This is the story of British investors Stewart Middleton and Sarah Hermitage driven from Tanzania by violence, abuse and intimidation instigated by Benjamin Mengi which included a vicious defamation campaign by IPP Media a powerful media house owned by his brother Reginald Mengi. Reginald Mengi sued Sarah Hermitage for Libel in London in 2010 for posts in this Blog. On 30th November 2012 the High Court ruled that Reginald Mengi was complicit in his brother’s corruption and intimidation.
Judegment Day At The High Court London
Mengi v Hermitage: Libel Claim Successfully Defended
Saturday, 30 March 2013
William Hague sends mixed messages to British investors in Tanzania
Foreign Secretary Speech for British Chambers of Commerce
In this speech by William Hague (which concentrated on hardworking British people in the context of overseas development) he stated that:-
"It will be talented and hardworking British people and companies who propel our country towards a prosperous future, and our government – as you can gather from what I have briefly described - will give them every support and assistance. We welcome your ideas: challenge us, criticise us and tell us how we can do more."
Mr Hague is aware of the Silverdale Case where bona fide British citizens Sarah Hermitage and Stewart Middleton were driven from Tanzania by violence abuse and intimidation. He has been called upon for the support and assistance from the British government that Mr Hague talks of in his speech and specifically above.
So far, the response of the Foreign Office have stated that they is very little they can do to help and have on indefensible grounds stated that one of the reasons they cannot involve themselves in this case is because the investors have outstanding litigation in Tanzania and they cannot involve themselves in it. The investors do not have and never had had any litigation pending against them and it is quite extraordinary that the FCO continues to present this view to all those who are seeking to assist the investors.
Successive British High Commissioners to Tanzania have been sympathetic to the investors. In contrast, Ministers in the Coalition government have turned their backs on them. The then International Development Secretary , Andrew Mitchell, assured the Chairman of the Lords’ Select Committee on Economic Affairs, Lord MacGregor, in testimony to the Committee in 2011, that ministers had made repeated representations on behalf of the Middleton's, and “..would continue to raise this disturbing case with the Tanzanian government whenever the appropriate opportunity arises.”
In fact, Freedom of Information enquiries of the three relevant government departments – FCO, DBIS and DfID – to test this assertion, elicited no evidence that Coalition ministers had ever raised the issues.
Should Mr Hague's speech have included the proviso, "will give every support and assistance to British Citizens in Africa except for those connected with the Silverdale Farm issue"?
Mr Hague's Minister for Africa has gone one step further on a recent visit to Tanzania, not only has he failed to assist the British investors, he has kicked them in the teeth. In an interview with the part owned State newspaper the daily news, he has hailed president Kikwete's commitment to agriculture in Africa: Commending the government’s impassioned efforts towards agriculture.
Mr Hague states in his speech, ".....We welcome your ideas: challenge us, criticise us and tell us how we can do more."
Well what more you can do Mr Hague is keep to your word and indeed give support and assistance to your citizens when they need it including, those in the Silverdale issue remembering always, "If British ministers ignore abuse of the rights of British citizens in another country, they condone abuses of the rights of citizens of that country". We therefore challenge you on the FCO's stand on Silverdale Farm. To read the entire speech click here:-https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/foreign-secretary-speech-for-british-chambers-of-commerce
Commended the Tanzanian government's impassioned efforts to agriculture
29th March 2013
BRITAIN’S Minister for Africa Mark Simmonds has commended Tanzania for its ambition to widen the domestic tax base, noting that a broad revenue stream for the government is important for development
In an interview with ‘Daily News’, the minister said as the country heads towards a larger tax base, there was need for transparency so that companies were assured that the money they pay to the state in taxes was well utilised including a return to productive sectors for bigger impact I sense that Tanzania is doing well with regard to expanding the domestic tax base,” he said. Currently, the local tax base finances the national budget to the tune of 65 per cent of the government’s expenditure, with a 2012 government resolve to have pushed it to 85 per cent by 2015
He urged that there is need for revenue streams to be transparent, not only with the practise of funds going to public systems but also the private sector getting a part of it especially in the productive sectors. “It’s important because we are the largest providers of foreign direct investment (FDI) to Tanzania and I hope more UK companies will continue to come in,” he said
He expressed optimism that with the coming of the vibrant gas sector in the country, he expects that because British companies have the expertise, they would win a fair share of contracts and added that there should be a balancing act, with companies and local communities benefiting. He said that being an Africa optimist, he hoped that Tanzania is 10 years away to becoming the India or China of Africa.
He commended the government’s impassioned efforts towards agriculture, noting that the sector is important to a developing country on grounds that it creates many jobs, but there is also need for value addition The UK has a lot of expertise in value addition in the agricultural sector,” he said. He was impressed with the ambition of government to develop ports along the coastal areas, in addition to building railways with the view to develop the economy