By Itai Mushekwe
HARARE – President Robert Mugabe is preparing his own set of economic sanctions against Western powers, if they fail to ultimately revoke targeted sanctions and embargoes meted out on his inner circle. This follows recent condemnation of his controversial re-election last month.
Nehanda Radio, has it on good authority, Mugabe has been infuriated by intelligence briefings from his dreaded Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), which has reportedly informed him that their “assessment” points to a tightening of the current sanctions regime by both the European Union (EU) and America.
This has prompted the 89 year old to hit back amid suspicion that China is playing an invisible hand in the affair. Beijing has all but become, a silent power broker in Zimbabwean politics and recently poured US$500 million into a secretive slush fund used by Zanu PF to cook up poll results in its favour.
Mugabe has claimed a contested 61 percent electoral landslide victory, against former prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) who only scored 33 percent in an election, which Britain, Germany, Australia and the U.S have denounced as unfree and unfair.
Those countries have even piled up pressure for an electoral re-run, something which is likely to “fall on deaf ears” as Mugabe is determined to go it alone and push the MDC into oblivion, a newly elected Zanu PF legislator in the country’s Manicaland Province Eastward of the capital told Nehanda Radio.
The disclosures come hard on the heels of reports from Chicago, implicating two Mugabe lobbyists, Prince Asiel Ben Israel and Gregory Turner who have been charged for violating federal law by canvassing for the removal of U.S economic sanctions against the Zimbabwean president.
The two tried to persuade federal and state government officials including a senator in Illinois and two U.S representatives from Chicago to convince President Barack Obama to withdraw the sanctions. Ben Israel and Turner were set to earn US$3,4 million from the Mugabe regime for their efforts.
“We are going to see a lot of tension between Harare and the West. Plans are at an advanced stage to amend the indigenisation law, from a 51 percent threshold ownership of the economy by local blacks to 100 percent across all sectors of the economy as a political move,” said the incoming Zanu PF lawmaker.
“The President is not bluffing, and he is going to use the amended law to target more Western companies as his own way of placing business sanctions on European and American firms, until and unless their governments take a paradigm shift on Zimbabwe.”
According to the legislator, the proposed amendment calls for foreign companies to give up 75 percent shareholding to the government and: “The remaining 25 percent will be a venture ownership between local businessmen and foreigners.
“Zimbabweans will have at least 20 percent controlling stakes in the setup, if the new parliament introduces this bill as we all expect. This way Mugabe is hoping to strike the EU and the U.S where it hurts the most, and that is their pockets.”
Intelligence sources also say there is a possibility that the new government, might consider boycotting and withdrawing from foreign banks in favour of local financial institutions.
“It’s now all about resources, because they cannot be an economy, if it is not fed with natural resources. Mugabe has gained confidence, from the fact that the country now has the world’s biggest diamond resources. Zanu PF has realised that whoever controls the purse strings has the power. I won’t be surprised if this madness is carried on,” sources told Nehanda Radio.
Fears are that the mooted amended indigenisation law is unlikely to be opposed, since Mugabe’s Zanu PF now commands a two-thirds majority in parliament with 158 seats out of the 210 contested seats. The MDC holds 52 seats, and will find it difficult to upset Mugabe’s parliamentary agenda.