Augustine Mukaro/Godfrey Marawanyika
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has made an undertaking to respect the sanctity of Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreements (Bippas) and to regularise bilateral i
nvestments affected by the chaotic land reform.
In a document released this week, titled Investing in Zimbabwe, signed by Mugabe, government reiterates that investment remains a key pillar of the country’s economic turnaround.
“Government is committed to respecting the sanctity of international agreements, including modalities of compensation along with the terms and conditions that were agreed upon in the bilateral agreements signed after independence with such government institutions as the Zimbabwe Investment Authority, Export Processing Zone Authority and other government ministries,” the document said.
The document said cognisant of those investment pull-factors and perceptional risk factors in the investment source markets, government was working on a framework to regularise Bippas that were inadvertently affected during the emotive land reform.
“We are pleased to inform our potential investment partners that Zimbabwe, as part of the global community, is fully aware of the need to protect and encourage inward investments as a tool to attract international capital mobilisation,” the document said.
President Mugabe has declared 2005 a year of investment.
The country has Bippas with several European Union countries, four of them ratified by Mugabe.
Central bank governor Gideon Gono has condemned fresh farm invasions in Manicaland as “criminal”.
Despite Gono’s open denunciation of the new wave of evictions, Zanu PF thugs and armed militants have continued on a land grab orgy, violently kicking out white farmers in a number of provinces.
Police have not taken any action against the perpetrators. Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said police had nothing to do with land distribution issues unless criminal activities were reported in the process.
“Land issues concern the Ministry of Lands,” Bvudzijena said. “We don’t take issue with the allocation but will only act when criminal activities are reported. There is no way we can take anyone to court when there is no complainant.”
State Security and Land Reform minister Didymus Mutasa a fortnight ago said the land reform would continue until all farms had been acquired by the state, a statement viewed as having prompted the new wave of land seizures.”Naturally we are going to acquire all land in Zimbabwe, make no mistake about that. After we have done that we are going to allocate that land to everybody irrespective of their race,” Mutasa said.
Violence against the remaining white commercial farmers gained momentum over the past two weeks with the latest incident being the eviction of one farmer in Rusape on Tuesday night and an attack on Andrew Bruford in the Beatrice area on Sunday.