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Mugabe may seize oil giants' assets
The Times ^ | December 16, 2002 | Jan Raath

Posted on 12/15/2002 3:43:24 PM PST by MadIvan

PRESIDENT MUGABE of Zimbabwe has threatened to seize the facilities of leading oil companies operating in the country and use them to distribute fuel.

At the annual congress of his ruling Zanu (PF) party, Mr Mugabe said that the Government could “acquire” service stations and storage facilities, compensate the companies to which they belonged and dispense the fuel. There are five multinational oil firms with a presence in Zimbabwe — BP, Shell, Mobil, Total and Caltex — and their assets there are worth millions of pounds.

Lawyers said that such a move would be illegal. One lawyer, who did not wish to be identified, said: “It would be patently unconstitutional. Besides, most of the international oil companies are covered by bilateral treaties from this kind of nationalisation.”

The President’s remarks came two weeks after the Government said that it was drafting a new policy within its so-called indigenisation programme to allocate fuel supplies to the 24 “independent” companies licensed to retail fuel, nearly all of which are owned by senior Zanu (PF) officials.

Fuel reserves in the country have reached their lowest levels in three years, since leading oil companies cut off supplies to the state-owned National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim) when the Government failed to pay arrears for imports.

In the past week the queues of drivers have lengthened and more service stations have been putting up “no fuel” signs. Vehicles abandoned at the roadside for lack of fuel have become commonplace.

In Chinhoyi, the venue of the conference, fuel was available only for party officials. A journalist was told at a Mobil service station that he could buy petrol only if he could prove that he was a delegate.

Mr Mugabe said that the oil companies were making huge profits while the Government made losses from importing fuel via Noczim, which sells it on to the multinationals to distribute. However, industry executives said that Noczim’s enormous losses were a result of price controls that forced it to sell fuel at the equivalent of about 3p per litre while buying it for about ten times that price.

Mr Mugabe has ignored Noczim’s pleas for a price increase.

Economists say that total state control over fuel distribution would condemn the industry to the same failure affecting much of the country’s agriculture, transport, mining, telecommunications, railways and power industries.

“Mugabe’s thinking is that taps make water,” a Western diplomat said. “If he goes ahead (with the takeover of multinational service stations), the country will dry up far quicker than it is doing already.”


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: africawatch; collapse; mugabe; oil; rhodesia; zimbabwe
It's clear Mugabe has gone around the bend. One well directed laser-guided bomb will end this nonsense.

Regards, Ivan


Flag of Rhodesia

1 posted on 12/15/2002 3:43:24 PM PST by MadIvan
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To: *AfricaWatch; backhoe; Clive; Cincinatus' Wife; Delmarksman; Sparta; Toirdhealbheach Beucail; ...
Bump!
2 posted on 12/15/2002 3:43:50 PM PST by MadIvan
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To: MadIvan
I think Mr. Mugabe's syphalis has gone to his brain.
3 posted on 12/15/2002 3:45:37 PM PST by twntaipan
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To: twntaipan
Just well versed in Marxism.
4 posted on 12/15/2002 3:48:05 PM PST by Fish out of Water
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To: twntaipan
Yep.
5 posted on 12/15/2002 3:48:27 PM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: MadIvan
Wana take a guess how long B4 South Africa announces likewise?
6 posted on 12/15/2002 3:50:06 PM PST by litehaus
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To: MadIvan
Mugabe was a Maoist to start with, when he staged his revolt. For some reason I've never seen explained, he behaved himself years. Then suddenly he started behaving like a Maoist again.
7 posted on 12/15/2002 3:50:18 PM PST by Cicero
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To: MadIvan
Mugabe will do anything to prove the blessings of colonialism.
8 posted on 12/15/2002 3:52:08 PM PST by Tacis
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To: MadIvan
Mr Mugabe said that the Government could “acquire” service stations and storage facilities, compensate the companies to which they belonged and dispense the fuel.

I see Mugabe wants to now work his magic on the energy industry after doing so well in agriculture.

Who will run the service stations, veterans or his relatives?

9 posted on 12/15/2002 3:52:36 PM PST by Mike Darancette
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To: Mike Darancette
Well now that they are involving American oil companies, Mobil, perhaps now President Bush might take an interest in squashing Mugabe like the cockroach he is.

Regards, Ivan

10 posted on 12/15/2002 3:53:40 PM PST by MadIvan
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To: Mike Darancette
I should point out that hitherto that Zimbabwe hasn't been threatening American interests directly - by doing this, Mugabe just changed all that.

Regards, Ivan

11 posted on 12/15/2002 3:54:20 PM PST by MadIvan
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To: MadIvan
It's clear Mugabe has gone around the bend. One well directed laser-guided bomb will end this nonsense.

Now that Mugabe is messing with oil companies, not just farmers, the chance of his being targeted goes way up. Hope this situation is taken care of soon - by someone.

12 posted on 12/15/2002 3:57:05 PM PST by toddst
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To: MadIvan
We seem to be watching Atlas Shrugged played out in real time (or, is it the Fountainhead? Haven't read them in a long time, too long).
13 posted on 12/15/2002 4:00:59 PM PST by The Electrician
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To: MadIvan
Telling Mugabe his idea is "unconstitutional" is supposed to stop him? It will have as much impact as Candide telling the South American cannibals that eating people is unchristian.
14 posted on 12/15/2002 4:02:16 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: MadIvan
Well now that they are involving American oil companies, Mobil, perhaps now President Bush might take an interest in squashing Mugabe like the cockroach he is.

I'm afraid that there is a limit to how many foreign involvements even America can take on. And talk about a p.r. disaster--making war on a black nation led by a black man would be ruinous for Bush politically. I don't think you should hold your breath waiting for this to happen, Ivan.

15 posted on 12/15/2002 4:02:37 PM PST by Capriole
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To: MadIvan
Better that they walk off from those assets as fast as they can before Mugabe has them over for dinner!
16 posted on 12/15/2002 4:07:04 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: The Electrician
We seem to be watching Atlas Shrugged played out in real time

I've been thinking that for awhile myself!

17 posted on 12/15/2002 4:10:56 PM PST by Kay Ludlow
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To: muawiyah
Better that they walk off from those assets as fast as they can before Mugabe has them over for dinner!

Considering the food shortages and Idi Amin as an example, that might be a literal truth.

Regards, Ivan

18 posted on 12/15/2002 4:12:42 PM PST by MadIvan
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To: MadIvan
Has anyone checked his refrigerator recently? You just never know these days. Ah, the joys of multicultural culinary habits!
19 posted on 12/15/2002 4:20:32 PM PST by Eternal_Bear
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To: MadIvan
I don't see any compelling US interest. No reason for us US to take on the risk & expense of disposing of this nutjob. But what if the oil companies raised an army themselves? Just a thought.
20 posted on 12/15/2002 4:28:05 PM PST by redbaiter
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To: MadIvan
However, industry executives said that Noczim’s enormous losses were a result of price controls that forced it to sell fuel at the equivalent of about 3p per litre while buying it for about ten times that price.

I guess the California energy model doesn't work for them either.

21 posted on 12/15/2002 4:29:48 PM PST by NonValueAdded
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To: MadIvan
Bring back Rhodesia NOW!!!!!
22 posted on 12/15/2002 4:29:58 PM PST by Sparta
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To: redbaiter
I don't see any compelling US interest. No reason for us US to take on the risk & expense of disposing of this nutjob. But what if the oil companies raised an army themselves? Just a thought.

I think if Mugabe is killed that will take care of it - there are rival factions within his own party which are held in check only by his presence. If he dies, that will create a window of opportunity for the opposition to his rule.

Regards, Ivan

23 posted on 12/15/2002 4:31:00 PM PST by MadIvan
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To: MadIvan
Not to worry, the UN will fix it........
24 posted on 12/15/2002 4:31:37 PM PST by OldFriend
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To: MadIvan
How is it that guys like Saddam, Mugabe, and Arafat are still alive?
25 posted on 12/15/2002 4:32:31 PM PST by hove
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To: MadIvan
Tut-tut...you're merely a prisoner of British colonial racism, Ivan, old chap.

Our Robert's probably going to be scooping up the Nobel Peace Prize, or some such hardware, during the next decade.

Maybe the Pol Pot Humanitarian Award.
26 posted on 12/15/2002 4:35:14 PM PST by headsonpikes
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To: MadIvan
Lawyers said that such a move would be illegal. One lawyer, who did not wish to be identified, said: “It would be patently unconstitutional.

Probably true but within the last year or so he packed the Supreme Court (or whatever its called over there) with loyalists so the Constitution no longer matters.

(BTW, FDR tried the same court packing scheme here but fortunately failed.)

27 posted on 12/15/2002 4:37:45 PM PST by NEPA
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To: headsonpikes
Tut-tut...you're merely a prisoner of British colonial racism, Ivan, old chap.

I plead guilty to being in favour of maintaining British colonies particularly in Africa; the people who live there have not benefitted whatsoever from being independent. Kwame Nkrumah, the man who started the whole tide of African independence, was a fool and a charlatan - he allowed no transition time whatsoever for any devolution of power to take place.

Democratic institutions require building up habits that take several generations to develop - less than 100 years of colonialism in Africa didn't do it.

Regards, Ivan

28 posted on 12/15/2002 4:38:09 PM PST by MadIvan
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To: Mike Darancette
Who will run the service stations, veterans or his relatives?

Hey, don't forget the "students"!!!

29 posted on 12/15/2002 4:47:36 PM PST by The Duke
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To: MadIvan
.........perhaps now President Bush might take an interest in squashing Mugabe like the cockroach he is.

Belatedly and unfortunately, I'll Bump that.

However, as Bush pointed out recently in his "get off the dime" speech to the UN.............."What is the relevace of THIS organization?"

To paraphrase: What is the relevance of this organization when people are being burned out of their houses by a genocidal madman?

What is the relevance of this organization when it allows one of its members to literally create a situation where a whole economy is allowed to self destruct resulting in rape, murder, starvation and chaos?

What is the relevance of this organization when it allows one of its members to create a situation where the starvation of the citizens of country is brought on by the megalomanical dictates of a demented Marxist?

30 posted on 12/15/2002 4:50:40 PM PST by DoctorMichael
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bttt
31 posted on 12/15/2002 4:59:33 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
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To: DoctorMichael
What is the relevance of this organization when it allows one of its members to create a situation where the starvation of the citizens of country is brought on by the megalomanical dictates of a demented Marxist?

The problem with the UN in situations like this is that it was created by governments for governments, not individual people. This allows a lot of repression to be overlooked by the UN, as long as it happens internally in a member state.

32 posted on 12/15/2002 5:08:39 PM PST by Vince Ferrer
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To: Vince Ferrer
.......by governments for governments, not individual people...........allows a lot of repression to be overlooked by the UN............

Too true. Again, unfortunately.

33 posted on 12/15/2002 5:23:56 PM PST by DoctorMichael
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To: litehaus
Wana take a guess how long B4 South Africa announces likewise?

It's just a matter of time. Bet on it.

34 posted on 12/15/2002 5:28:50 PM PST by watcher1
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To: MadIvan
“Mugabe’s thinking is that taps make water,” a Western diplomat said. “If he goes ahead (with the takeover of multinational service stations), the country will dry up far quicker than it is doing already.”

Are these poor slaves, to their own government, better off than they were before they ran "old honky" out and nationalized?

Of course not but how could they know that a hot stove will not burn their fingers if they don't touch it.

But like the extreme left liberal Dems of this nation, some people will not learn a better way which is "get your head out of your butt" and watch where you're going.

35 posted on 12/15/2002 5:42:39 PM PST by VOYAGER
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To: MadIvan
The oil companies should just stop delivering product to their stations if Mugabe takes them over. Withold product until Mugabe assumes room temperature. There is plenty of market in the U.S. for what isn't delivered to Zimbabwe. Especially with the current Venuzuelan activity.
36 posted on 12/15/2002 6:01:03 PM PST by Myrddin
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To: MadIvan; Poohbah; Congressman Billybob; holdonnow; Miss Marple; Howlin; MeeknMing
Heck, if I were the CEO of Shell or Mobil, and if MY assets were seized, thereby harming MY company and employees, I'd be thumbing through the Yellow Pages to find Assassins 'R' Us.

Question: What sort of trouble would a CEO who began such a search land in?
37 posted on 12/15/2002 6:17:45 PM PST by hchutch
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To: MadIvan
Just wait till China does something like this to all the assets that US companies are putting in over there.
38 posted on 12/15/2002 6:31:04 PM PST by Karsus
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To: MadIvan
After so many years of this crap the bigger question here is,

Why have no western politicians ever once mentioned Mugabe?

Why do we not hear about this on CNNABCNBCCBSBBCTNNFNSPBS hourly?

Does ethnic cleansing have a new stamp of approval?

Oh wait, it's the "prime directive" !! Yeah that's it!
Do Not Interfere with Sub-Cultures!
yeah, that's it.
Silly me.
39 posted on 12/15/2002 6:35:01 PM PST by JoeSixPack1
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To: MadIvan
Mugabe's denying food to the non-Shonas constitutes genocide under the Genocide Convention. The Genocide Convention obliges signatory countries under international law to intervene to stop genocide.
40 posted on 12/15/2002 7:38:57 PM PST by aristeides
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To: JoeSixPack1
Do Not Interfere with Sub-Cultures!

Didn't 9/11 put an end to that?

41 posted on 12/15/2002 7:41:30 PM PST by aristeides
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To: hchutch; MadIvan

It's MINE, mine...all MINE !!

42 posted on 12/16/2002 1:07:52 AM PST by MeekOneGOP
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