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UK steps up regime change agenda, hunts for suspected assets
Posted: Tuesday, July 15, 2008

AFP-Herald Reporter
July 15, 2008
The Herald

Britain is increasingly getting desperate to act against Zimbabwe and has announced plans to hunt down assets of senior Zanu-PF and Government officials.

President Mugabe has previously said he has no assets in foreign countries and told the British and the European Union to seize any if they find them.

Yesterday British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he had asked the finance ministry to hunt down the assets of senior Zimbabwean officials and pledged to ramp up the illegal sanctions.

The British efforts are also aimed at helping MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who is growing desperate to save his political career, analysts have said.

Tsvangirai's term as leader of the opposition expires next February as the party's constitution clearly states that "the president shall serve for a maximum of two terms".

"Tsvangirai wants to get in (to the highest office in the land) by hook and crook. He wants to get in at the expense of people's interests, the country's interests and his own party's interests," said one Harare-based analyst.

Britain has turned to the EU for more sanctions against Zimbabwe after a bid to pass fresh United Nations sanctions against Zimbabwe's leadership was vetoed by Russia and China.

Part of the resolution the British and Americans were pushing attempted to impose Tsvangirai as president of Zimbabwe on the basis of the March 29 results in which he led in the first round before losing to President Mugabe in the run-off last month.

"I have this morning asked the Treasury to work with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to track the wealth and the assets that are owned by members of the Mugabe regime ... so that we are in position to take tougher action at a later date," Brown said at a monthly news conference.

He claimed the assets are held in Asia, Africa and Europe.

The FATF is an inter-governmental body which tackles money laundering and terrorist financing.

Brown said Britain, the former colonial power in Zimbabwe, would return to the UN Security Council to act against Zimbabwe.

Countries that opposed the draft UN resolution did so on the grounds that talks between Government and the opposition were underway.

So desperate are the British, they are now punishing anyone with the name Mugabe.

A furious Sam Mugabe was left without money when her wages "vanished" in Britain's banking system – because of sanctions against President Mugabe and other senior Government officials.

Her bank HSBC mistook Sam (23) for a relative of President Mugabe and froze her 1 200 pay cheque, The Sun newspaper reported yesterday.

Her bosses at a media firm near her home in Camden, North London, feared a computer glitch and arranged for her to be paid again – only for the same thing to happen.

It was 10 days before British citizen Sam – born in Zimbabwe but no relation to President Mugabe – got her money.

She fumed: "Mugabe is quite a common name in Zimbabwe."

HSBC later apologised. – AFP-Herald Reporter.

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