Zimbabwe to develop economy with new friends like China

via Zimbabwe to develop economy with new friends like China | Reuters by MacDonald Dzirutwe 

Zimbabwe will increase economic ties with friendly countries like China to develop its economy as Western nations maintain their sanctions after President Robert Mugabe’s re-election, the new finance minister said on Wednesday.

Mugabe, Africa’s oldest leader at 89 who won a fresh five-year term in a July 31 vote his opponents say was rigged, on Wednesday swore in his cabinet, including Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa who was named on Tuesday.

Pointing to multiple flaws in last month’s election cited by domestic vote observers, Western governments, especially the United States, have questioned the credibility of the outcome and are considering whether to prolong sanctions against Mugabe.

However, African election observers broadly endorsed the voting and its result as peaceful and free.

Chinamasa told reporters the ZANU-PF party government had accepted the reality that the West would not remove financial and travel sanctions on Mugabe and his senior allies and would not release any direct financial assistance.

“Because the doors have been closed by those who used to be our traditional partners, we have to intensify new economic relationships and friendships. That means every country that is friendly to Zimbabwe, including China,” he said.

After Western states imposed sanctions a decade ago against Mugabe over alleged violations of democracy and rights abuses in the former British colony he has ruled for 33 years, China has emerged as a major investor in the southern African state.

It has built the largest alluvial diamond mine in the east of the country and runs the biggest ferrochrome producer.

A Chinese-backed firm will start mining coal in western Zimbabwe and build a 600MW coal-fired power station next year. The government has also given $1.7 billion of contracts to Chinese firms to expand the country’s two largest power plants.


Under the now dissolved unity government that followed a disputed 2008 election, the economy had begun to recover. The International Monetary Fund said in June it agreed to monitor economic programs until the year end, paving the way for the clearing of billions of dollars of Zimbabwe’s debt arrears.

Chinamasa, ZANU-PF’s top legal official and a staunch defender of Mugabe’s re-election, refused to comment on whether these program would continue but said the economy faced enormous challenges.

While Washington has made clear it intends to maintain U.S. sanctions, Belgium, the center of the global diamond trade, is demanding that the European Union lift sanctions on one Zimbabwean mining firm.

Mugabe later told reporters on Wednesday his new cabinet would focus on agriculture and diamond and gold mining to raise money to re-start shut industries and increase government wages.

“We should organize quick-yielding sectors of the economy and these are agriculture and mining. These are the sectors I am looking at to get money quickly,” the president said.

Last month, he threatened “tit-for-tat” retaliation against companies from Britain and the United States if those Western nations persisted in pressuring his government with sanctions and what he called “harassment”.

(Editing by Pascal Fletcher and Andrew Heavens)



  • comment-avatar
    guy Gusu 9 years ago

    No development will come out of the so called friends from racist China. Just give me one example of an African country that developed meaningfully because of its links with China. The Chinese are the worst exploiters of Africans and efficient at bribing the top brass for their own selfish ends.Why are the Chinese trading with the west? Who are the key foreign direct investors in China – the west. So do not be fooled by the ZANU (PF) thieves.

  • comment-avatar
    ZimJim 9 years ago

    China are the new colonial power in Africa. Simple fact.

  • comment-avatar

    Chinamasa you can stand on your head and whistle through your arse,you do not have the brains to steer Zimbabwe to sucsses

    • comment-avatar
      Chitova weGona 9 years ago

      Well said Russell. This Chinamasa is a real idiot who can do anything to please Mugabe. He is an embarassment to the Law profession.

  • comment-avatar
    William Doctor 9 years ago

    The rise of China is over-rated. They are not innovative – they have simply replicated the industrial revolution [after they tried and failed in their Marxist revolution]. Their economic growth has slowed, the majority of Chinese people live in poverty, and they still have to deal with a shift toward democracy. Add to that the fact that they’re surrounded by countries [Japan, India] they don’t like or trust them

    The Chinese have been non-existent in the debate over the Syria crisis. There’s a reason for that; they’re not taken very seriously. Mugabe better wish they become more powerful, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

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    munzwa 9 years ago

    yes the Chinese only exploit and leave no sustainable development, they plagiarise the western technologies and replicate it using their own exploited labor force to undercut the original product.

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    todii zvazvo 9 years ago

    Chinese products are known to cramble within few months or years Lrts take cue from our National Sports Stadium,Build by Chinese besides finishing our digs in the neighbouring density areas the Stadia has to repatched several times, due to structural defects
    ZANU knows we have to court the west for development and also ngatibhadharei zvikwereti veduwe