its subsidiaries, but did not include KCM.

"Why? This requires further explanation from KCM," said Patel.

On Saturday, KCM public relations and communications manager, Shapi Shachinda, said the mining firm strongly refuted the numerous allegations by U&M Mining Limited.

"All copper exports done by KCM are at market terms and absolutely at arm's length," Shachinda said, in an e-mailed statement.

He said as the matter between KCM and U&M was still pending in courts of law in London and Lusaka, the mining giant was unable to comment fully on the allegations raised by U&M.

"Such allegations, as well as other disputes with U&M Mining, remain pending before the courts in London and in Zambia and before London arbitrators and until such time as all the related legal proceedings come to an end, we are unable to comment further," he said.

Shachinda further said Vedanta Resources remained committed to KCM on its operations in the country.

At 11:18 PM , Blogger MrK said...

(NEWZIMBABWE) Start-up entrepreneur tells Obama how sanctions hit his business
Taking Obama to task over sanctions ... Takura Chingonzo interviews US president Tuesday
05/08/2014 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

TAKURA Chingonzo, a 21-year-old Zimbabwean entrepreneur, on Tuesday afternoon, interviewed President Barack Obama on stage at the US-Africa Business Forum in Washington which was attended by representatives from 200 corporations and 50 African countries. The forum was held in conjunction with this week’s US summit with African leaders.
Chingonzo, co-founder of wireless start-up SAISAI Wireless, told Obama about the impact sanctions which were imposed by Washington against Zimbabwe in 2004 following allegations human rights violations and political repression were having on his business.

The sanctions were supposedly targeted at President Robert Mugabe, those around him and businesses said to be supporting his repressive regime but Chingonzo told Obama how the sanctions were hitting small start-up companies such as his.

Below is part of the interview …

CHINGONZO: So thank you very much, Mr. President for this opportunity. I’ll start by wishing you a belated Happy Birthday.

OBAMA: Thank you. Have you introduced yourself to everybody?

CHINGONZO: I wanted to really jump into the issues. (Laughter.)
OBAMA: Yes, go ahead and introduce yourself.

CHINGONZO: All right. I’m Takunda Chingonzo. I’m a young entrepreneur. I’m 21. I’m from Zimbabwe. And I’m working in the wireless technology space. We’re essentially liberating the Internet for Zimbabweans. (Applause.)

OBAMA: And let me just - this is an example of our young African leaders; in fact, the youngest young African leader. But one thing I will say, though, if you’re going to promote your business, you’ve got to make sure to let people know who you are. (Laughter.)

CHINGONZO: Definitely, definitely.

OBAMA: Just a little tip. You can’t be shy, man. (Laughter.) Please, go ahead.

CHINGONZO: That’s correct, Mr. President. So I was really going to start by delving into a personal experience. I was going to get to my business and how I got to where we are.

So as I was saying, we’re working in the technology space. I’m working on my third startup -- it’s called Saisai. We’re creating Zimbabwe’s first free Internet-access network, hence liberating the Internet. So in our working, we came to a point in time where we needed to import a bit of technology from the United States, and so we were engaging in conversation with these U.S.-based businesses.

And the response that we got time and time again was that unfortunately we cannot do business with you because you are from Zimbabwe. And I was shocked -- this doesn’t make sense.

At 11:18 PM , Blogger MrK said...

And so this is the exact same experience that other entrepreneurs that are in Zimbabwe have gone through, even though the meetings that I’ve had here. You know, you sit down with potential investors, you talk about the project, the outlook, the opportunity, the growth and all that -- and they’re excited, you can see. All systems are firing, right? And then I say I’m from Zimbabwe and they look at me and they say, young man, this is a good project, very good, very good, but unfortunately we cannot engage in business with you.

And I understand that the sanctions that we have -- that are imposed on entities in Zimbabwe, these are targeted sanctions, right?

But then we have come to a point in time where we as young Africans are failing to properly engage in business with U.S.-based entities because there hasn’t been that clarity. These entities believe that Zimbabwe is under sanctions. So what really can we do to do try and clarify this to make sure that we as the young entrepreneurs can effectively develop Africa and engage in business?

OBAMA: Well, obviously, the situation in Zimbabwe is somewhat unique. The challenge for us in the United States has been how do we balance our desire to help the people of Zimbabwe with what has, frankly, been a repeated violation of basic democratic practices and human rights inside of Zimbabwe.

And we think it is very important to send clear signals about how we expect elections to be conducted, governments to be conducted -- because if we don’t, then all too often, with impunity, the people of those countries can suffer. But you’re absolutely right that it also has to be balanced with making sure that whatever structures that we put in place with respect to sanctions don’t end up punishing the very people inside those countries.

My immediate suggestion -- and this is a broader point to all the African businesses who are here, as well as the U.S. businesses -- is to make sure that we’re using the Department of Commerce and the other U.S. agencies where we can gather groups of entrepreneurs and find out exactly what can be done, what can’t be done, what resources are available. It may be that you and a group of entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe are able to meet with us and propose certain projects that allow us to say this is something that will advance as opposed to retard the progress for the Zimbabwean people.

So what I’d suggest would be that we set up a meeting and we find out what kinds of things that the young entrepreneurs of Zimbabwe want to do, and see if there are ways that we can work with you consistent with the strong message that we send about good governance in Zimbabwe.

CHINGONZO: I see. Because really -- the point of emphasis really is that as young Africans we want to converse with other business entities here in the U.S., and if these sanctions are really targeted, then in honest truth, they aren’t supposed to hamper the business that we’re trying to engage in, the development that we’re talking about.

OBAMA: Well, let’s see if we can refine them further based on some of the things you’re talking about.

At 1:27 AM , Blogger MrK said...

(HERALD ZW) Cornered Obama admits sanctions • . . . hints on refining embargo •Sanctions cost Zim US$42bn
August 7, 2014
Felex Share Herald Reporter—

United States president Mr Barack Obama was put on the spot by a Zimbabwean student at the US-Africa Business Forum in Washington, forcing him to admit for the first time that his country’s illegal economic sanctions regime was hurting ordinary people and needed to be reviewed. Mr Obama, who was speaking during an interview with 21-year-old Zimbabwean ICT entrepreneur Takunda Chingonzo at the US-Africa Business Forum in Washington, conceded that his government needed to “refine” the sanctions regime so that they do not affect businesses and ordinary people.

His admission, the first such by Washington, flies in the face of over a decade of unfounded claims that the sanctions were “smart’’ and “targeted’’ at President Mugabe and his inner circle.

In reality, however, the sanctions regime that was enabled by the signing of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Bill into law by Obama’s successor, George W Bush in December 2001; cut off Zimbabwe’s lines of credit from all multilateral lending institutions with dealings with the US.

But Mr Obama said the US was in a quandary to balance the sanctions to ensure that they did not hurt ordinary people.

“Well, obviously, the situation in Zimbabwe is somewhat unique,” he said.

“Let us see if we can refine them (sanctions) further based on what you are talking about.”

“The challenge for us in the United States has been how do we balance to help the people of Zimbabwe with what has frankly been a repeated violation of basic democratic practices and human rights inside of Zimbabwe, but you are absolutely right it also has to be balanced with making sure that whatever structure we put in place with respect to sanctions do not end up punishing the very people inside those countries.”

Mr Obama then suggested a meeting with young Zimbabwean businesspeople to discuss the issue further.

“So, what I suggest would be that we set up a meeting what kinds of things the young entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe want to do and see if there are ways that we can work with you consistently with the strong message we send about good governance in Zimbabwe,” he said.

At 1:27 AM , Blogger MrK said...


Chingonzo, a National University of Science and Technology student and co-founder of SaiSai Wireless, told Mr Obama that the sanctions were hampering efforts by ordinary Zimbabweans to conduct business with other countries.

The forum was part of the ongoing US-Africa Summit and was attended by representatives from 200 corporations and 50 African countries.
Chingonzo asked Mr Obama to clarify the embargo, saying he personally had difficulties, together with other companies, in engaging US companies because of the embargo.

He said potential investors repeatedly told them that it was impossible to do business with Zimbabweans while the sanctions were in place.
Apart from cutting off Zimbabwe’s lines of credit, ZIDERA also bids Americans working for the multilateral lending institutions to vote against any assistance to Zimbabwe in addition to imposing punitive sanctions on American companies that opt to do business with Zimbabwe.

Several companies have had their funds intercepted by the US State Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control as part of the operationalisation of the sanctions regime.

OFAC administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions.
The Industrial Development Corporation lost over US$20 millionm, while its subsidiary Zimbabwe Fertiliser Company still has US$5 million frozen by OFAC because of the sanction law.

IDC’s US$40 000 subscriptions to the Southern African Development Community Development Finance Sector was also withdrawn due to the sanctions.

The Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe lost over US$30 million in revenue, while Olivine, a consumer goods company, had US$2 million loan from PTA Bank intercepted by the same office.
An ordinary Zimbabwean resident in Botswana also had his US$1 000 frozen by OFAC.

The illegal sanctions regime imposed by the US and its allies is estimated to have cost Zimbabwe over US$42billion in lost revenue since the turn of the millennium.

At 4:08 PM , Anonymous MrK said...

SW Africa Propagandist Joins NEWZIMBABWE.COM

SW Africa was not 'exiled', it was a British propaganda outfit that the Zimbabwean government saw through. Posted on the pro-colonial and anti-independence 'CIA associate' Thom Hartmann's blog:

Zimbabwe: British-US Propaganda Outfit Shuts Down - SW Radio Africa Closes It's Doors

The shutdown of SW Radio Africa is part of the fallout of the neoliberal MDC failing to win election after election, even though billions were 'invested' in them by the Rothschild family. They want the Chiadzwa and Marange diamond fields, and they didn't get them. Even the longtime Rothschild Family associates the Oppenheimers are now out of the diamond business. (Google: carats to carrots oppenheimer mg.co.za) Rothschild Bank funded diamond monopolist De Beers in 1887.

Under Gilbert Nyambabvu, Nezimbabwe.com was turned into a screaming anti-Mugabe version of The Sun. They used to do good journalism, not anymore.

(NEWZIMBABWE) Mthulisi Mathuthu joins NewZimbabwe.com
30/11/2014 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

SENIOR journalist Mthulisi Mathuthu has joined NewZimbabwe.com as deputy editor with effect from December 1. Mathuthu brings in a wealth of experience spanning close to 20 years.

Until the end of September Mathuthu was a senior journalist at the now defunct SW Radio Africa, an exiled Zimbabwean radio station based in London.

However, Mathuthu is not new to the online newspaper having become the first correspondent and columnist writing from inside Zimbabwe at our inception 11 years ago.

Chief Executive Officer Jeff Madzingo said he was happy that Mathuthu was joining a diligent team led by Editor Gilbert Nyambabvu.

“I have confidence in the team and I believe we are set for exciting times ahead as we seek to consolidate our lead in the news market,” said Madzingo.

Said Mathuthu: “I am happy to be at NewZimbabwe.com the only newspaper which genuinely has no sacred cows. No organisation or individual is guaranteed of favourable coverage.”


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