News / Africa

    Zimbabwe's Mugabe Plans 'Final Phase' of Black Ownership Plan

    Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe addresses supporters during celebrations to mark the country's Defense Forces Day in the capital Harare, Aug. 13, 2013.
    Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe addresses supporters during celebrations to mark the country's Defense Forces Day in the capital Harare, Aug. 13, 2013.
    Reuters
    Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe said on Tuesday he saw his victory in last month's election as a mandate for “total” application of policies forcing foreign-owned firms to sell majority stakes to local investors.

    Addressing a Defense Forces Day rally, Africa's oldest leader at 89, maintained a belligerent defense of his re-election on July 31, which is being challenged in court as fraudulent by his main political rival, Morgan Tsvangirai.

    Rejecting this challenge along with questions by Western governments about the election's credibility, Mugabe said his new five-year term extending his 33 years in power gave him the chance to enact what he called the last chapter of a fiercely nationalist economic strategy.

    His so-called “indigenisation” policy seeks to redistribute wealth by forcing foreign-owned firms to sell at least 51 percent to black Zimbabweans.

    The local operations of the world's two largest platinum producers, Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum Holdings, have already been targeted by this policy, and foreign-owned banks are also seen as likely targets.

    London-based Standard Chartered and Barclays are among the banks in Zimbabwe.

    “Now that the people of Zimbabwe have granted us a resounding mandate in the governance of the country, we will do everything in our power to ensure that our objective of total indigenisation, empowerment, development and employment is realized,” Mugabe told the rally of both civilians and soldiers.

    “This is our final phase of implementing the ideals of the liberation struggle,” he added, without offering more details.

    His pledge of more forceful application of a nationalist agenda offered little comfort to foreign investors, who have been hoping Zimbabwe can build on a fragile economic recovery seen under a unity government since 2009 made up of Mugabe's ZANU-PF party and Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change.

    The MDC filed a legal challenge on Friday in the Constitutional Court, calling for a re-run of the election on the grounds it was riddled with fraud and irregularities.

    Zimbabwe's constitution says the top court must rule within 14 days. Analysts predict the MDC challenge is unlikely to prosper because they say Mugabe's ZANU-PF party dominates the judiciary and state institutions.

    Tsvangirai and his party boycotted the Defense Forces Day ceremony, just as they had a Heroes Day celebration led by Mugabe on Monday in which he bluntly told critics of his re-election to “go hang”.

    Military 'pillar'

    In his speech, Mugabe praised Zimbabwe's armed forces as a “reliable pillar” of his government, which he said was making efforts to improve military wages and living conditions.

    He accused Tsvangirai, who prior to the election was his prime minister in the fractious unity government, of working with former colonial power Britain by calling for reforms of the armed forces.

    Tsvangirai had accused the pro-Mugabe security forces of showing bias and intimidation against him and his party, making a fair election impossible.

    Mugabe said it was “surprising that some misguided fellow countrymen at the behest of their Western allies blatantly disregard the good work done by the Zimbabwe Defense Forces in maintaining peace and tranquility in the country.”

    “They disguise this by demanding what they call security sector reform, when it is obvious the enemy's real ploy is to dilute the efficiency of the Zimbabwe Defense Forces,” he added.

    Pointing to multiple flaws in the July 31 vote cited by domestic observers, Western governments, especially the United States, have questioned the credibility of the election outcome and are considering whether to prolong sanctions against Mugabe.

    But Mugabe is drawing comfort from African election observers who endorsed the elections as largely free and orderly and have urged Zimbabweans to move on peacefully. Western observers were barred from observing the vote.

    You May Like

    Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria Pushes War to Tipping Point

    As threat to Aleppo and rebel forces grows, US plan to negotiate becomes less and less appealing for Syrian government, says one military analyst

    IS Runs Timber Smuggling Business in Afghanistan, Officials Say

    Government turning blind eye to smuggling, according to tribal leaders; Afghanistan's forest cover dropped by 50 percent in three decades, experts say

    Video White House Seeks $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika

    Obama administration says funding would 'support essential strategies to combat the virus' such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs, accelerating vaccine research

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.