News / Africa

Zimbabwe's Mugabe Threatens British, US Firms Over Sanctions

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is seen addressing a crowd in Harare in this August 12, 2013, file photo.Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is seen addressing a crowd in Harare in this August 12, 2013, file photo.
x
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is seen addressing a crowd in Harare in this August 12, 2013, file photo.
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is seen addressing a crowd in Harare in this August 12, 2013, file photo.
Reuters
— Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe threatened “tit-for-tat” retaliation against companies from Britain and the United States on Sunday if the Western nations persisted in pressuring his government with sanctions and what he called “harassment.”
 
Mugabe's latest verbal broadside against his main Western critics followed their questioning of his re-election in a July 31 vote that his rival Morgan Tsvangirai denounced as a “coup by ballot” which he said involved widespread vote-rigging.
 
Mugabe, who at 89 is Africa's oldest leader, has rejected the fraud allegations and was sworn in on Thursday for a new five-year term in the southern African nation that he has ruled since its independence from Britain in 1980.
 
“They should not continue to harass us, the British and Americans,” Mugabe told supporters at the funeral of an air force officer.
 
“We have not done anything to their companies here - the British have several companies in this country - and we have not imposed any controls, any sanctions against them, but time will come when we will say well, tit-for-tat, you hit me I hit you.”
 
British companies in Zimbabwe include banking groups Standard Chartered Plc and Barclays Plc. These are already the target of a so-called “indigenization” policy that requires they cede a majority stake to black Zimbabweans.
 
The policy has also been applied to foreign mining houses in the mineral-rich country including those owned by South African companies such as Impala Platinum.
 
The United States has a far more limited corporate presence in Zimbabwe than Britain.
 
Targeted sanctions
 
Mugabe and prominent members of his ZANU-PF party, which won a two-thirds majority in the July 31 election, are the targets of financial and travel sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union. These were applied by Washington and Brussels to punish alleged election-rigging and abuses of power.
 
The European Union in March eased most sanctions against Zimbabwe after the country's voters approved a new constitution which paved the way for July's poll, but kept Mugabe and nine of his closest associates on the list.
 
It will review relations with Zimbabwe because of its “serious concerns” about the election, E.U. foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Thursday. Its verdict on the vote will be crucial to a decision on whether it continues to ease sanctions.
 
Britain said last week Mugabe's re-election could not be deemed credible without an independent investigation into allegations of voting irregularities.
 
U.S. officials also said the July 31 election was flawed and Washington had no plans to loosen sanctions until there were signs of change in the country.
 
In contrast, observers from the regional 15-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union broadly endorsed the vote as free and peaceful, and called on all parties to accept its results.
 
Mugabe still enjoys support in Africa for his role in the liberation guerrilla war that helped end white-minority rule in what was formerly Rhodesia, and led to its independence.
 
He frequently accuses his critics of racism and of wanting to recolonize Zimbabwe.

“They think, we the blacks are inferior, they are superior. But in Zimbabwe we will never accept that a white man, merely because he is white is superior, no. We will chase them away,” Mugabe said about Western powers on Sunday.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid