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Mugabe Pledges to Boost Black Ownership of Zimbabwe Economy

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party has said it will increase black Zimbabweans’ ownership of the economy in the next five years.

The party, Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front, which won by a landslide in the recent polls, announced that about 1,000 foreign-owned companies, including banks and mines, will be targeted for the purpose.

The announcement has added to the investors’ concerns about the party’s political dominance.

According to

“ZANU-PF announced its plans in Zimbabwean newspaper ads on Tuesday, following its landslide victory in last week’s presidential and parliamentary elections.

“The full-page ads said that in the next five years, Zimbabwe will witness what the party called  ‘a unique wealth transfer model that will see ordinary people take charge of the economy.’

“Shares on Zimbabwe’s stock exchange dropped another 2 percent on Tuesday, after an 11 percent drop on Monday, as investors feared losing their assets.”

U.S. Charges Two Men With Illegal Lobbying for Mugabe

In a related news item, the United States government has charged two men with Illegally lobbying for Mugabe. reports:

“Mugabe of Zimbabwe allegedly hired two Chicago men to lobby U.S. officials to lift economic sanctions against him, in violation of federal law, according to a criminal complaint unsealed today.”

In exchange for those services rendered in 2008 and 2009, the men were to be paid $3.4 million, acting Chicago U.S. Attorney Gary S. Shapiro said in a statement.

While Mugabe wasn’t charged, Prince Asiel Ben Israel, 72, and C. Gregory Turner, 71, were accused of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, Bloomberg reported.

Ben Israel appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys in Chicago, who released him on $4,500 bond. A warrant has been issued for Turner’s arrest.

Ben Israel and Turner allegedly agreed to engage in public relations, political consulting and lobbying to have sanctions removed by meeting with and attempting to persuade U.S. federal and state government officials’ to oppose them, Shapiro said.

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