Zimbabwe’s presidential spokesperson, George Charamba said today that the internet is not really a priority for investors. He said peace is the priority. Charamba had been asked by the interviewer “Do you not believe that its counter-intuitive for a nation that is desperate not only for foreign investment but has a serious need for an image overhaul? ”
On Friday we met a Belgian investor who said “Mr. President, I don’t put my money in a country which is unstable, where law and order is not assured. I look at the authority of the state – can it secure my investments. I look at the judiciary – can it arbitrate in the event of difficulties. I look at the general work environment and say can my works work and go back home to come again. So really, lets not over dramatise false arguments, to think that investors come here for internet. They have better internet services in their own countries.
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The interviewer interjected, “But they need them here when they come for business”. Charamba responded.
Yes they do, but above all they need peace. And that’s the primary consideration. After all, why are we trading peace for internet?
The Zimbabwe government shut down the internet on two occasions in the week of the demonstrations, and blocked access to social media for close to a week. It was only ordered by the courts to restore access when activists approached the High Court.
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