Mugove Tafirenyika 5 April 2018
HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa is said to be hopeful that his
current visit to China will unlock substantial investment and much-needed
aid for Zimbabwe – as his administration bids to solve the country’s
Mnangagwa is on a week-long State visit to Beijing, where he has already
met with the leader of the East Asian superpower, Xi Jingping, as he
attempts to resuscitate Zimbabwe’s ailing economy following decades of
misrule by deposed president Robert Mugabe.
While the questions of a financial aid package for Zimbabwe, and how to
boost trade relations between the two countries – as well as Zimbabwe’s
overdue debt to China – are set to dominate the formal part of the State
visit, both countries are also keen to showcase and cement their political
Mnangagwa told Xi earlier this week how he had been trying frantically to
turn a new leaf for the country from the Mugabe-era, which had seen both
local and foreign investors losing their companies and land willy-nilly.
Posting on his official Facebook page after his meeting with the Chinese
leader, Mnangagwa described the two men’s engagement as fruitful.
“During our meeting, we discussed fostering and developing the historic
ties between our two great nations for the benefit of both our peoples.
“I was delighted to hear President Xi talk of his faith in our vision and
economic agenda, and his commitment to working with our government as we
build a new, stronger Zimbabwe,” Mnangagwa said.
“In this vein, this morning at a Zimbabwe-China business forum, I enjoined
hundreds of businessmen and women from both countries to harness the
tremendous potential of our great nation towards greater economic growth
for all Zimbabweans.
“Forums such as these help us to bring in the investment we require to
create more jobs and develop our new Zimbabwe,” he added.
The Daily News also understands that Beijing is keen on helping Zimbabwe
with a financial bailout, that will be underpinned by the country’s
Zimbabwe has the second largest platinum deposits in the world and is the
fifth largest lithium producer. According to the Chamber of Mines, the
country’s nearly 800 mines also have the potential to earn $18bn a year –
although they were currently only turning out about $2bn per year.
China is also reportedly willing to give Zimbabwe a fresh chance, after
Beijing was reportedly angered by the previous Mugabe regime which was
seen as “directionless and disorganised”.
When Mugabe ill-advisedly expelled mining companies from the rich Marange
diamond fields in Manicaland province, this included Anjin – a
partnership between Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Company Ltd of
China (AFECC) and an investment vehicle controlled by Zimbabwe’s military.
The Marange diamond fields which are located a few kilometres outside
Mutare, are considered to be one of the world’s biggest deposits of
At the height of the mining of diamonds there, Mbada Diamonds, Marange
Resources, Anjin Investments, Diamond Mining Company, Kusena and Gye Nyame
were some of the companies which were involved in the extraction of the
gems in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation
In the meantime, Zimbabwe and China have signed several Memoranda of
Understanding that are expected to expedite the country’s socio-economic
Among the deals that have been inked is one on economic and technical
co-operation, which was signed by the minister of Finance and Economic
Development, Patrick Chinamasa, who is accompanying Mnangagwa.
On the other hand, Foreign Affairs and Trade minister Sibusiso Moyo has
also signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Human Resources Development
on behalf of the Public Service Commission.