US Ambassador To Zim: When Govt Switched Off The Internet, They Chased Away Investors

Farai Mudzingwa Avatar

If you haven’t watched Trevor Ncube’s interview with Brian Nichols the USA’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, I highly recommend that you do so. The interview touches on a number of topics including sanctions and corruption.

Around the 25 minute mark, the interview touches on something that intersects with Techzim – that is the internet shutdown of January. After Trevor Ncube argues that sanctions are affecting the perception of investors, Ambassador Brian Nichols argues that the actions of the government are scaring off investors, not sanctions.

He backs this up by giving an example of a company that immediately changed its mind regarding Zimbabwe after the internet shutdown:

One median investor wanted to start a lifestyle media company here and when the internet was turned off in January he said, “How can I run an internet based lifestyle magazine here when you can turn the internet off?”

Brian A. Nichols – US Ambassador

At the time, we called out the government for this absurd decision making but they doubled with Presidential spokesperson saying that the internet would be shut down again if necessary.

Of course, this has become a worrying trend in many African countries but the point the ambassador makes it pretty self-evident. Even outside of investors the shutting down of the internet affects local businesses like ourself, and people who work in interner first professions will find themselves out of luck. What will an extended shutdown mean for developers and the like?

With the anti-sanction march coming up on Friday, it is quite sad that our politicians continue to refuse to look in the mirror and acknowledge that corruption and recklessness have done more to hurt Zimbabweans than sanctions. And marching won’t change a damn thing…


What’s your take?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Anonymous

    The government should concentrate on the hyperinflation first. Do something good for the people who put their faith in you. Without them you would be nothing. If only they knew then what they did was the worse thing they ever did, voting for you.

    1. Anonymous

      I have not at one time converted my savings from local currency to foreign because I had faith in the gvt to turn things around. My faith has been grossly shuttered. It’s quite sad.

    2. Pedro

      Ari pabasaka. He gets paid.

  2. GofundME

    What responses were we expecting from US Ambassador by the way?? Just asking. Were we expecting him to tell us that no Zanu PF person has actually felt the impact of sanctions – they go to Dubai to Singapore countries better than US. Did we expect the Ambassador to admit that sanctions affected, Zim Industrial Development Cooperation a big stakeholder in Zim Fertilizer Company ZFC, CAPS HOLDINGS. Did we expect the Ambassador to admit that Stanchart was fined millions for working with ZB bank and Agribank, CBZ was fined 305 million for the same by US. Did we expect Ambassador to admit that senator coones when he sponsered Zidera bill he mentioned in congress that lets make the economy scream. Give me one ZANU person affected by sanctions and i give 13 million Zimbabweans. Studies have shown that sanctions actually breed or increase corruption. They are used by incompetent regimes to hide their failures. Ethiopia has cut internet so many times at one point for 9 months but investors are flocking. Mr Ambassador please give us a break please. Zimbabwe is considered high risk country because of sanctions. HAVING SAID ALL THIS THERE IS NO NEED FOR HOLIDAY. WE WILL GIVE SOME WHITE FARMERS LAND BACK ONE DAY TO GET SANCTIONS LIFTED. THATS ALL WE NEED FORGET ABOUT BLACKS HUMAN RIGHTS THATS WISHFUL THINKING

  3. Anonymous

    Those closing statements though, chenjerai kushaikwa by 3rd force, we’ll pray for your safety.😁