China deals: Caution vital

HARARE - Zimbabwe and China have signed an agreement on cooperation in nine key fields of the economy.

The framework agreement, which will be in force for years, was signed in the presence of Chinese president Xi Jinping and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who is on a four-day
official visit to Beijing.

The agreement aims to promote long-term cooperation in the fields of energy, roads, national railway network, telecommunications, agriculture and tourism.

It covers the exchange of information, exchange of working visits by officials and specialists in various domains of the economy, new investments, expansion and operations of exploration and production, including refining, transportation and supply in Zimbabwe.

China has been sneakily spreading its hegemonic tentacles into the economies of Africa, and alarmingly in many cases, targeting weak economies such as Zimbabwe.

The same situation holds for many countries in Africa.

China is slowly coming into Zimbabwe’s economy as a benefactor: the exporter to Zimbabwe of the cheapest manufactured goods; an insatiable consumer of cheap Zimbabwean raw materials.

That is why it is absolutely important to look carefully through these nine deals. We need to exercise caution, otherwise we end up with odious debt.

While the minister of Finance Patrick Chinamasa has brushed aside reports that Zimbabwe was mortgaging its mineral resources to access the much-needed Chinese aid, his explanation that the said sponsored projects had to make money to pay themselves off to China is pie in the sky.

Zimbabwean politicians are known for their looting as soon as they receive any financial loans or packages. What happened to the Chinese loan meant to rehabilitate the City of
Harare’s water and drainage systems?

Top management looted that money — they purchased new vehicles and flouted tender procedures, inflating prices for many of the purchases that followed.

We hope this is not a huge pay day for management in loss making companies earmarked for infrastructural financial injection — Zesa, NRZ, NetOne, Zinara, Zimsteel.

Chinamasa’s says government did not mortgage any of our minerals to bag the loan. He has been to Beijing three times, and each time returned home empty-handed. The Chinese have
demanded concrete security for any loans or investments.

The irony with Chinese-sponsored projects or investments is that most times they benefit Chinese nationals and associated companies more than locals.

The Chinese are known to only put their money where they provide the human labour (from China); hence they will flood the nine key area projects. China has agreed to sponsor the
projects, like they have already done in the mining and manufacturing industries.

Comments (7)

Clearly the writer does not give us facts in his article about why we should be cautious. Looks like he/she is just an oppose, who is opposing out of jealous. It's idiotic to suggest that China targets trade with poor countries when it is a known fact that China has massive trade with the USA, UK and Europe in general. Trade is much more with these hamburger eating guys than what it is with Africa

Tshotsha - 27 August 2014

Looting is a ZANU PF game.These Chinese deals only serve to facilitate the dirty game.The country won't benefit anything; hence EU long said Zimbabwe was a bottomless pit.Anyway,we are a Chinese colony already & for them,there is no sweat.

shiri nomuririrewayo - 27 August 2014

China has taken over the economies of the UK, EU & USA in both trade & manufacturing.All these countries are now hugely indebted to the Chinese with its US$300 trillion reserves. Zim is only taping into a minuscule of of that money.

mageja siziba - 27 August 2014

The writer is not clearly giving us factual reasons for being cautious. of coz ZANU PF might be a bad team, but guys let us appreciate the good things that they are planning and believe that this time, they wont loot.

Tinashe - 27 August 2014

Well, one can say the reporter is giving factual facts but please not the treats which are being signed are self benefecto as the nation will get nothing out of it. The same signature that Lobengura sold the country is the very one at which ZANU is giving out the land on a silver plata. There so many debts which are in arrears but tikikukoromora zvimwe zvichazozvimbira vamwe sezvo ivo vanenge vaenda kwamupfiganebwe. While we are busy looking east, China is serious in business with the West, UK, EU etc. Ngatipepuke before it is too late. Nyika yakatokoronizwa kare nemaChina. Point to note, in every GVT sector have 2 or 3 China nationalities if not more while we are begging for employment. Mukaziva kuti zviri kufamba sei, muchamuka kuhope?

zvirikumbofamba sei? - 28 August 2014

looting is second nature in zanu pf remember the adage 'Wash a pig as much as you want it will still go back to the mud" so take note

hameno??? - 29 August 2014

Just coz it's China you urge caution, but id it was the USA you would urge "full throttle"!! THIS IS REALLY SICK AND TWISTED!! In case you didn't know, even the Yankies are also looking east coz, as we speak, the USA owes China US1.3 trillion!! KUSAZIVE HAKUNA KUSIYANA NEKUFA!!

ZVOKWADI - 1 September 2014

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