German, through its embassy in Harare, warned the government of Zimbabwe to immediately intervene in the matter.
“ The Embassy therefore urges the Zimbabwean govemment to immediately intervene and stop the farm’s occupation,which day by day causes considerable financial damage. Questions on property rights shall be dealt with in court and not by applying raw violence,” said a letter written by the German embassy in Harare.
The embassy protested in the letter to the Zimbabwean government that the occupation of three farms, which are owned by Berlin citizens. was going on despite the signing of the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (BIPPA) by the two countries.
The letter dated July, 1, 2010 and seen by Radio VOP was written to Foreign Affairs Minister, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, saying Makandi Tea and Coffee (Private) Limited , Border Timbers and Forrester Estate (Private) Limited which are owned by a Germany citizen, Heirich von Pezold have been invaded.
“The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany present sits compliments to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Zimbabwe and draws the attention of the Ministry to the ongoing occupation of Makandi Tea and Coffee (Private)Limited, Border Timbers Limited and Forrester Estate (Private) Limited,” the embassy wrote to Mumbengegwi.
“The properties mentioned above are all owned by the German citizen Heinrich von Pezold and fall under the provisions of the Agreement between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Zimbabwe concerning the Encouragement and Reciprocal Protection of Investments(BIPPA) signed on 29th September 1995andenteredinto force on l4, April 2000.”
The letter was also copied to the two vice presidents, Joice Mujuru and John Nkomo, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai , Minister of Finance, Tendai Biti and Lands minister, Herbert Murerwa.
“The Zimbabwean Government should be well aware of the German govemment’s support for the Zimbabwe’s development, which in 2009 alone amounted to over 50 Million USD. Germany is determined to continue its assistance, however will not be in a position to support a government, which tolerates the blunt theft of German nationals’property in Zimbabwe,” the embassy said.
The embassy said on June 18 this year a ‘Mr Mutize’ accompanied by two drunk men ‘violently ‘ invaded the three properties and held hostages two of the managers at the properties. The embassy said the action by Mutize clearly violates international law.
“Once again, the German Embassy notes with great concern that property rights of German nationals and their investments in Zimbabwe are being put underthreat, in clear violation of international law. Despite repeated confirmations of high ranking representatives of the Zimbabwean Government about its intention to honour the BIPPA in full, the development on the ground so far shows insufficient commitment to follow up on its declarations.”
Maize valued at 120 000 US dollars has been removed by the invaders from the farms while an estimated ‘500 000 US dollars’ of damage is being inflicted on the farm as coffee which needs to be attended on the farm is rotting, the embassy said.