• 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
Scientists aiming to redefine the kilogram
The world's roundest sphere. Photo: DPA

Scientists aiming to redefine the kilogram

The German Nation Metrology Institute (PTB) in Braunschweig has set itself the enormous task of finding a new formula for measuring a kilogram. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Germanwings co-pilot 'hid illness' on crash day
Photo: DPA

Germanwings co-pilot 'hid illness' on crash day

Germanwings said on Friday that it had no knowledge of a doctor-signed sick note found by investigators at flight 4U9525 co-pilot Andreas Lubitz's flat. READ  

Varoufakis quells rumours of resignation
Yanis Varoufakis. Photo: DPA

Varoufakis quells rumours of resignation

Update: After German tabloid Bild reported that Germany's least-favourite Greek minister Yanis Varoufakis was considering resigning, the minister rejected the story on Twitter. READ  

Germany to expand disability rights
Photo: DPA

Germany to expand disability rights

A representative of the German Labour Ministry went before a UN Committee on Friday to discuss the government's plan for improved rights for disabled people. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Germanwings captain's compassion goes viral
Photo: DPA

Germanwings captain's compassion goes viral

A Facebook post describing how a Germanwings pilot personally reassured his passengers of their safety on a flight on Wednesday has received over quarter of a million likes. READ  

Bundestag passes 'foreigner toll' for roads
Photo: DPA

Bundestag passes 'foreigner toll' for roads

The Bundestag (German parliament) passed a hugely controversial law on Friday which will charge foreigners for the use of German roads. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Airlines agree two-person cockpit rule
Photo: DPA

Airlines agree two-person cockpit rule

The Federation of the German Air Travel Industry (BDL) confirmed on Friday afternoon that from now on two people must be in the cockpit at all times, in a bid to avoid a repeat of the Germanwings disaster. READ  

Germany urgently needs immigrants: study
Spanish immigrants in Germany. Photo: DPA

Germany urgently needs immigrants: study

A study by the Bertelsmann Institute found on Friday that Germany will need around half a million new immigrants every year until 2050 to maintain its work force. READ  

Bundesbank tough, public soft on Greece
Jens Weidmann, head of the Bundesbank. Photo: DPA

Bundesbank tough, public soft on Greece

Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann said on Friday that he is opposed to giving Greece further financial help because he believes the new government has frittered away too much trust, but a new poll showed that support for a "Grexit" had shrunk below 50 percent. READ  

Town flocks to mourn lost schoolchildren
A black ribbon on a sign in Haltern, North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

Town flocks to mourn lost schoolchildren

President Joachim Gauck arrived in Haltern on Friday to join families and schoolchildren mourning the loss of their classmates and teachers in the Germanwings flight 4U9525 crash. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Sponsored Article
Expert US tax preparation for Americans in Germany
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
All you ever needed to know about Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
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

7,177
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd