Wise Up Journal
by Gabriel O’Hara
The wishes of the public and the wishes of individuals controlling the now rogue Irish Government was also further separated last March when it was caught investing taxpayers money, through the National Pension Reserve Fund, in 6 U.S companies that makes profits from the lucrative war industry: Raytheon, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Alliant Techsystems, L-3 Communications, and France’s Thales.
More than half a billion euro has been invested on behalf of the Irish taxpayer in Zimbabwe-based companies, despite calls by the government last week for further sanctions against Robert Mugabe’s “illegitimate” regime.
The Sunday Tribune has learned that the State’s National Pension Reserve Fund (NPRF) has invested over €578m in a variety of Zimbabwe-based companies.
The NPRF was set up in April 2001 to invest money on behalf of the state in order to meet the costs of social welfare and public service pensions in the future.
According to the non-government organisation, Progressio, the NPRF has invested in shares in 14 companies operating in the country.
The investments include one in Barclays Bank, which was last year criticised for lending nearly €1bn to those who had been given land after estates were forcibly taken from white farmers in Zimbabwe and redistributed to those loyal to Mugabe. Barclays received nearly €27m investment from the fund.
A further €14.5m of the pensions fund has gone into BAE Systems, the notorious arms company that has been criticised for supplying Mugabe’s regime with parts for fighter jets.
The investment in Zimbabwe companies, many of which have helped prop up the Mugabe regime, should be reviewed, according to Progressio.
“The first step is that we would be looking for the National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF), as shareholders in the companies, to examine the ways in which the companies are operating in Zimbabwe.” [said advocacy officer Emmet Bergin]
The NPRF refused to commentwhen contacted by the Sunday Tribune.
Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin last week backed sanctions against Zimbabwe.
He was unavailable for comment yesterday on the extent of Ireland’s pension Ireland’s relationship with Zimbabwe, which also includes regular trade between the two countries, was criticised by Fine Gael and Labour last week.
THE Government has come under fire for “propping up” the regime of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe with more than €500m of taxpayers’ money.
Fine Gael Foreign Affairs Spokesman Billy Timmins called for the investment of taxpayers’ money by the NPRF in Zimbabwe-linked companies to be halted. It was outrageous that the fund was propping up the Mugabe regime, he said.
“Fine Gael has, in the past, called on the Government to cut economic and political ties with Zimbabwe and it is unfathomable to learn now that the State Pension Fund is being invested in companies operating there,” he said.
Green Party Senator Dan Boyle, who previously brought forward a bill to require the NPRF to invest ethically, described it as entirely inappropriate to be supporting the “vile regime”.
“It is clear to me that many taxpayers do not want public money invested in companies with links to evil regimes or in the arms industry in general,” he added.
Besides funding wars against innocent populations and allowing the U.S military the use of Shannon airport for trips to and from Iraq, the rogue Irish Government is also supporting another tyrannical government in Chad with the bodies of young Irish men and women, our soldiers, keeping the status quo (“peacekeeping”) by making sure the local repressed population don’t overthrow their abusive government. The Irish public are kept pacified by reassurances from the Irish Government that Ireland is still neutral and how proud they are of our boys and girls who are doing a wonderful “peacekeeping” job in Chad. Now Zimbabwe’s notorious tyrant can be added to their resume.