EU passes the buck to Germany over ‘sanctions busting’

via EU passes the buck to Germany over ‘sanctions busting’ | SW Radio Africa by Alex Bell  December 4, 2013

The European Union (EU) has moved to distance itself from claims that a German firm is bypassing targeted restrictions on Zimbabwe to trade with Robert Mugabe, saying the responsibility to investigate the matter falls on Germany.

According to the news and analysis site Africa Confidential the German firm Wilhelm Guth Ventiltechnik has been supplying components to Robert and Grace Mugabe’s Gushungo Dairy Estate for the past four years. The components are supplied through the wholly owned subsidiary of the German firm, Guth South Africa.

This is despite the EU targeted restrictive measures that are still in place against Mugabe and his wife, which ban any EU member countries from doing business with the individuals or companies on the targeted list.

The European leadership bloc has lifted its measures against the majority of the Mugabe regime, but the ZANU PF leader and Grace Mugabe remain targeted.

When contacted for comment a spokesperson for the EU’s High Representative of Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton said: “Doing business with companies associated with designated persons should be prohibited if it is assessed that this would benefit indirectly the designated persons.”

The spokesperson added in an emailed reaction: “In case of a possible violation of sanctions, the Member State where the company is registered would carry out an investigation…The enforcement of sanctions is a matter for Member States.”

There has not yet been a response from the German authorities to SW Radio Africa’s request for more information.

Political analyst Clifford Mashiri said that the EU has “no backbone” to deal with the Mugabe regime anymore, because it is being led by its own, personal interests.

“Human rights are no longer on the agenda of the European Union. They have sought to re-engage with Mugabe and there are concerns that come February (when the EU leadership meets) there won’t be any more measure against him,” Mashiri said.

He explained that efforts to pass the responsibility to Germany were “not surprising,” because “it has acquiesced and accepted Mugabe, particularly for economic motives.”

“As long as they are guaranteed the right to deal in Zimbabwe’s diamonds, they will do this,” Mashiri said.

More European countries have moved to voice support for the total lifting of the targeted measures on the Mugabe regime, after Belgium successfully campaigned for the removal of the restrictions on the state run Zimbabwe Mining and Development Corporation (ZMDC).

Greece has since said that it wants the measures removed by the time it takes over the Presidency of the EU in 2014.

 

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13 comments on “EU passes the buck to Germany over ‘sanctions busting’
  1. john says:

    HAS THE JOURNALIST EVER THOUGHT THAT THERE MIGHT BE NO CASE FOR ILLEGAL SANCTIONS.
    Perhaps she should research the Law try to understand how dairy cattle fit into politics – really!

  2. Khaya'bonina says:

    If the EU agreed on the lifting of the sanctions to our diamonds , what else are they looking for , they must completely lift the sanctions . Now it raises so trepidations , are they only after our minerals without giving complete support to Zimbabwe ????????????, ok !!!, they are still interest to take our resources and fly out of our country , yes yes yes indigenisation is the only solution , Bob get it working sooner .

  3. munzwa says:

    double standards!!!!

  4. mucha says:

    Pple should understand the politics of economics. EU econony depends largely on Germay and there is nothing the EU group can do to Germany on its trade relations with other countries, even those under EU sanctions. Talk of the P5+1, which is a group of 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany. The group was formed in 2006 to push for diplomatic solution on Iran’s nuclear program.

    This is because Germany is the key trading partner of Iran and Iran’s nuclear program depends mainly upon German products and services. Around 50 German firms have their own branch offices in Iran and more than 12,000 firms have their own trade representatives in Iran.

    So no big deal, this is about econmic interests. You can cry until the chickens come to the roost.

  5. SADC says:

    So all of the above comments you think that less than 10 million dollars worth of supplies from the Guth Company is worth German going against an EU directive when it was the one that first mooted the idea of having an EU, and the central bank of the EU is even located in German? Mugabe or his wife owns the Gushungo Dairies. The sanctions dictates that no EU company should deal with companies that benefit the likes of Mugabe and his Wife. That’s what the article is saying and I don’t understand all the talk about politics and economics. For the record there are many companied the likes of Nestle that used to trade with these damned dairies. A complaint was raised and within a few days Nestle stopped buying dairy products from the Gushungos. So its not about Germany, its about the company and now that Germany knows, its a punishable criminal offence to go against the restrictive measures!

    • mucha says:

      @SADC, don’t believe all you hear or read. Use your common sense to come up with an objective analysis of the situation. You believe that Nestle is not buying milk from Gushungo Dairy with Kumbirai Katsande as the Managing Director.

      That’s what what they say.

      • SADC says:

        @mucha
        The very reason why Mugabe started making yogurts,milk etc was because there major buyer Nestle had stopped buying from them. Nestle is not run like a government parastatal. If there headquarters in Switzerland says don’t, even if the head is Katsande, the order is followed otherwise he gets fired. Kasukuwere even threatened the company with indeginisation afterwards…

  6. Khaya'bonina says:

    @SADC , thank you so much , brilliant explaination , my ears are now opened . Sorry for Muchu who coated a wrong page from his history book .

    • mucha says:

      @Khaya’bonina, (poor English but I understand you anyway). This is not history my Dear. Talks on Iran nuclear programme is on going now and Iran had since been allowed to proceed with its nuclear program but for peaceful purposes only. But this has insenced Israel. But the EU can’t go beyond this point because of Germany’s economic interests in Iran.

      • SADC says:

        @mucha

        I don’t understand why you keep on giving irrelevant examples. Europe and America want assurances that the Nuclear energy being developed in Iran won’t be used to make a nuclear arsenal. If Iran manages to give the reasonable evidence that they won’t making anything close to a bomb then who has the right to stop them and that is exactly what is happening and soon they might be allowed to develop the nuclear energy. Sanctions are not wholesome and in some cases they are targeted towards some sectors of the economy. USA is Zimbabwe’s 3rd biggest trading partner yet they have sanctions against us. Does that mean USA companies are violating anything. No! Even ZIMOCO imports its vehicles straight from Germany. So is Mercedes breaching the sanctions just because its a Germany entity? NO!Same goes for the German companies in Iran and other western companies operating in Iran.
        Sanctions on Mugabe and his wife also affect their businesses and I don’t see anything that shows any relationship with this scenario with your German/Iran comparison.

      • SADC says:

        @mucha
        I don’t understand why you keep on
        giving irrelevant examples. Europe
        and America want assurances that
        the Nuclear energy being developed
        in Iran won’t be used to make a
        nuclear arsenal. If Iran manages to
        give the reasonable evidence that
        they won’t making anything close
        to a bomb then who has the right to
        stop them and that is exactly what
        is happening and soon they might
        be allowed to develop the nuclear
        energy. Sanctions are not
        wholesome and in some cases they
        are targeted towards some sectors
        of the economy. USA is Zimbabwe’s
        3rd biggest trading partner yet they
        have sanctions against us. Does
        that mean USA companies are
        violating anything. No! Even
        ZIMOCO imports its vehicles
        straight from Germany. So is
        Mercedes breaching the sanctions
        just because its a Germany entity?
        NO!Same goes for the German
        companies in Iran and other
        western companies operating in
        Iran.
        Sanctions on Mugabe and his wife
        also affect their businesses and I
        don’t see anything that shows any
        relationship with this scenario with
        your German/Iran comparison.

        • SADC says:

          @businessman

          The USA actually knows who owns what that’s why a few companies are on the sanctions list and its not a matter of punishing all, its a matter of sanctioning companies that are worth the effort. For paypal, the logic explanation I have already stated it, how can they tell that the money you are using to buy a car or a laptop in USA isn’t a strategy to launder money. The best approach is to close the whole system for every Zimbabwean because Mugabe can as just as well tell Chegomo to buy staff for him and do away with the sanctions. THEY ARE ALWAYS AND HAVE BEEN TARGETTED my friend.

  7. maisokwazo says:

    The whole scenario is a fiasco and dictators will remain yet what I fail to understand is why is it that good should succumb to evil and why is it that civilization cant match barbarism? Is it that the world relish in the suffering of Zimbabwe perpetuated by a few cohorts. What a shame! Can’t even learn from the likes of Mandela these barbarians.Let them trade as they like makudo eZANU Kana kumbonyara imbwa

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