Over 400 British companies still in business in Zimbabwe


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More than 400 British companies are doing business in Zimbabwe and are making huge profits, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said in Parliament last week.

Responding to a question from Chegutu West legislator Dextor Nduna on what the government strategy was to counter negative publicity from the West, Mumbengegwi said while Zimbabwe had been under sanctions since 2002, British companies had continued to do business in Zimbabwe.

“The Western countries have this inexplicable habit of regarding themselves as the International Community, yet they constitute a very small portion of the International Community both by surface area and population. It is Africa, Asia and Latin America that constitutes the International Community both in terms of surface area and population,” Mumbengegwi said.

“Zimbabwe has enjoyed excellent relations with Africa, Asia and Latin America both politically and economically. Zimbabwe has enjoyed strong economic relations with African countries. Potential investors never regarded Zimbabwe as a risk destination.”

Mumbengegwi said the European Union had allowed its sanctions on Zimbabwe to lapse because they were hurting European countries like Belgium. The EU had therefore lifted sanctions on Zimbabwe, except on President Robert Mugabe and his wife, out of self-interest.

Mumbengegwi, however, this was meaningless because, “as long as His Excellency, the President and the First Family continue to be under any form of sanctions, it is not possible to normalise relations with the Western countries. We will continue to call for the unconditional lifting of all forms of sanctions. Imposing any form of sanction on the Head of State and the First Family is imposing sanctions on the entire nation. Our heroic Head of State is the embodiment of the nation of Zimbabwe,” he said.

Mumbengegwi said there was already a stream of potential investors and business people from various countries in Europe such as the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland scouting for investment opportunities in Zimbabwe.

 

Q & A:

 

STRATEGY TO COUNTER THE NEGATIVE PUBLICITY CREATED BY BRITAIN AND ITS WESTERN ALLIES

MR. NDUNA asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs to state Government strategy to counter the negative publicity created by Britain and its Western allies which has resulted in the country being perceived as a risk destination by potential investors.

THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (MR. MUMBWENGEGWI): Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank Hon. Nduna for his question. Let me confirm that Zimbabwe has had to contend with negative publicity including illegal sanctions imposed by Britain and its Western allies since 2002.

It is however not correct that this negative publicity resulted in the country being perceived as a risk destination by potential investors. There are over 400 British companies which have continued to do business in Zimbabwe and making huge profits from the exploitation of Zimbabwe’s God given resources.

The Western countries have this inexplicable habit of regarding themselves as the International Community, yet they constitute a very small portion of the International Community both by surface area and population.

It is Africa, Asia and Latin America that constitutes the International Community both in terms of surface area and population.

Zimbabwe has enjoyed excellent relations with Africa, Asia and Latin America both politically and economically. Zimbabwe has enjoyed strong economic relations with African countries. Potential investors never regarded Zimbabwe as a risk destination.

Hon. Members of this august House will definitely know that His Excellency, President R. G. Mugabe was the first leader, with penetrating foresight, to enunciate the ‘Look East Policy’. This opened up investment and trade opportunities from economic giants such as China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Russia and many others. None of these, who have made considerable investments in Zimbabwe ever regarded Zimbabwe as a risk destination.

Hon. Members in the august House will know that the European Union allowed their sanctions against Zimbabwe to lapse in November 2014. Their sanctions had back fired. Some countries such as Belgium had protested publicly that the purported sanctions against Zimbabwe’s products such as diamonds were in fact sanctions against Belgium since their diamond centres in Antwerp were being deprived of Zimbabwe’s considerable diamonds which were being marketed elsewhere.

Thus, the lapsing of the EU sanctions last November was an act of self interest. However, as long as His Excellency, the President and the First Family continue to be under any form of sanctions, it is not possible to normalise relations with the Western countries. We will continue to call for the unconditional lifting of all forms of sanctions. Imposing any form of sanction on the Head of State and the First Family is imposing sanctions on the entire nation. Our heroic Head of State is the embodiment of the nation of Zimbabwe.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I do not need to tell hon. members in this august House that the illegal sanctions which were clearly aimed at affecting illegal regime change in Zimbabwe have failed dismally. The democratisation of the land ownership pattern in Zimbabwe has become an irreversible reality. The resilience and fighting spirit of the people of Zimbabwe, under the iconic leadership of His Excellency, President R. G. Mugabe has won the day. It is therefore no accident that our principled and revolutionary leader has been so recognised by simultaneously holding the Chair of SADC and that of the African Union, a feat never before attained, not likely to be attained in future. This is a cause for celebration, not only by Zimbabweans but also by the entire African continent and the whole of the developing world.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the victory of Zimbabwe and the gallant people of Zimbabwe is testified by the stream of potential investors and business people from various countries in Europe, for example, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and others scouting for investment opportunities in Zimbabwe.

In the final analysis, the Government of Zimbabwe has been able to successfully counter the negative publicity created by Britain and its allies because of the clear principled and uncompromising leadership and guidance provided by the iconic revolutionary of our time, Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe. Under his inspiring leadership, the Zimbabwean nation has displayed unparalleled discipline, resilience and resourcefulness. I thank you.

MR. MANDIPAKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I would like the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs to enlighten this august House on what we exactly mean by normalising relations with European Union.

MR. MUMBENGEGWI: Normalising relations simply means creating relations where there are no sanctions by one party or the other.

MR. HOLDER: Has the European Union ever refused to do business with Zimbabwe at any case?

MR. MUMBENGEGWI: The answer is a definite and resounding yes! – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] –

(958 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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