The southern African nation, where the economy has all but collapsed after a series of disputed elections, took on Ballard Partners Inc. — run by Brian Ballard, a fundraiser for Trump’s campaign — according to Nick Mangwana, Zimbabwe’s secretary for information. Trump renewed sanctions against a number of Zimbabwean individuals and politically connected companies this week.
The sanctions, along with those applied by the European Union, are an obstacle to Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s bid to revive the economy, which has been hit by shortages of fuel and bread that have spawned the highest inflation rate since 2008. Mnangagwa took over from Robert Mugabe, who led the nation for almost four decades, in November 2017.
“Zimbabwe is deploying all efforts and strategies to influence the public policy of other nations to promote and safeguard its interests,” Mangwana said by text message. “The current sanctions regime loses Zimbabwe a lot of business, retards development and also comes with other social costs.”
The Zimbabwean government earlier slammed the renewal of the measures by Trump, saying it had implemented sufficient political reforms to merit a repeal. The sanctions were imposed in 2001.
For more on Zimbabwe’s reaction to the renewal click here
In addition to Trump, Ballard has done work for Atiku Abubakar, a Nigerian presidential candidate previously blocked from entering the U.S. because of corruption allegations. The Zimbabwean contract, the first with a U.S. lobbying firm in more than a decade, is worth $500,000 a year, Politico reported.
Efforts to rehabilitate the Zimbabwean economy “include lobbying by our own businesses, citizens and professional consultants,” Mangwana said. “The biggest lobbyists should be the Zimbabwean people wherever they are, whose families are adversely affected by the debilitating sanctions imposed upon their motherland.” DM
Watch Pauli van Wyk’s Cat Play The Piano Here!
No, not really. But now that we have your attention, we wanted to tell you a little bit about what happened at SARS.
Tom Moyane and his cronies bequeathed South Africa with a R48-billion tax shortfall, as of February 2018. It's the only thing that grew under Moyane's tenure... the year before, the hole had been R30.7-billion. And to fund those shortfalls, you know who has to cough up? You - the South African taxpayer.
It was the sterling work of a team of investigative journalists, Scorpio’s Pauli van Wyk and Marianne Thamm along with our great friends at amaBhungane, that caused the SARS capturers to be finally flushed out of the system. Moyane, Makwakwa… the lot of them... gone.
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