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Bigger role for China in infra development-Mugabe
September 18, 2013, 5:35 am

He vowed to make Zimbabweans "significant stakeholders and not mere bystanders to the running of the national economy" [AP]

He vowed to make Zimbabweans “significant stakeholders and not mere bystanders to the running of the national economy” [AP]

China will play a bigger role in developing Zimbabwean infrastructure, especially water and energy, said President Robert Mugabe at the official opening of the first session of the eighth parliament on Tuesday.

China in 2012 emerged as Zimbabwe’s biggest foreign investor with bilateral trade rising to more than $1 billion.

Mugabe has pledged to fight decade-old Western sanctions with the aid of the country’s rich natural resources and investment from friendly countries like China and India.

China’s Sino Hydro and China Machinery and Equipment Company had won tenders to expand Kariba and Hwange Power Stations, each expected to add an additional 900 megawatts to the national grid.

Both projects are supported by a Chinese loan of $144 million.

During Tuesday’s speech, Mugabe also said the capital city will, in collaboration with an unnamed partner, implement a revamped water service delivery plan.

“The plan will see the construction of three new dams and additional water treatment plants over a period of seven years,” he said.

Chinese businesses invested $81.2 million in the manufacturing sector, and another $16 million in the mining sector between January and May this year.

Chinese investments include leading diamond producer Anjin Investments, chrome producer Zimbabwe Mining and Alloy Smelting Company (Zimasco), and a number of energy and construction companies.

Mugabe has sworn to boost ties with China saying “Of course, it would be much better than the past five years”.

During the special Parliament session on Tuesday, Mugabe said Zimababwe would pursue with “renewed vigour” a controversial indigenization law that makes it mandatory for local partners to hold majority stake in foreign firms operating in the country.

He vowed to make Zimbabweans “significant stakeholders and not mere bystanders to the running of the national economy”.

Zimbabwe will continue to demand the immediate and unconditional removal of illegal sanctions imposed by some Western arrogant countries,” said Mugabe.

The US and EU have imposed sanctions on Robert Mugabe, his aides and companies with links to them.

Mugabe, 89, has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980.

The African Union and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) had ratified the August victory of Mugabe as “honest and credible”, while reactions from the US and UK differed.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said after the poll results that “the United States does not believe that the results announced…represent a credible expression of the will of the Zimbabwean people”.

Britain’s Foreign Minister William Hague echoed the US position when he said that there are serious questions regarding “the credibility of the election”.


The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies