via China deals: Caution vital – DailyNews Live 27 August 2014
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.