• Germany's news in English
 

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
North Korea mistakenly outraged at Berlinale
Kim Jong Un has accidentally wounded his dignity while trying to stop his dignity being wounded. Photo: DPA

North Korea mistakenly outraged at Berlinale

North Korea turned harsh diplomatic language against Berlin's film festival in the mistaken belief that The Interview, the James Franco and Seth Rogen comedy about a murder plot against dictator Kim Jong Un, will be screened there. READ  

Let's officialize Muslim community: Berlin mayor
Muslims at prayer in Berlin's Sehitlik mosque. Photo: DPA

Let's officialize Muslim community: Berlin mayor

SPD party leader Raed Saleh wants to create a contract with the Muslim community similar to the one between the town hall and Christian and Jewish groups that grants them official status. READ  

Cities see slower house price growth
Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg. Photo: DPA

Cities see slower house price growth

A trend for ever-faster growth in house prices across Germany was reversed in 2014, as prices rose by four percent compared with seven the previous year 2013. READ  

Court probes abuse at Catholic boarding school
The monk at his court appearance in Munich on Thursday. Photo: DPA

Court probes abuse at Catholic boarding school

A monk and former teacher at a boarding school in the Bavarian alps pleaded not guilty on Thursday at his trial for abusing two pupils and attempted abuse of two more. READ  

'Fight harder' against corruption: activists
Bribery photo: Shutterstock

'Fight harder' against corruption: activists

Campaigners say the states can do more to fight corruption after a report showed that Brandenburg, Saarland, North Rhine-Westphalia and Hamburg had the highest numbers of cases. READ  

Renzi woos Merkel amid Florentine splendour
Angela Merkel and Matteo Renzi speaking in Florence. Photo: DPA

Renzi woos Merkel amid Florentine splendour

The eurozone's deep divisions were set to be given an airing in Florence on Friday as Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi hosted German Chancellor Angela Merkel days before crucial elections in Greece. READ  

Merkel offers Russia free-trade agreement
Photos: DPA

Merkel offers Russia free-trade agreement

Germany would be prepared to negotiate a free-trade agreement between the European Union and Russia as a way out of the deadlocked Ukraine conflict, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday. READ  

Get more 'gigaliners' on roads: Minister
Photo: DPA

Get more 'gigaliners' on roads: Minister

Environmentalists and train companies reacted with outrage to Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt's plan to allow more giant "gigaliner" trucks on motorways before they've passed a trial period. READ  

Police arrest suspect in asylum seeker murder
Demonstrators in Dresden with photos of murder victim Khaled Idris Bahray

Police arrest suspect in asylum seeker murder

Police in Dresden have arrested a man on suspicion of killing his flatmate, an asylum seeker from Eritrea, on Monday January 12th. READ  

Meet the women fighting German tabloid sexism
Photo: DPA

Meet the women fighting German tabloid sexism

After a false dawn for campaigners against daily topless models in Britain's Sun newspaper, The Local talks to the women campaigning against sexism in Germany's biggest-selling tabloid. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
The rise and spread of Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Photo: DPA
Politics
The Local's report from Pegida's largest ever demonstration.
Sponsored Article
Top-notch tech boosts bilingual schools
National
Six stories that will rock Germany this year
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Photo: DPA
National
What were your favourite news stories of 2014?
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
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
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
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

1,437
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd