US intercepts IDC’s US$20m

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Cde Makhosini Hlongwane

Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
ILLEGAL sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West continue to bite industry, with the Industrial Development Corporation reportedly losing over US$20 million to the United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, while a Zimbabwean resident in Botswana had his US$1 000 frozen, Parliament heard last week.

The Zimbabwe Fertiliser Company, one of the IDC subsidiaries, still has US$5 million frozen to date as the US applies its Zimbabwe Transition to Democracy and Economic Recovery Act, its sanctions law.

The Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe also lost over US$30million in revenue to Ofac. The West’s illegal sanctions regime is estimated to have cost Zimbabwe US$42 billion in revenue over the past 13 years shrinking the economy by over 40 percent with deleterious effects on livelihoods and jobs.

Mberengwa East legislator Cde Makhosini Hlongwane (Zanu-PF), told the National Assembly that none of the 15 IDC subsidiaries had been able to do any telegraphic transactions with any international finance institution either to pay for raw materials or any other transaction.

Cde Hlongwane, who chairs the Zimbabwean delegation to the African, Caribbean and Pacific – European Union Joint Parliamentary Assembly, said this last week while moving a motion that the National Assembly write to the EU and the US to lift its embargo.

“Just to illustrate this in graphic sense, IDC has lost close to US$20 million. Most of it was frozen by OFAC so that that money cannot find its way to Zimbabwe in order for IDC to transact,” he said.

“Everyone knows ZFC’s role is to make sure that there is production of fertiliser, a vital commodity in driving the agricultural sector. As I speak, US$5 million belonging to ZFC is frozen in New York, it cannot access that money because of the sanctions that are imposed on ZFC on IDC and all its aggregate companies,” he said.

He said Olivine, another subsidiary of IDC lost the US$2million loan it had secured from the PTA Bank to capitalise. This, Cde Hlongwane said, had seen the company fail to produce even the popular Perfection soap.

“Perfection soap, one of the cheapest soaps available on the market to enable a rural woman to survive cannot be produced and then we tell ourselves that there are no sanctions in this country,” he said.

MDC-T legislators sought to deny the existence of sanctions, preferring to call them “restrictive measures’’. This is despite the fact that the Global Political Agreement signed by Zanu-PF and MDC formations acknowledged the existence of the embargo and implored all parties to call for their removal.

Cde Hlongwane said the sanctions regime was cruel as evidenced by the freezing of cash belonging to a Zimbabwean based in Botswana who intended to remit about US$1 000.

“A few months ago, a Zimbabwean national who is based in Botswana tried to remit US$975 for the purchase of a stand in Sunway City here in Harare. That US$975 was frozen by OFAC. This is not the Government of Zimbabwe. This is an individual, who is of Zimbabwean extraction who is in Botswana,” he said.

Production of livestock treatment chemicals, he said, had also been affected after Chemplex Corporation was also put on the sanctions list.

He said it was unfortunate that some South African banks were sympathising with the West and appeared reluctant to work with Zimbabwe.

“South African banks, because of the stigma of sanctions, Zimbabwe being under economic embargo, South African banks are empathising with some of those international banks. In other words, even if you want to transact in rand, it is difficult for you to do that,” he said.

Zimbabwe has been under sanctions for over a decade now and the challenge at hand is to come up with home grown solutions to deal with them.

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  • Analysis Zimbabwe

    western sanctions are a scourge that has decimated lives indeed

    • giant

      @zimbabweunited:disqus—- kkkkk, Americans control the entire financial payment system of the global village that’s why even moving to any other currency does not work. For instance if you want to pay a Zambian firm using the Zambian Kwacha, the transaction goes thru the US Federal Reserve electronically, and in turn the US Federal Reserve authorizes it or freezes the funds there before it gets to Zambia. So any international payment with any currency has to pass thru the US Bank. Ndosaka if US closes its banks, we all suffer here and allover the globe. So your point does not work at all..

      • violet

        Is all Chinese & Russian business conducted via America?

        • makwavarara

          they have no businesses these people

          • succuba

            China & Russia have no businesses?

      • Jonathan Dube

        Lets look kum Zhing Zhong kkkkkkiiiii hanti they have taken over Zim

      • Banker

        You are lying…Electronic Payments around the world are controlled by Swift…A Belgian Banking Telecommunications platform for effecting electronic payments. So all electronic transactions Telegraphic trasfers in the world go through Swift even our own RTGS system goes through Belgium

        Fact

    • succuba

      It’s quite apparent that you are unfamiliar with the sanctions pertaining to Zimbabwe… go read and then come back to play

  • Danmanyika

    At the same time, Minister Chinamasa is trying to reduce or have written off more than US$10 Billion in debts incurred and accumulated by Government from international financial institutions, long before any targeted sanctions or ZEDERA were even considered.

  • Zimbabwe United

    Why is it difficult to transact in Rand, if l may ask? Does that mean it is equally difficult to transact in the Euro?

    • YOWE78

      you cant transact in Rand as it would be inflationary to South Africa …increased money supply…the USD doesnt follow that principle its a purely fiat currency …EURO will not work for other reasons which i will not go into

      • Emanuel

        Then lets create our own fiat money

        • YOWE78

          LOL …it wont work as it wont be globally accepted as a standard of trade

      • Zimbabwe United

        You are missing the essence of transaction being referred to here. It is not about using the Rand or any currency to serve as Zimbabwe’s national currency. The transaction being referred to involves the settlement of payments after conducting business outside of Zimbabwe.

        • YOWE78

          How would you do that??? You use the USD as your functional currency (normal local transactions)and then settle international trade payments in Rands…That does make sense coz the Rands will still be converted to USD again for international trade things just become more expensive as you have to buy rands and then sell them again to get USD…..do you understand ????

          • Zimbabwe United

            The point is not about using the Rand as a national currency but only sealing a trade deal in the Rand in trade involving Zimbabweans and South Africans and not in the international context. I am aware that since the early 90s, the countries of the then Preferential Trade Area of Eastern and Southern Africa now COMESA, traded amongst themselves using the UAPTA as a currency allowing trade settlememts in local currencies that had a pegged UAPTA exchange rate. So at the end of a trading period, trade balances were settled in the UAPTA a country had with the Clearing House at the PTA Bank then located in Bujumbura.

          • YOWE78

            I get your point

          • Zimbabwe United

            Thanks with due respect Yowe.

    • makwavarara

      we are saying in chinese money period handiti ndiko kueast?

    • Desire

      The world reserve currency is US dollar bambo ndoosaka ichishandiswa not Rand

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    MDC sent BITI & ENGLISHMAN NCUBE to lobby for ZEDERA at the US CONGRESS & SENATE during the debates on the satanic law.. MDCs are stupid to deny that sanctions which are more than targeted to individuals ,are hurting our economy.. When will they ask their WESTERN masters to repeal the law? They pretend to love the suffering Zim masses yet behind the scenes they urge the US to keep on the statute hoping the sufffering masses will one day revolt against ZANUPF. ! What a evil political motive? Mwari tipei masimba ose kuti ti uraye mapato ehutengesi munyika yedu! Kuti vana vedu vazive kuti tiri kupiwa ZEDERA sanctions nokuti takatora vhu redu . Zvino tava vana muzvinavhu munyika yedu yechizvarwa! Tinonamatira kuti mufemere MDCT supporters ruzivo kuti vade kuitawo vana muzvinavhu mu ZIMBABWE yakasununguka zvachose ! Tinoti pasi ne neo colonialism iri ngozi mupfungwa dza Tsvangiruza ! Mupeiwo chiedza azive kuti ZANUPF ndiro bato rakasungura Zimbabwe! Amen!

    • Jason Bourne

      You have just explained why sanctions were put in place.
      Who in their right minds would want to deal with people who want to kill their political opponents?

      • makanda

        Then why are there no sanctions against countries such as Saudi Arabia, where people have their hands amputated for shoplifting and women are not even allowed to drive or go shopping without the company of a male? Countries that have outlawed political parties and use millions of immigrants from Asia almost as slaves?

        • mwanawevhu

          Because they pay back their debts dummy

        • makwavarara

          they are not abusing their own people. rova mai vako uone panokurova mai vemanext door wozotiudza kuti zvakanyanyoshata ndezvipi

    • makwavarara

      ko kubiwa kwemari dzengoda munotii nako? ko smith akagona wani atemerwa ma sunctions? saka isu chidofo here kana kuti?

  • Mbanda

    Satanism inflicted on us by hungry fellow Zimbabweans who decided to join hands with the enemies for personal enrichment at the cost of innocent future generations. To hell with M.D.C. and all who deceive the nation knowingly, for the rest are blind followers, Innocent dogs belonging to a cruel master.

    • MANGWENDE WE CHINHOYI

      I tend to subscribe to what you are saying. Just read what your fellow black men are commenting. They are more than the colonisers. In fact, they are serious House Niggers (those who sold other slaves for them to keep on working in the master’s houses).

    • Common Sense

      Speaking of the head of ZANU-PF then? Sounds like it

  • Lickleyut

    US intercepts IDC’s 20 million. Goodwills (Badwills) Masimirembwa in 6 million scandal. In as much as we want to hide behind the Sanctions, we tend to forget that the biggest crippling issue to our economy is corruption and bad governance. Masimirembwa got 3/10 of the total amount you say US intercepted. Mathematically if we have 4 Masimirembwas thats = 24 million dollars. Tongai tione

    • che guevera

      Two bad things do not give us 1 right thing…Yes Masimirembwa akaba ende nyaya yake irikuongororwa…Akawanikwa aine mhosva nematare edzimhosva anoinda kujeri…AT the same time mbiti, morgays and company vakatadzira Zimbabwe nekuunza ma sanctions which are hurting innocent civillians… They should be invited to the icc for their judgement…Iwish it was your money that was frozen, then i would ask you to comment again….

      • s shumba

        Yes it is his money too. Public money means “all” Zimbos money. That wher you loose it. You think public money is zpf money. Be serious

      • ian khama

        For how long will “nyaya yake ichatora ichiongororwa?” Elton mangoma aigara akasungwa ari Minister- aivharirwa first ozotongwa later mhosva yoshaikwa. Now masimirembwa , mbavha inoongororwa iri panze, iine access to influence ma witnesses- shamwari ku supporter zanu pf haisi mhosva i democracy but chiparty chenyu chinonyadzisa. now overa month masimirembwa is out, ngenyi asina kuvharirwa?

        • Jotham

          The people accusing Masimirembwa have dirty hands , they can not come and give evidence against him. The Ghanians in question where involved in many back door dealings. The police have promised them security and the President has assured them of their safety, but they are not willing to come and supply the police with relevant information. These Ghanians departed from their main activities of mining diamonds and were busy mining gold and other minerals violating our laws

    • makwavarara

      we have money here but it is being used in a corrupt manner. general people ndidzo dzinosafa

      • Jotham

        We are using US dollars here. The IDC money is Zimbabwean that was generated local. The US is starving us of our hard earned cash. What local money are you talking about. If ever it is true that leaders are stealing, that cash is still circulating local, but externalisation and the blocking of money by the US kills our local economy. Some people are good at mumbling rubbish.

  • Tongoona

    We all know why targeted sanctions were imposed through sovereign decisions of western nations, fully aware of corrupt activities and thousands of brutal deaths directly attributable to Zanu-PF and its leaders. Measures required for removal of remaining targeted sanctions, are under the sole responsibility of Zanu-PF, their future actions and behaviour in compliance
    with globally accepted international standards, will be the sole evaluation criteria.

  • Gudo

    How can banks agree to transact with you when you take 47million USD from Standard Catered and then refuse to return it…i wouldnt invest my money in an economy like that

  • Emanuel

    We all want sanctions to be removed but that one who refused to produce electronic version of our voters roll is the one who is still messing and SADC also let us down coz it was clearly said we must have a free & fair election for sanctions to be removed. And SADC was the eye of Western since we don’t want them to observe our elections coz they are toooo biased. Now SADC said coz voters roll was given to other parties late and they even had to go to court to get it there the elections were free, peaceful and generally credible. We must just hold elections in a way that SADC will say they are free and fair then together with SADC we go to imperialists to tell them to remove these illegal sanctions

    • MANGWENDE WE CHINHOYI

      The only way to go is to find ways of hitting back. The Westerners have their KITH AND KIN here.

      • Chokwadi

        But they’re not politicians pri#kface.

        Anything you do will make things worse…. The only way is to remove they tyrant

  • todii zvazvo

    so u really need the west as friends after all !!he-he-he transact through Zhong Zhing Banks

  • mel1

    solution… just trade in gold!

  • munemo

    its a tyt situation

  • Japana Hapana

    I think these guys need their heads examined. you shout at the us, you use their currency and now you still want to use their money system. leave us alone and fully look east. fullstop. use Chinese currency and their financial systems. kana modazve America moita zve America. chete chete. kwete confusion idzi.

    • Desire

      Uri dofo zveshuwa, US dollar is the world reserve currency hence any nation doing international transaction uses it. Thats the arrangement put in place after the 2nd world war.

  • mwanawevhu

    No-one wants to lend money to someone who is most likely not going to pay back. Zimbabwe has a bad credit history. Sort out your bad credit history before talking rubbish.

  • Chrisblackusa

    the yen must come into play. chinese banks must be given major attention immediately..who controls the banks in south africa,,,ahhh,,not the people of south africa,,,,the same 1% that controlled the best land in zimbabwe is the same math used in who controls the economy in south africa,,,the 1%

  • kola

    The zimbo in bw must have done something, assuming he/she exists. I transfer a few thousands from a us bank with no problems. So, what gives?

  • Chokwadi

    here is the Truth

    S.494

    One Hundred Seventh Congress

    of the

    United States of America

    AT THE FIRST SESSION

    Begun and held at the City of Washington on Wednesday,

    the third day of January, two thousand and one

    An Act

    To provide for a transition to democracy and to promote economic recovery in Zimbabwe.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

    SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001′.

    SEC. 2. STATEMENT OF POLICY.

    It is the policy of the United States to support the people of Zimbabwe in their struggle to effect peaceful, democratic change, achieve broad-based and equitable economic growth, and restore the rule of law.

    SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:

    (1) INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS- The term `international financial institutions’ means the multilateral development banks and the International Monetary Fund.

    (2) MULTILATERAL DEVELOPMENT BANKS- The term `multilateral development banks’ means the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Development Association, the International Finance Corporation, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Investment Corporation, the African Development Bank, the African Development Fund, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the Multilateral Investment Guaranty Agency.

    SEC. 4. SUPPORT FOR DEMOCRATIC TRANSITION AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY.

    (a) FINDINGS- Congress makes the following findings:

    (1) Through economic mismanagement, undemocratic practices, and the costly deployment of troops to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Government of Zimbabwe has rendered itself ineligible to participate in International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and International Monetary Fund programs, which would otherwise be providing substantial resources to assist in the recovery and modernization of Zimbabwe’s economy. The people of Zimbabwe have thus been denied the economic and democratic benefits envisioned by the donors to such programs, including the United States.

    (2) In September 1999 the IMF suspended its support under a `Stand By Arrangement’, approved the previous month, for economic adjustment and reform in Zimbabwe.

    (3) In October 1999, the International Development Association (in this section referred to as the `IDA’) suspended all structural adjustment loans, credits, and guarantees to the Government of Zimbabwe.

    (4) In May 2000, the IDA suspended all other new lending to the Government of Zimbabwe.

    (5) In September 2000, the IDA suspended disbursement of funds for ongoing projects under previously-approved loans, credits, and guarantees to the Government of Zimbabwe.

    (b) SUPPORT FOR DEMOCRATIC TRANSITION AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY-

    (1) BILATERAL DEBT RELIEF- Upon receipt by the appropriate congressional committees of a certification described in subsection (d), the Secretary of the Treasury shall undertake a review of the feasibility of restructuring, rescheduling, or eliminating the sovereign debt of Zimbabwe held by any agency of the United States Government.

    (2) MULTILATERAL DEBT RELIEF AND OTHER FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE- It is the sense of Congress that, upon receipt by the appropriate congressional committees of a certification described in subsection (d), the Secretary of the Treasury should–

    (A) direct the United States executive director of each multilateral development bank to propose that the bank should undertake a review of the feasibility of restructuring, rescheduling, or eliminating the sovereign debt of Zimbabwe held by that bank; and

    (B) direct the United States executive director of each international financial institution to which the United States is a member to propose to undertake financial and technical support for Zimbabwe, especially support that is intended to promote Zimbabwe’s economic recovery and development, the stabilization of the Zimbabwean dollar, and the viability of Zimbabwe’s democratic institutions.

    (c) MULTILATERAL FINANCING RESTRICTION- Until the President makes the certification described in subsection (d), and except as may be required to meet basic human needs or for good governance, the Secretary of the Treasury shall instruct the United States executive director to each international financial institution to oppose and vote against–

    (1) any extension by the respective institution of any loan, credit, or guarantee to the Government of Zimbabwe; or

    (2) any cancellation or reduction of indebtedness owed by the Government of Zimbabwe to the United States or any international financial institution.

    (d) PRESIDENTIAL CERTIFICATION THAT CERTAIN CONDITIONS ARE SATISFIED- A certification under this subsection is a certification transmitted to the appropriate congressional committees of a determination made by the President that the following conditions are satisfied:

    (1) RESTORATION OF THE RULE OF LAW- The rule of law has been restored in Zimbabwe, including respect for ownership and title to property, freedom of speech and association, and an end to the lawlessness, violence, and intimidation sponsored, condoned, or tolerated by the Government of Zimbabwe, the ruling party, and their supporters or entities.

    (2) ELECTION OR PRE-ELECTION CONDITIONS- Either of the following two conditions is satisfied:

    (A) PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION- Zimbabwe has held a presidential election that is widely accepted as free and fair by independent international monitors, and the president-elect is free to assume the duties of the office.

    (B) PRE-ELECTION CONDITIONS- In the event the certification is made before the presidential election takes place, the Government of Zimbabwe has sufficiently improved the pre-election environment to a degree consistent with accepted international standards for security and freedom of movement and association.

    (3) COMMITMENT TO EQUITABLE, LEGAL, AND TRANSPARENT LAND REFORM- The Government of Zimbabwe has demonstrated a commitment to an equitable, legal, and transparent land reform program consistent with agreements reached at the International Donors’ Conference on Land Reform and Resettlement in Zimbabwe held in Harare, Zimbabwe, in September 1998.

    (4) FULFILLMENT OF AGREEMENT ENDING WAR IN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO- The Government of Zimbabwe is making a good faith effort to fulfill the terms of the Lusaka, Zambia, agreement on ending the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    (5) MILITARY AND NATIONAL POLICE SUBORDINATE TO CIVILIAN GOVERNMENT- The Zimbabwean Armed Forces, the National Police of Zimbabwe, and other state security forces are responsible to and serve the elected civilian government.

    (e) WAIVER- The President may waive the provisions of subsection (b)(1) or subsection (c), if the President determines that it is in the national interest of the United States to do so.

    SEC. 5. SUPPORT FOR DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS, THE FREE PRESS AND INDEPENDENT MEDIA, AND THE RULE OF LAW.

    (a) IN GENERAL- The President is authorized to provide assistance under part I and chapter 4 of part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to–

    (1) support an independent and free press and electronic media in Zimbabwe;

    (2) support equitable, legal, and transparent mechanisms of land reform in Zimbabwe, including the payment of costs related to the acquisition of land and the resettlement of individuals, consistent with the International Donors’ Conference on Land Reform and Resettlement in Zimbabwe held in Harare, Zimbabwe, in September 1998, or any subsequent agreement relating thereto; and

    (3) provide for democracy and governance programs in Zimbabwe.

    (b) FUNDING- Of the funds authorized to be appropriated to carry out part I and chapter 4 of part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 for fiscal year 2002–

    (1) $20,000,000 is authorized to be available to provide the assistance described in subsection (a)(2); and

    (2) $6,000,000 is authorized to be available to provide the assistance described in subsection (a)(3).

    (c) SUPERSEDES OTHER LAWS- The authority in this section supersedes any other provision of law.

    SEC. 6. SENSE OF CONGRESS ON THE ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN AGAINST INDIVIDUALS RESPONSIBLE FOR VIOLENCE AND THE BREAKDOWN OF THE RULE OF LAW IN ZIMBABWE.

    It is the sense of Congress that the President should begin immediate consultation with the governments of European Union member states, Canada, and other appropriate foreign countries on ways in which to–

    (1) identify and share information regarding individuals responsible for the deliberate breakdown of the rule of law, politically motivated violence, and intimidation in Zimbabwe;

    (2) identify assets of those individuals held outside Zimbabwe;

    (3) implement travel and economic sanctions against those individuals and their associates and families; and

    (4) provide for the eventual removal or amendment of those sanctions.

    Speaker of the House of Representatives.

    Vice President of the United States and

    President of the Senate.