- Jul 1, 2002Mugabe warns of
The Zimbabwe Government will seize the
assets of firms, which do not co-operate with
the government, President Mugabe has
He accused National Foods, which is partly
owned by a subsidiary of the Anglo-American
multinational company, of causing a recent
shortage of salt by hoarding its supplies.
This was a political ploy
to turn "people on the
streets against our
government", he said
according to the
The price of salt is
controlled by the government but National
Foods says it cannot afford to sell at this
price, because it is lower than the cost of
importing the salt.
Price controls on other basic foodstuffs were
lifted last month.
Zimbabwe was once a bread-basket for the
southern African region.
But due to drought, the seizure of
white-owned farms and food price controls, it
is now dependent on food aid.
"Do they still want to work in partnership [with
the government]? If not, we will take over
their enterprises", Robert Mugabe told a
Zanu-PF meeting over the week-end.
National Foods denies hoarding the salt but
says that government price controls are
causing huge losses to the company.
"We cannot afford to
sell salt, which is
imported, at the
controlled price, which
is less than half what
we paid for it," a
according to the
correspondent for the
British Daily Telegraph
The salt was imported
at an exchange rate
six times higher than the government's fixed
rate, according to the company spokesman.
National Foods says it has been negotiating
with the government to find a compromise
price at which the salt can be sold without
damaging the company.
On Sunday, Zimbabwean state radio reported
the president as saying that he would not
"tolerate companies bent on causing
unnecessary suffering to people by creating
Officials of the ruling Zanu-PF party had found
2,000 metric tons of salt at National Foods
warehouses, according to the radio.
National Foods is the largest food production
and supply company in Zimbabwe and employs
over 4,000 people.
President Mugabe and
his party have
companies, along with
the country's white
farmers, of being part
of a conspiracy
government and of
depriving the country
The Sunday Mail says
that the president now
says that multinational companies will be asked
if they wish to co-operate with the
If not, the paper says, the government will
take over their enterprises in Zimbabwe and
transfer control to local people.
Ex-president fears for
The former President of Zambia, Kenneth
Kaunda, has warned that the political situation
in the country is "volatile".
Mr Kaunda made his comments after after the
incumbent head of state, Levy Mwanawasa,
said that he had uncovered a plot to
assassinate him and other key leaders.
Mr Kaunda urged President Mwanawasa to take
action against the alleged coup plotters.
details of the coup
plot are vague.
Mr Mwanawasa said
that some people were
planning to kill him
because of his
determination to fight
corruption in the
He did not identify the
people he suspects of
planning a coup, but
he said the security forces were now watching
"The nation should not be surprised that I will
ask my officers to arrest a few people and
prosecute them in court on charges of
treason," he was quoted as saying by a
Zambian newspaper, The Post.
He repeated that the fight against corruption
in the country was one of his top priorities.
"What we are doing now is not a playing
matter, it's a serious matter, this country
should not have been as poor as it is now," Mr
"I am doing this not because I hate those who
plundered the country. I am doing it because I
love my country, because people want what
we are doing.
"Whether they like it or not, I am going to
ensure that this programme is brought to its
The president also said that, as part of
increased precautions, crowds of his
supporters would no longer be allowed to
welcome him hom from foreign trips at the
airport because his enemies could hide among
Mr Mwanawasa came to power with 29% of
the vote in last December's election.
Opposition parties alleged massive fraud and
took the case to court.
Mr Mwanawasa is also facing a split withing his
ruling Movement for Multi-party Democracy
Also, I saw part of this documentary last night on Howard University
Television. Very interesting. I recommend looking for it on your local
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