THE European Union (EU) has demanded legislation that protects its investments made in terms of Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (Bippas) from expropriations by government and Zanu PF-linked individuals.
EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe Aldo Dell’Ariccia told the Zimbabwe Independent in an interview last week that although there were assurances from government that Bippas would be respected, a verbal agreement was not enough.
Dell’Ariccia said: “We have observed authorities evicting land invaders in recent invasions. We have assurances that the Bippas would be respected. Which means in case there are expropriations, due compensation would be paid.
“However, we also consider that the acronym Bippa has two Ps which stand for Promotion and Protection — it is evident that if Zimbabwe wants to promote investment, it has to put in place mechanisms that will permit it to guarantee that the interests of the investors would be promoted.
“In this sense we have been hearing good and positive messages coming from government at the highest level, but we are waiting now to see how these good intentions are translated into properly gazetted cabinet decisions that will ensure transparency, accountability and equal treatment for all stakeholders. It’s an ongoing process. We hope that the decision will be taking place as soon as possible.”
This week at an event held to announce the release of US$17,7 million funding by the EU, Environment minister Saviour Kasukuwere said government had moved speedily to deal with the issue of Save Conservancy and all other Bippa properties.
This follows last month’s Zanu PF politburo directive to eject top army officials and Masvingo party heavyweights from the lucrative safari landholdings in the Save Valley Conservancy they invaded in 2012.
Mugabe accused the invaders of being greedy and double-dipping.
The politburo meeting also resolved to remove all settled farmers from properties protected under the Bippas which include Sango, Sabi, Chishakwe, Makore, Gunundwe and Chamurwe ranches owned by German, Danish, Dutch and South African Nationals.
Some of the Zanu PF elites who invaded the Save Conservancy include Retired Colonel Claudius Makova, Lieutenant-Colonel David Moyo, Major-General Gibson Mashingaidze, Assistant Commissioner Connel Dube, Masvingo provincial intelligence officer Chibaya, Major-General Engelbert Rugeje, Brigadier-General Livingstone Chineka, the late Higher Education minister Stan Mudenge, politburo member Nelson Mawema, Lands minister Douglas Mombeshora, ex-Masvingo governor Titus Maluleke, Zanu PF central committee member Enock Porusingazi, Senator Shuvai Mahofa Buhera South MP and war veterans’ leader Joseph Chinotimba and late Vice-President Simon Muzenda’s son and Public Service deputy minister Tongai Muzenda .