Envoy slams media’s negative portrayal of Zim

Ambassador Boidin

Ambassador Boidin

Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter—
French Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Richard Boidin has described as unfair the negative portrayal of Zimbabwe by Western media, saying reality on the ground did not match images conveyed abroad. Ambassador Boidin said this in an interview yesterday after paying a courtesy call on Senate President Cde Edna Madzongwe at Parliament Building, together with a delegation from the French Parliament’s chapter of the Zimbabwe-France Parliamentary Friendship Association.

“What I said inside (to Cde Madzongwe) is that we have to consider all the realities of Zimbabwe and not only the negative,” he said.

“The reality of Zimbabwe is very different from what you have when you are outside. For example, the two members of the association have been here since yesterday and what they have seen here they have not seen in the media outside.

“It is not fair to have a negative image only. Of course, there are problems, but there are also problems in France,” he said.

During the meeting, Ambassador Boidin said the two associations had agreed to work together to correct the anomalies, among other initiatives to boost cooperation. “The realities of Zimbabwe are so different with what they say in the media, which is why the presidents of the two groups have agreed to work together,” he said.

Cde Madzongwe appealed to the French delegation to portray the true Zimbabwean story to their European counterparts.

“You are going to experience what is happening in Zimbabwe first hand instead of the media and because of that you will go and relay the true Zimbabwe story to the French people and the French parliament,” she said.

“We had good relations before and they deteriorated a bit and we hope you will, through your visit be able to assist in re-establishing them.”

In an earlier meeting, Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda encouraged the French delegation to promote Zimbabwe as a safe investment destination.

“We have a vibrant Constitution which protects property rights and, therefore, the French businessmen and women must not fear for their property rights because these are protected by the law,” he said.

“We are also revamping our laws to improve the investment climate and we now have a law on Special Economic Zones that offer attractive opportunities in tourism, mining and agro-industries.”

President of the French chapter of the Association, Mr Guilleme Chevrollier, said they would facilitate more French investors to come to Zimbabwe. “As legislators, we are trying to open doors for French investment and we see there are already 30 French companies here and we will facilitate more to come,” he said.

His Zimbabwean counterpart and Rushinga legislator Cde Wonder Mashange said the visit showed that the French were committed to improving relations with Zimbabwe.

“With their visit it shows that France is committed to mend relations with Zimbabwe with the initiative starting from Parliament,” he said. “We hope this visit will improve political relations and that they will relay a good message and not rely on distorted media reports.”

The other members of the French delegation included Mr Rene Rouquet, who is a legislator and Mrs Pascale Lauze, a senior administrator with the National Assembly of France.

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  • Judas Iscariot

    The French ambassador never said anything about sanctions, keeping French companies from doing business in Zimbabwe,he acknowledged that we have 30 French companies in Zimbabwe as we speak. He even said he was trying to encourage more French companies to invest in Zimbabwe. I guess this explains why Mzvinavhu refuses to debate Succuba every time he’s challenged to explain how sanctions are affecting our business dealings with European countries like France. At least his handlers seem to acknowledge that, it is our gov’t policies,and not sanctions that are making foreign investors hesitant to invest in our country. Here is what Mudenda said to try to boost investor confidence”We are also revamping our laws to improve the investment climate……” Hear hear Mzvinavhu,no sane investor will invest in a country where the regime will try to reap where it didn’t sow. Remember when Zhuwawo was threatening to cancel licences for banks that were refusing to cede 51% of their shares? It’s also intresting to note that the French envoy couldn’t say a single positive thing about Zimbabwe that’s not being reported by the media. All he could say was “For example,the two members of the association have been here since yesterday,and what they have seen here they have not seen in the media outside” So what is it that they have seen?

    • yowe

      Ndochokwadi ichocho

    • Kuta Kinte

      Zimbabweans will not bury their heads in the sand like ostriches just because Judas wants us to believe that there are no sanctions while on the ground they are affecting us including the Iscariot himself. The ambassador did not touch on that subject, neither was he drawn to comment on them, but that does not mean they are not there. Yes the French ambassador only encouraged fair and balanced reporting especially by your media.

      • succuba

        How are sanctions affecting you KK?

        Please explain…. what can’t you do because of which sanction… lets talk this out.

        • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

          Dont keep on asking such foolish questions as if the US and EU are as foolish as you are to pretend the existence of sanctions against Zimbabwe,when they talk of fake measures only. When will you direct your questions to to the US/EU, if you are not just a mechanical propaganda robot?

          • succuba

            Do you speak for KK?… I was asking him, but while you are here perhaps you can answer this…. how are sanctions affecting you?

    • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

      Its true that the EU did relax some sanctions conditions on our country. But keeping our head of government and other officials on the sanctions list is inimical to investment promotion . In business , if another company says , yes we will do business with you but your CEO is to us black listed, that creates reputation risk, in this case it remains a country risk for Zimbabwe. Little brained Judas Iscariot and his succuba cannot understand issues to that level. When the EU says to its companies you can trade with Zimbabwe but its leader is dangerous to Europe, their companies will place a high country risk on Zimbabwe. Yes only existing companies and NGO will hang on in our country but no new investment will come. That is the correct reading of the EU position as it negatively affects FDI in our country from EU. . The issue of 51% is not the major issue. That is shallow propaganda. We have many multinational companies operating in this country,where no one shareholder owns even 40%. As someone who spend nearly three decades working in a financial organization as an investment executive, I can safely say most investors want to share the risk by investing where shareholding risk is well spread. Look at share registers of most local and international quoted companies . For us if the 51% shareholding would be spread among indigenous, robust and true business persons with capital and acumen, who can supports the company when it needs capital, the 49% foreign investors would not be worried about the law. 40% can control the company where proxies are given to the major shareholder. If the business is viable and profitable, foreigners can invest only10 to 20% and even sell shares and move to another investment. A consortium of those with acumen and capital can operate with 49% foreign and 51% local. Our problem is how to hatch the 51% with capital and acumen .That process is the challenge. I need hardly comment on Cde Zhuwawo`s drama. The issue was clarified from the President`s office then. The US has its ZEDRA and its controlling clout on the Bretton Woods institutions. Our economy is squeezed by behind the scenes pressures to deny our local banks credit lines. Such machinations by the US cannot be understood by the less educated simpletons who make naive comments on this forum. These fools dont even understand why the US refused to accept our right to trade in diamonds after the Kimberly Process Approval,leading to our loss of billions in our diamonds trade. The sanctions are real , pervasive and difficult for the unwise and blind stooges of the West to see.

  • http://mafaro.co.uk/ GENERAL MBEZO

    And can anyone tell me the duties of the Senate..? These guys must be just free loaders in the already bloated government…!!

    • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

      The pros and cons of having a lower and upper house of parliament have been debated many times historically. But how come you are questioning that today? Are you nostalgic of the MDC boycott of the senatorial elections some years back that caused the split of the sellout political party? General Mbezo, budai pachena sa driver we tractor.

  • zimbotry

    I would invite him to visit some of our hospitals and rural clinics.

    • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

      To see how sanctions have caused our suffering? What is your foolish point here?

  • ThaDoggPound

    “Level headed” Interesting concept. If one tows the Zanupf line they are being level headed, anything else is being an opposition activist.

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    Ko sei you just compass the negative about our dear leader. Wenyu haana kupiwa mari yokunorapwa ku Mzanzi, SA iyo Pari iripo. Next time unoda kuti our dear leader afambe ne scotch cart to save whatever? Tibvirepo>

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    The majority of Zimbabweans know well our economic nadir is due to sanctions. They have demonstrated that by voting for ZANU PF , you political idiot! When the economy is sick where do funds come from to improve what you decry in rural and urban areas. Tell you West to completely remove the unjustified sanctions. Period.

    • N. Sithole

      Assuming you are correct on the sanctions issue @ Prof there is one issue that you have always avoided to address, and deliberately so. Why is it that we have a privileged super rich class of politicians in a country that is supposedly reeling under sanctions? Many readers have challenged you to respond to this issue but you have always been evasive.