- Southern Africa
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Zimbabwe: South Korean investment agreements "null and void"
Zimbabwe has in the last 18 months experienced countless investment conferences and international delegations primarily “to explore investment opportunities”. But recent investment agreements between Morgan Tsvangirai and South Korean investors have been declared "null and void" by Mugabe.
Conferences focusing on various sectors including mining, tourism, and water, among others, have seen delegations from all over Africa and as far as Asia reaching one resolution: Zimbabwe is ripe for investment.
On November 1, a strong South Korean delegation from Global industrial giants Samsung, Daewoo and Hyundai jetted in Zimbabwe to explore investment opportunities.
After announcing that "Zimbabwe was ripe for investment", Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, stated that he had held "very productive exchanges" on "potential areas of interest in business" with some of the "key Korean companies such as Hyundai, Samsung, Daewoo."
And despite the need to ensure that the Asian country’s investments were protected, especially after the South Koreans’ expression of interest in the mining, construction and technological fields, as well as their desire to participate in Zimbabwe’s reconstruction, agreements signed between Tsvangirai and the South Koreans have been rejected by President Mugabe.
Null and void
President Robert Mugabe’s spokesperson, George Charamba has announced that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had written to the South Koreans to tell them that agreements signed between the business leaders and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai are all "null and void.
"Their embassy has been informed of the constitutional position and indications are that they have since communicated to Seoul," he said. "We don’t anticipate any problems with Korea on the matter because we have always had cordial ties. They were just not aware that the PM did not have authority to do what he did."
Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF is an ally of the poor Communist-run North Korea which remains hostile to South Korea and has no economic advantage compared to its neighbour.
"We are good friends with Korea but we simply do not have a BIPPA (Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement) with them, we do not even have a Joint Commission and that is the starting point."