Mugabe threatens BAT for allegedly sabotaging local firms

British American Tobacco (BAT) logo

By Tererai Karimakwenda
03 December 2012

The heat against British American Tobacco (BAT) intensified last week, after Robert Mugabe threatened the company with unspecified action over allegations that BAT sabotaged trucks belonging to a local company, in order to maintain their dominance.

Mugabe was speaking at an indigenisation conference last Wednesday, where BAT gave up over 26 % of its shares to locals, in compliance with ZANU PF’s indigenisation policies.

But the company was attacked by the ZANU PF leader, who said investigations by intelligence and security divisions had revealed that BAT was behind the hijacking of trucks belonging to Savanna Tobacco, while they were delivering cigarettes to South Africa. He claimed BAT trucks were never attacked, suggesting that they were involved.

“I hope all will be well but in fact those are the things that have been happening in order to kill competition and you try to undo a competitor in that ugly way that’s not acceptable, some people will have to answer for it,” Mugabe told the Conference. He added that he hoped the management was unaware of the plot.

According to the state run Herald newspaper police detectives said investigations are underway and at an advanced stage, with more leads unfolding. The case is reportedly being dealt with by the CID.

Charles Taffs, president of the Commercial Farmers Union, told SW Radio Africa that truck hijacking is a problem throughout the African continent and hijackers do not specifically target cigarette trucks.

“BAT is not a cigarette exporter as it explained. It is an exporter of partially processed tobacco leaf. So for accusations to be made that their trucks of cigarettes are getting through when others are not is absolutely ridiculous,” Taffs explained.

The Herald said BAT Zimbabwe spokesperson, Shungu Chirunda, dismissed the allegations and the company published a statement in the local press on Sunday, saying they do not even export cigarettes.

Taffs said these threats and accusations against multi-national companies are meant to force them to fall in line with ZANU-PF’s indigenisation policies. But he warned that all it does is diminish investor confidence and damage our broader economy.

A report in the Herald said local cigarette manufacturers that export to South Africa have lost about R100 million worth of products last year to “organised armed gangs.”



13 Responsesto “Mugabe threatens BAT for allegedly sabotaging local firms”

  1. wilbert_mukori says:

    These are not the actions of a party willing to end its culture of violence and lawlessness and accept the rule of law, free and fair elections, etc.? Tsvangirai and MDC have their own reasons why they do not want the democratic reforms implemented leading to free and fair elections – the latter will spell the derailment of the gravy train. Zimbabweans have every reason to demand that all the reforms implemented and the new democratic constitution written BEFORE the next elections because only when there are free and fair election can we derail the gravy train!

    • Chimbwido Warvet says:

      This is typically of all uncle toms the world has ever known. They sing the song of their slave and colonial masters and not their own. As usual they will always own nothing in their country of birth and yet prop up the fortunes or wealth of their masters. They were taught and learnt their lessons well that they were hewers of wood and drawers of water and can not question what is given to them by their masters. Until such time they wake up to the reality that they can also play a positive role in owning business and supporting their government in their country of birth, they shall remain slaves and cheap labor for other nations. Their only language they know is the call for free and fair elections but not for a level playing field in the business sector where the entire economy is owned and controlled by foreign capital. All they want is political power which they got in 1980 and yet they own and control nothing in the business sector in their own country of birth. They do not know that politics means nothing if they can not control their economy in their country of birth. What mother fuckers we have in this country who still think the nation feeds on politics and not the creation of their own businesses 32 years after independence – ‘free and fair elections’ is nonsensical as it has never brought economic independence to the majority of Zimbabweans but only foreign capital that has benefited from our own sweat and blood.

      • wilbert_mukori says:

        In a country of my birth where a tiny minority is multi-millionaires from corruption and looting and the overwhelming majority live in abject poverty denied their most basic rights and human dignity including the right to life; it is an honour to be counted among the poor than the rich. And you what do you have to show for all the innocent blood on your hands a looted farm that none of the Zanu PF Chefs wanted?

        You are not defending the dictatorship whose days are numbered; this corrupt and of oppressive regime was an admonition and was doomed to collapse. Zanu PF is finished! You will lose the looted farm and your neck will grace the hangman’s rope for the innocent blood you shed! My job is to see to it that these things come to pass and it will be my singular honour and pleasure!

        Morons like you never know when the game is up; don’t worry, you will soon! Tsvangirai let Mugabe off the hook in 2008, even he will be making that mistake again!

        • Chimbwido Warvet says:

          You are just a nonentity Wilbert and neither is your constituency known serve the widely held view that you represent foreign capital and rhodies in the diaspora. Lest you did not understand what I earlier said in my previous articles, I need to repeat that no country that we fought for to bring about its sovereignty and independence will be surrendered to morons like you, your slave and colonial masters. Like we did before when we drove rhodies out of power, we will fight you and your masters until the last drop of our blood. The country you are messing up was not just given to us on a silver plate, but we fought for it to be free from foreign occupation and domination. We will do it again, if need be than let the country fall in the hands of our enemies, you included. As far as we concerned we now have political power but what we lack is the economic power as 99 percent of the entire economy is still owned and controlled by foreign capital you represent. This time around we are going to fight to regain our position in the economic sphere which is largely dominated by foreigners. If our desire to control our economy is what you term as corruption, then you do not know what you are talking about. For as long as the Zimbabwean people do not own big business in their country of birth, they will still remain the hewers and drawers of water of other nations and foreign capital. In other words they will remain slaves in their own country for the rest of their existence while foreigners enjoy the fruits of our hard won independence. This should change in the next Parliament of Zimbabwe where the blacks of this country should own and control 99 percent of the economy of Zimbabwe. It is not racism and neither is it corruption as you want us to believe when Zimbabweans promote their own people to own and control their economy. If anything, this is as it should be Wilbert.

          • wilbert_mukori says:

            After 32 years in power dictators the world over always think they are invincible; no doubt Zanu PF is thinking the same. Name one dictatorship that has not collapsed in the end; particularly a corrupt and murderous one like Zanu PF. I will tell you again Zanu PF’s bacon was fried in 2008 if only Tsvangirai had not the regime off the hook. Mark my word: that is NOT going to happen again!

            Zanu PF has remained in power all these years by denying the ordinary Zimbabweans their democratic right to a meaningful say to the governance of the country. The regime can not do this any more; regime change is now a certainity.

            You and your murderous friends in the Zanu PF dictatorship are going to lose their loot and, for many, the hangman’s rope awaits for all the innocent blood on their hands.

            Regime Change, the writing is on the wall and and we both know it; that is why you are lashing out. For everyone else the change has been long in coming but for the oppressive few this is the one thing you have dreaded. Well who can say there is no justice on earth now!

          • Chimbwido Warvet says:

            The days for selling blacks into slavery and cheap labor during colonialism are gone and gone forever. And if you want the truth, you better read my lips, boy. There is nothing like that in present Zimbabwe. You are going to live in the diaspora for the rest of your life with this foolish view. Let us wait and see, that is all I can say to you. I wish you the best of luck, Wilbert. Ndapedza newe panyaya iyi shaz.

          • tonderai says:

            Hey buddy, you have no idea what you are talking about. Do not even speak as if you know the pain that Zimbabweans have felt..Also, never speak as if the whites that ruled Rhodesia were saints that fed and gave everyone equally what they deserved because my grand father and his fathers were used, they were used as cattle and treated as dogs or nothing at all. I assure you, such arrogance can go so far…. I don’t approved of all of Mugabe’s deeds, but you guys are much worst. You weren’t even naturally from Zimbabwe in the first place, your ancestor came there illegally, stole the land, murdered the indigenous people, and enslaved the remaining ones. Your ideal society is built from the blood and enslavement of other races, you way of life is basically greed, slothfulness and debauchery, however Africa’s way of life is naturally through survival and sacrifice. Do not think you know whats best for Africa because you were simply born there, your parents were not slaves, and servants who were beaten, and caged. You and them did not have to fight for freedom, because you were the one suppressing it and now somehow you think you are the masters of human rights…HA! Do not make me laugh. I don’t hate people because of their skin, i hate them because of what they did and continue to do secretly.

        • Chimbwido Warvet says:

          You are just a nonentity Wilbert and neither is your constituency known serve the widely held view that you represent foreign capital and rhodies in the diaspora. Lest you did not understand what I earlier said in my previous articles, I need to repeat that no country that we fought for to bring about its sovereignty and independence will be surrendered to morons like you, your slave and colonial masters. Like we did before when we drove rhodies out of power, we will fight you and your masters until the last drop of our blood. The country you are messing up was not just given to us on a silver plate, but we fought for it to be free from foreign occupation and domination. We will do it again, if need be than let the country fall in the hands of our enemies, you included. As far as we concerned we now have political power but what we lack is the economic power as 99 percent of the entire economy is still owned and controlled by foreign capital you represent. This time around we are going to fight to regain our position in the economic sphere which is largely dominated by foreigners. If our desire to control our economy is what you term as corruption, then you do not know what you are talking about. For as long as the Zimbabwean people do not own big business in their country of birth, they will still remain the hewers of wood and drawers of water of other nations and foreign capital. In other words they will remain slaves in their own country for the rest of their existence while foreigners enjoy the fruits of our hard won independence. This should change in the next Parliament of Zimbabwe where the blacks of this country should own and control 99 percent of the economy of Zimbabwe. It is not racism and neither is it corruption as you want us to believe when Zimbabweans promote their own people to own and control their economy. If anything, this is as it should be Wilbert.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Mugabe is ill, all what he is saying is trush. All multinational companies in Zimbabwe should work without fear.

    • Chimbwido Warvet says:

      Oh yes, it must not be ‘trush’ mate. May be you meant thrush treatment, but even if this is what you meant, tell us what it means in the context of the above article, mate.

    • Tonderai says:

      Are you an idiot? They should be allowed to illegally sell hard worked Zimbabwean tobacco. Get the heck out of here!!!

  3. Chimbwido Warvet says:

    Deleting my work that reflects the truth will not help you guys. Always seek the truth as it will set you free, guys