|Africa News Digest
Robert Mugabe: British Invasion Foiled
Nov. 20 (EIRNS)Following the resurfacing of reports that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair had plans to invade Zimbabwe, that country announced that it had deployed troops to thwart them. It also accused the current Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, of trying to eliminate Zimbabwe's leadership by assassination, according to today's Daily Telegraph.
According to an interview published in the Nov. 11 British Independent with Gen. Sir Charles Guthrie, who served as British Chief of the Defense Staff between 1997 and 2001, he and Blair had discussed a military intervention against Zimbabwe. Guthrie said that his advice to the former Prime Minister was, "hold hard, you'll make it worse."
Spokesman for President Robert Mugabe, George Charamba, said on Nov. 18, according to the Zimbabwe Sunday Mail: "The Government was aware of the plans and the President made reference to the British sinister motives on several occasions. A defense plan ... is still in operation." He added that the British "are still contemplating the elimination of our political leadership through a number of assassinations."
Zimbabwe To Take 51% Interest in All Mining Companies.
Nov. 19 (EIRNS)Zimbabwe today published a draft bill, the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill, to indigenize the country's mining sector. When passed, the bill will compel mining companies operating in the country to transfer 25% shareholdings, at no cost, and to sell another 26% to the government, to be paid for with the dividends earned from the state's shares in the companies, according to metalmarkets.org. This would give Zimbabwe majority ownership, leaving foreign investors with a 49% stake. The bill is expected to go before the parliament before the end of the year. According to the bill, the 26% will be purchased by payments over seven years.
The bill stipulates the right of the government to do this "in virtue of its original ownership of all useful minerals in its subsoil."
Last September, a bill forcing foreign-owned companies to sell 51% of their shares to black Zimbabweans was passed by the Zimbabwe parliament. The bill has not yet been enacted.
The mining sector in Zimbabwe is the largest earner of foreign exchange, reportedly accounting for 60%.