Mnangagwa alienates China – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary

Source: Mnangagwa alienates China – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 2nd November 2019

As President Mnangagwa goes through his pantomime head of state role, flying off all over the place in expensively-hired planes, Zimbabwe slips into mass starvation and hopelessness impelled by incompetence and corruption.

While he plays with his scarf, the government is desperately trying to repair relations with China after officials seized US$10 million from an escrow account containing funds for the expansion of the Robert Mugabe international airport in Harare.

An escrow account is where funds are held in trust while a transaction is completed. In this case the Zimbabwean officials replaced US dollars with the rapidly depreciating local currency.

China lost patience with their deceit and froze three infrastructure projects it is financing to the tune of US$1.3 billion. The projects are the US$1.1 billion expansion of the Hwange coal-fired power station, the US$153 million extension of the airport and the US$71 million expansion of NetOne Telecoms.

Apparently the Shanghai Construction Group is also complaining that it is unable to access hard currency for the new parliament at Mount Hampden which is being financed by a $100 million free Chinese grant.

Zimbabwean economist John Robertson said: ‘This deception from government is very serious. We don’t deserve economic support when government acts like this.’ (See:

Despite the economic challenges facing the government it has still managed to find $5 million for allowances and accommodation for MPs at the Victoria Falls for a pre-budget seminar. They will no doubt discuss the government’s austerity measures…..

Other points

  • Thanks to those who helped set up the front table and put up the banners on a wet day: Cynthia Chibanda. Evelyn Chigaro. Chido Makawa, Dambudzo Marimira. Esther Munyira, Hazvinei Saili, Sikhumbuzule Sibanda and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Hazvinei for looking after the front table, to Patience Chimba for handing out flyers, to Chido, Cynthia and Margaret Munenge for drumming and to Chido for photos.
  • Thanks to those who made further contributions for the gazebo: Evelyn Chigaro, Tendai Chigariro, Chido Makawa, Margaret Munenge and Sikhumbuzule Sibanda.
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The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 17.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe.