Newscast Media HARARE—Foreign owners of stores and shops in Zimbabwe are still coming to terms with the reality that the government has ordered them to close their shops by the end of the year.
According to Deutsche Welle, the Zimbabwean government announced that retail businesses within the country would only be able to be run and owned by indigenous Zimbabweans. The declaration, the government said, was part of the country’s “indigenization policy.”
This move will mostly affect Chinese and Nigerian nationals who run many of the businesses in Zimbabwe. The newly-announced policy will mean businesses like restaurants, hairdressing salons and other retail outlets will be reserved purely for indigenous Zimbabweans.
The Indigenization Empowerment Act, a law that was signed in 2008, requires foreign business owners to cede 51 percent of control of their businesses to indigenous native Zimbabweans.
“It is a flexible law and investors are given time to comply. It’s not about seizure of assets, it’s not about expropriation,” Zimbabwe’s minister of economic planning and investment promotion, Tapiwa Mashakada, said at an industry conference in Perth, Australia when the act was first signed into law in 2008. The Chinese and Nigerians have had five (5) years to comply with the law, but because of non-compliance, they have until January 1, 2014 to vacate their retail outlets. An excerpt of the law is shown below:
PART II—INDIGENISATION AND ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT: GENERAL OBJECTIVES
3. Objectives and measures in pursuance of indigenisation and economic
(1) The Government shall, through this Act or regulations or other measures under this
Act or any other law, endeavour to secure that—
(a) at least fifty-one per centum of the shares of every public company and any other
business shall be owned by indigenous Zimbabweans;
(i) merger or restructuring of the shareholding of two or more related or associated
(ii) acquisition by a person of a controlling interest in a business;
that requires to be notified to the Competition Commission in terms of Part IVA of the
Competition Act [Chapter 14:28] shall be approved unless—
(iii) Fifty-one per centum (or such lesser share as may be temporarily prescribed for the purposes of subsection (5)) in the merged or restructured business is held by indigenous Zimbabweans;
*Click here to read or download the entire Indigenisation Act of 2008.
Nigeria itself has its own version called the Indigenisation Decree of 1974 that gives native Nigerians exclusive rights over their resources. The purpose of these laws is to protect Africa from outside exploitation of its resources and prevent what happened during colonialism from happening again. Many have cautioned Africans to be careful with the Chinese because they may have ulterior motives in Africa.
However, South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma begs to differ in the interview below:
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, went as far as warning Africans of the “new colonialism” while in Lusaka, Zambia on June 10, 2011.
“We don’t want to see a new colonialism in Africa,” Clinton said in a television interview in Lusaka, the first stop on a five-day Africa tour.
“When people come to Africa to make investments, we want them to do well but also want them to do good,” she said. “We don’t want them to undermine good governance in Africa.”
Uganda is one of the biggest recipients of aid from China, and Press TV had an interesting discussion with Ugandan media practitioners about this subject. Watch:
According to Bloomberg, Zimbabwe has the world’s second-largest reserves of platinum and chrome, after South Africa, along with deposits of gold, coal, diamonds and nickel. Foreign companies with assets in the Zimbabwe include Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd., Anglo Platinum Ltd. and Rio Tinto Group. British banks Standard Chartered Plc and Barclays Plc also operate in the country.
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Newscast Media KINSHASA—Peace efforts between the DRC government and the M23 rebels are to continue even though the two sides failed to sign a deal in Uganda. But M23 is not the only rebel group Kinshasa counts among its adversaries.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports that failure for a peace accord to be consummated is being blamed on Uganda by the Congolese government that has accused Uganda of supporting the rebels.
In Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, victory is in the air and large placards extol the deeds of the armed forces. The decisive offensive against the M23 rebels lasted just two weeks. The rebels had been terrorizing the population in the east of the DRC, exposing the weaknesses of the DRC army and UN blue helmet troops. Militarily, M23 is now a spent force, but sustained peace in the crisis-torn region is still a long way off.
“The fact that the M23 has been defeated does not in itself mean that stability will return to the eastern Congo,” said Stefanie Wolters from the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria. There are dozens of other national and international militants groups that are active in the area.
The DRC army has already announced its next target – the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a DRC-based descendant of Hutu extremist groups that carried out the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. After the genocide, many of the perpetrators fled across the border to the eastern DRC. To this day, the FDLR questions the legitimacy of the Rwandan Tutsi government and spreads terror among the local population.
Claudia Simons is an analyst specializing in the DRC at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin. She said the east of the country will continue to be at war with itself “as long as people fail to have any confidence in state-guaranteed security.”
Source: Deutsche Welle
Newscast Media KAMPALA, Uganda — Disturbing images and footage continue to emerge from Uganda, depicting police brutality against unarmed civilians and detentions without trial. News reports across the world from the New York Times to every prominent European and African news outlet paint an unflattering image of the way the Ugandan government is treating its citizens.
The arrests started when former presidential candidates decided to walk to work in solidarity with the common man, to protest the escalating food and gas prices. Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni blames the high cost of living on lack of rainfall. However, his critics blame Museveni’s government for its lavish and extravagant spending of State funds on themselves.
“People are right to be dissatisfied. They spent one trillion shillings during elections and sh600b in a supplementary budget. What’s haunting them is that their desire to buy votes has caused inflation,” former presidential candidate Kizza Besigye said.
In an interview with the Daily Monitor, Museveni was asked by Siraje Kalyango, BBC Kiswahili, “It is said your May 12 swearing-in ceremony will cost Shs3b and if that is true, why don’t you do a simple ceremony at Parliament?”
Another journalist asked, “Shs1.7 trillion fighter jets and have they arrived in the country yet?”
The president did not give satisfactory answers to prevent further demonstrations from happening, because they have now become bi-weekly events. Museveni said, “I think we are now earning something like $1 billion from tourism annually.”
It may be true that Uganda was making $1billion annually on tourism, but after the images and videos surfaced of how brutal and ruthless the Uganda Police and soldiers treat their own people, tourists will think twice about exposing themselves to the possibility of being unintended casualties in the right place at the wrong time. In a police state, the casual observer becomes a casualty.
There are reports that former presidential candidates Olaro Otunnu, Norbert Mao and Kizza Besigye are being arrested and jailed, pregnant women are being shot, and some extremely graphic pictures of infants being shot to death by the law enforcement, are printed in the local newspapers.
The Uganda government has to immediately contain this situation because they are already in violation of International law and the Rome Statute. On June 14, 2002, Uganda Ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and is therefore held accountable and bound by the Rome Statute.
Article 7(e), Article 7 (h) and Article 7(k) - Crimes against humanity and Rome Statute Article 5(d): Crime of Aggression Rome Statute Article 7(e): For the purpose of this Statute, “Crimes against humanity” means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack: Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law;
Rome Statute Article 7(h): Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court;
Rome Statute Article 7(i): “Enforced disappearance of persons” means the arrest, detention or abduction of persons by, or with the authorization, support or acquiescence of, a State or a political organization, followed by a refusal to acknowledge that deprivation of freedom or to give information on the fate or whereabouts of those persons, with the intention of removing them from the protection of the law for a prolonged period of time.
Rome Statute Article 7(k): Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.
Rome Statute Article 7(g) “Persecution” means the intentional and severe deprivation of fundamental rights contrary to international law by reason of the identity of the group or collectivity;
Rome Statute Article 5(d) – Crime of Aggression:
The Court shall exercise jurisdiction over the crime of aggression once a provision is adopted in accordance with articles 121 and 123 defining the crime and setting out the conditions under which the Court shall exercise jurisdiction with respect to this crime. Such a provision shall be consistent with the relevant provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.
Every time an arrest is made or unarmed civilians are killed in violation of their God-given freedoms the Ugandan government loses credibility. International law supercedes all other law that not even heads of States or their generals are immune to being arrested for crimes committed under their watch. The Magistrate Judges in Uganda also have to be held accountable if they violate these laws. These judges should know that they are not exempt from abiding by the very laws they purport to interpret.
The arrest of the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in London in 1998 ended the immunity leaders had largely enjoyed. Britain had no choice but to act on an extradition request by Spain over the murders of Spanish citizens in Chile when he was in power. The arrest warrant for Pinochet can be viewed here.
The targeting of US politicians began in earnest during the Bush administration after the opening of Guantánamo Bay detention center, the invasion of Iraq and revelations of secret CIA prisons overseas and rendition flights.
In 2005, the then US secretary of state, Donald Rumsfeld, was threatened with arrest in Germany for war crimes relating to abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Rumsfeld threatened to pull out of a prestigious defense conference in Munich until German prosecutors assured him that he would not be apprehended.
Israeli politicians have also been the subject of arrest attempts on visits to Europe. A British court issued a warrant in 2009 for Israel’s then foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, below, on behalf of Palestinian victims. But she postponed her trip to London, saying scheduling problems were to blame. Watch video below:
There is still time for Museveni to turn this around before the intervention of an outside hand is activated, by the cries for help of the oppressed. First, as advised by all foreign dignitaries, Museveni should stop arresting people who are simply walking to work, and immediately release those that have been detained, whether he agrees with their political views or not. Freedom is a fundamental human right.
Second, he needs to arrest all military and police officers who have violated the Rome Statute and the human rights of unarmed innocent Ugandans who were minding their own business. These officers should all be locked up and tried for their crimes against humanity and use of excessive force.
Third, Museveni must address the fuel and gasoline problem and implement immediate solutions to calm the public spirit. He needs to show that he feels the pulse of the nation and is not detached from the common man, just because he lives in an Ivory tower. This is not a time to blame people who are walking, it is a time to be a pragmatist. If Uganda has storehouses of grain, flour or sugar, which they probably have since Uganda is an agricultural nation, they need to flood the market with these commodities to bring the prices down. Uganda is an exporter of foodstuffs so there has to be a storehouse where these commodities are stored, before they are loaded onto cargo ships for export. All the government has to do is release some of these products into the marketplace. This is all about the law of Supply and Demand. The greater the supply of goods, the lower the demand will be, therefore the lower the prices will become.
In regard to perishable items like milk, meat, eggs and so forth, the government can balance out the high prices by waiving tax or license fees for fishermen, which would lower the price of fish. Uganda has the largest freshwater body in Africa (Lake Victoria) and is the source of the river Nile, so I suspect they have a thriving fishing industry. Lower prices of fish can compensate for the higher prices of other meats. In regard to gasoline, if the government does have strategic fuel reserves, they can also release some reserves to lower gas prices, and if Uganda has a gasoline tax, they can temporarily waive that, until prices are within a comfortable range. These are very practical solutions that can yield immediate results.
As for dialogue with the opposition, at this point nothing meaningful will happen so the only gesture of goodwill Museveni can extend, is to release them immediately, and allow them to walk to work, perhaps being accompanied by traffic policemen to ensure that the streets aren’t blocked by people and the daily traffic maintains its constant flow. He cannot deploy armed police with teargas to use against the unarmed public and gain a favorable outlook from them or the international community.
These hardworking Ugandans’ taxes put food on the tables of the policemen and soldiers who are firing bullets at them. The people’s taxes are the ones that afford Museveni the luxury of buying those guns and bullets that are killing innocent men, women and children. In exchange, the president should at least restrain his men from biting the hands that have fed them for the past 25 years. The very people that are being shot, once fed the president and his men when they were guerrillas living in the wilderness, during their humble beginnings. As a goodwill gesture, the least he can do is allow people to freely move in the nation their forefathers built with their own sweat and blood.
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