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

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid