Uproar over Zimbabwe platinum deal with China

platinumChinas Foreign Minister, Yang Jiechi, was due in Harare on Thursday amid reports his country is to inject US$10 billion into Zimbabwes economy. Unconfirmed reports suggest Yang will seal a deal that could see China controversially take control of Zimbabwes vast platinum reserves, in return for the multi-billion dollar cash injection.

Already the deal is causing friction in the fragile coalition government with MDC-T spokesman Nelson Chamisa telling NewsDay; “Its not a government-to-government relationship, but a Zanu PF-China relationship.

These relations have consequences, considering Zanu PF is a sunset party and the sun shall set on its allies.”

Four days ago it was reported that Finance Minister Tendai Biti was furious at the deal. An Asian diplomat who spoke to the South African Sunday Times newspaper is quoted as saying;

“Now we hear that Biti is not going to China because he feels the transaction is a fraud. He thinks the Chinese want to rip-off Zimbabwe because they know the country is broke and would not in their view refuse that amount of money. Biti is really disturbed and troubled by the deal. He thinks it’s a scam.”

China is being accused of trying to swindle Zimbabwe by taking advantage of its financial problems and offering to pay just $3 billion for platinum deposits worth about $40-billion.

There are also concerns that the cash injection, coming just months before an election, could prop up Robert Mugabes regime which has already rolled out a violent campaign targeting MDC supporters. China is a long-time ally of Mugabes ZANU PF. It supported its guerilla war campaign before independence in 1980 with military training and arms.

China has stuck with Mugabe for years despite Zimbabwe being viewed as a pariah state in the West. In the last decade China has also used its seat on the UN Security Council to block more targeted sanctions against Mugabe and his cronies.

Post published in: Economy

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