Chinamasa says China does not give cash but it is prepared to fund any bankable projects


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Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa today said China does not give budgetary support to any country but it in prepared, without limit, to fund any bankable, feasible and viable projects.

He was responding to questions from Members of Parliament who wanted to know what the minister had brought back from his trip where he was joined by President Robert Mugabe and several government ministers.

“China is interested in funding infrastructural development for our countries. The dialogue and the negotiations with the Chinese authorities are about funding infrastructure in our country, addressing issues of power deficit, dualisation of our highways, railway rehabilitation, water and so on. Those are the projects that China is interested to fund. We came back with a commitment that they are prepared without limit, to fund any bankable, feasible and viable projects,” the Finance Minister said.

He dismissed allegations that when China embarks on projects, it brings its own labour and cited projects in which China was already involved in in Zimbabwe.

The Minister was shielded from answering a question on what Zimbabwe had promised China in return for its investments after the acting Speaker ruled that this was not a policy question.

 

Q & A:

 

MR. MUTSEYAMI: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Anthony Chinamasa – [HON MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

Hon. Minister, with the trip that you undertook to China and with all the challenges that we are facing as a country, do you have anything that you brought as a result of the trip to China, specifically to do with probably financial support from the Chinese to move this economy further? I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (MR. CHINAMASA): I thank you Madam Speaker and I thank the hon. member for posing that question. It will require a whole day to give a comprehensive response but let me in summary say that what we have been able to achieve was serious engagement with the Chinese authorities and serious commitments at the highest levels to fund bankable and viable projects that we put and submit to them.

MR. P.D. SIBANDA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Hon. Minister, besides commitments, do you have any cash that you brought from China – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Sibanda, you may continue.

MR. P.D. SIBANDA: Thank you Madam Speaker for your protection. Hon. Minister, is there any cash besides commitments that you brought from China? Are we likely going to see any changes or improvements in our economy as a result of the tour of China that you made? Thank you.

MR. CHINAMASA: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member for posing the question. It affords me an opportunity to educate the hon. member and the education I give you is that no person gives you cash.

MR. P.D. SIBANDA: Point of Order. Madam Speaker, with all due respect to the hon. minister, this country is well known to have so many educational institutions, which I had liberty to attend outside Parliament. The point of order Madam Speaker is that I do not need education from the Minister, I need answers – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Madam Speaker, the people of this country want answers and not education from a Minister.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order.

MS. CHIGUDU: On a point of order – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible Interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Sibanda there is no point of order. Hon. Chigudu, what is your point of order?

*MRS. CHIGUDU: We did not come here to play, we did not come here to insult one another and to insult ministers – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. members, please do not force me to do what I am about to do, do not force me to be hard on you. May you please give this House an honourable standard. We are hon. members and Zimbabweans are watching you. They want to know about the economy of the country and not what you are doing right now. May you please give members a chance to ask questions and Ministers to respond?

MR. CHINAMASA: Madam Speaker, it is regrettable that some of us are not amenable to continuing education. The response I give Madam Speaker is that China does not give budgetary support to any country in the world. China is interested in funding infrastructural development for our countries. The dialogue and the negotiations with the Chinese authorities are about funding infrastructure in our country, addressing issues of power deficit, dualisation of our highways, railway rehabilitation, water and so on. Those are the projects that China is interested to fund. We came back with a commitment that they are prepared without limit, to fund any bankable, feasible and viable projects. I thank you.

MR. CHIKWINYA: My supplementary question to the Minister is, whilst we appreciate the investment and commitment by the Chinese, precedence has it that when the Chinese come to invest in Zimbabwe, they bring their own labour, whilst we believe that such investment must also create employment and economic upliftment opportunities for our people. What policy measures or guidelines have you put in place such that when the Chinese come to invest, they do not bring labourers positions which are supposed to be occupied by Zimbabweans?

MR. CHINAMASA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I thank the hon. member for repeating these allegations. It is not the first time these allegations have been made against the Chinese but I can only speak from our experience as Zimbabwe. We have projects which they are undertaking and tomorrow, we are launching Kariba South Extension. I have no evidence of people coming to push wheel barrows from China.

Our experience here is that we negotiate, they come with technical people and the labourers are provided by Zimbabwe. You can draw my attention to specific investment where you are making that allegation – where you think what you are saying is correct.

MR. MADZIMURE: Hon. Minister, in any agreement or negotiation, there is a ‘give and take’. What is that Zimbabwe took to China to guarantee all the agreements that we have? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order. That is not a policy question.

(35 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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