Mugabe says Zimbabwe has gone for 15 months without load shedding- All weather friend China says one Kariba generator to be operational before year-end


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This was in addition to another 19,000 tons of rice Zimbabwe received from China in 2016 following President Mugabe's declaration of a state of disaster after an El Nino induced drought ravaged parts of the country in 2015/16.

Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira, who received the latest donation, was full of praise for the Chinese government for the assistance.

"Today we are witnessing another contribution from China where they are donating 12,173 tonnes of rice to Zimbabwe. We appreciate the gesture made by China," the minister said.

Chinese Embassy official Luo Xi said the donation was testimony of China's commitment to maintaining strong, friendly ties with Zimbabwe.

With weather conditions hovering between droughts and floods in recent years, China also came to Zimbabwe's assistance in 2014 when it donated 500,000 dollars to help flood victims in Masvingo province.

Also in 2014, China and Zimbabwe signed agreements under which China would provide financial support for the development of economic enablers such as energy, roads, railways, telecommunication, agriculture and tourism.

This was followed by more signing of agreements during President Xi Jinping's visit to Zimbabwe in December 2015 where, among others, one was signed for the assembly of Chinese motor vehicles in Zimbabwe.

The motor vehicle deal culminated in Chinese automotive company Beijing Automotive Group Co. Ltd (BAIC Group) forming a joint venture with two Zimbabwean companies to form Beiqi Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd which recently launched a top of the range pick-up truck – the Grand Tiger.

The local partners are the government-owned Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries (which had not been operational for more than four years) and automotive and spare parts dealer Astol Motors who jointly own 49 percent of shares in the joint venture.

China has over the past few years been the largest investor in Zimbabwe, injecting more than 46.5 million dollars in Foreign Direct Investment between January and November 2015.

Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe Huang Ping recently outlined the projects which had recently been completed or were in progress in the country with China's assistance.

These include the new Victoria Falls International Airport which was done by China Jiangsu International and financed through a 150 million-dollar-loan from China Export Import Bank and was commissioned by Mugabe in the end of 2016.

Continued next page

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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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