• Germany's news in English
 
Zimbabwe told to protect German firms
Photo: DPA

Zimbabwe told to protect German firms

Published: 04 Dec 2012 07:07 GMT+01:00

The "law is more likely to deter investors than to help create more wealth within your country," Niebel told a news conference in Harare on Monday. His was the first high-profile visit to Zimbabwe by a German official in 15 years.

The country has been shunned by western nations because of to violence and rights abuses blamed on supporters of President Robert Mugabe.

In 2010, Mugabe signed a law requiring foreign-owned companies to sell 51 percent of the firms to black Zimbabweans, and Niebel said this made German companies in Zimbabwe vulnerable.

"At present Zimbabwe's government does not guarantee the protection of German companies' investments even though it has made a commitment under international law to do so," he noted.

"I expressly call for compliance with the investment protection agreement for Germany companies," Niebel added.

He also voiced support for "a fair and credible" and violence-free constitutional referendum and election next year to avoid a repeat of events that marred the 2008 general vote.

Niebel held talks with Vice President Joice Mujuru and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, but said his visit did not mean that ties between the two countries had returned to normal.

Germany stopped giving direct aid to Mugabe's government in 2002 following violent seizures of white-owned farms and bloody elections.

Development aid would remain "suspended until democracy and the rule of law

have been restored," the German minister said.

AFP/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

09:56 December 4, 2012 by twisted
To have anything to do with this dictator and his country other than minimal diplomatic relations is wrong. Pull the companies out.
10:43 December 4, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
If these German companies were run ethically they would not be there in the first place. If you play with the Devil don't be surprised if he changes the rules during the game.
10:50 December 4, 2012 by blackboot11
@ Berlin fuer alles: You are SO on POINT with your comment above.
11:34 December 4, 2012 by lucksi
Yes Mr. Mugabe. You can violate the rights of your people, heck, kill however many you like, but don't you dare touch our economic interests. That will earn you the first finger waggling in 15 years.
12:09 December 4, 2012 by raandy
Mugabe, hard to believe he still has the reins. This guy ruined a country that in the beginning had a lot going for it ,the former Rodesia named after Cecil Rhodes.

The diamonds , the so called blood diamonds are sold secretly on the world market the proceeds going in Mugabe's coffers.

I was in hopes that Morgan Tsvangirai would be able to get the sanctions lifted by establishing a legitimate Government but this has never happened.

The worlds thrust for profit (greed) and minerals is mainly responsible for his longevity.
12:30 December 4, 2012 by Eric1
Governments are greedy, especially socialist governments. They want to take what private individuals and companies have created.
13:43 December 4, 2012 by Baynik
I am South African and have seen what this evil man is doing to his own people! They are causing a famine in what used to be one of the most productive lands in Southern Africa and no-one does anything! Farms that have been carved out in wild African bushes to produce food for many have been taken away by force and given to Mugabe's friends who now sit on it not producing as much as a patch of vegetables to fill a pot of soup! Robert Mugabe is an absolute dictator who lives in luxury while his own people are flocking to South Africa for food and work! Why in the world would you continue to do business in his country just to enrich him more? A typical European double standard policy!
14:10 December 4, 2012 by michael4096
@eric1 - Mugabe the socialist?

I'll have to think about that one!
20:29 December 6, 2012 by Englishted
@michael4096

Don't think about it too long ,

Eric has the brain power of a backward dead tadpole.

@ Baynik

And South Africa's policy is not double standard? who have the most dealings with him and often back him against anyone else.
Today's headlines
Löw aims for Euro 2016 with new-look Germany
Joachim Löw holding the World Cup trophy. File photo: DPA

Löw aims for Euro 2016 with new-look Germany

World Cup winners Germany have suffered something of a hangover since their triumph in Brazil, but coach Joachim Löw is hoping a new-look side can go on to claim more glory at Euro 2016. READ  

T-Mobile to pay $90 mn over US fraud charges
Photo: DPA

T-Mobile to pay $90 mn over US fraud charges

German mobile phone company T-Mobile has agreed to pay at least $90 million to settle US government claims that it bilked customers with bogus charges, US regulators said Friday. READ  

Ethics Council rejects assisted suicide law
Photo: DPA

Ethics Council rejects assisted suicide law

The German Ethics Council said the law should not be changed to permit assisted suicide in a paper published on Friday. READ  

Abandoned themepark needs 14m says Berlin
Swan Lake. An abandoned ride in the Spreewald pleasure park. Photo: DPA

Abandoned themepark needs 14m says Berlin

The iconic ruined themepark in the centre of Berlin - a long-time favourite of hipster adventurers - needs a clean-up costing at least 14 million euros, the Berlin government has revealed. READ  

Police nab Nuremberg station bomb hoaxer
File photo of Nuremberg main station: Shutterstock

Police nab Nuremberg station bomb hoaxer

Officers in Nuremberg arrested a man on Thursday evening after he called in a false bomb threat against the main train station READ  

Opinion
Angela, David...and Nigel
So near...and yet so far Photo: DPA

Angela, David...and Nigel

The rise of UKIP broke up what had been a good 2014 for Cameron and Merkel. READ  

'Dr Death' corpse museum gets go-ahead
Dr Gunther von Hagens. Photo: DPA

'Dr Death' corpse museum gets go-ahead

A Berlin court has said that infamous human taxidermist Gunther von Hagens can open a museum in the capital - over objections from local officials. READ  

Presented by Phorms Education
Phorms bilingual schools boast top-notch tech
Photo: Phorms Education

Phorms bilingual schools boast top-notch tech

As parents fret over children’s internet habits, a network of bilingual schools in Germany shows that putting computers in the classroom from an early age yields positive results. READ  

Networks scramble to patch mobile security
Chancellor Angela Merkel has herself been the victim of phone hacking. Photo: DPA

Networks scramble to patch mobile security

IT experts led by Berlin-based Karsten Nohl said on Thursday they had discovered security flaws in the mobile phone networks that would allow attackers to read users' messages. READ  

Turkish 'spies' arrested at Frankfurt airport
Photo: DPA

Turkish 'spies' arrested at Frankfurt airport

Three men suspected of being Turkish agents have been arrested by police, federal prosecutors said on Thursday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Willy Brandt at his inauguration in 1972. Photo: DPA
National
Willy Brandt: the man, the chancellor... the airport?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Sponsored Article
Why are these International Baccalaureate students cheering?
Germany's national football team lifts the World Cup trophy
Gallery
Germany's most-Googled words of 2014
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Sponsored Article
Top ten gifts for an expat Christmas
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Stuff your face with these festive German cookies
Photo: DPA
Culture
What do beer, breakfast cereal and dildos have in common?
Culture
The Local's guide to German Christmas markets
Sponsored Article
Top five quirky Christmas jumpers
Photo: DPA
Culture
Get ready for Christmas like a German. We tell you how.
Photo: DPA
Munich
She did what with her dead mother?
Photo: DPA
National
Germany still paying for crisis fall out
Photo: DPA
Culture
Saxon wurst is the worst, Christmas market declares.
Photo: DPA
Politics
Can 'sorry' ever be enough for the Linke?
Sponsored Article
Shop Christmas gifts at Debenhams international store
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles through December 19th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
See how Berlin has changed in 22 photos
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,224
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd