It’s ironic today that those who claim to have fought the liberation struggle and declaring that “Zimbabwe will never be a colony again” are actually aiding the colonisation of the country by the Chinese.
It is no secret that the Chinese have taken over most of the lucrative diamond and other mines and are benefitting more than the Zimbabweans who are supposed to be the beneficiaries of the country’s mineral wealth. There is no shred of doubt that Zimbabwe is being mortgaged to the Chinese by the government of the day.
Meanwhile, the government is failing to provide health care facilities and services to its people. HIV/AIDS patients struggle to get drugs, schools are still under staffed and rural schools operate without basic leaning aids and infrastructure.Our roads are still characterised by potholes and dilapidation, many go hungry and street kids are a common feature.Unemployment is still very high and the economy is still not robust enough for the country to use its own currency. What benefit are these Chinese deals bringing and what development has been spurred by their coming to Zimbabwe?
As if grabbing of mines is not enough, the Chinese have also taken over foodstuff, household goods and clothing shops in most of our towns, crowding out of business struggling indigenous business people and informal traders -predominantly women. The dumping of cheap Chinese clothing has crippled our clothing industry, robbing thousands of employment.
To demonstrate that they are here to stay, just as the British settlers did during colonialism, the Chinese are building Chinese hotels, supermarkets and temples all over. These sell Chinese foods and products thereby reducing the benefit Zimbabwe should get from selling its products to tourists.
They are given permission to build hotels in environmentally protected areas where Zimbabweans are not allowed to build. The case of the giant Chinese hotel in the wetlands adjacent to the National Sports Stadium in Harare is a clear demonstrationthat our leaders have lost all logic and ignored the laws of the land in seeking to appease the Chinese. Two weeks ago even President Robert Mugabe had to officially open the Jin’an Buddha Temple in Chiadzwa- a clear sign that Zimbabwe’s leadership accepts and indeed fosters colonisation of the country by the Chinese.
The British settlers were notorious for praising chiefs and local leaders. Mugabe was showered withpraise by the master of theJin’an Buddha Temple, Kai Hui. According to The Herald of 16 June, Hui likened Mugabe to Chairman Mao and wished him good health and victory in the next elections.
As one enters Zimbabwe through one of the most strategic ports of entry, Harare International Airport,one is greeted by huge signboards in Chinese and English. There is nothing so telling of colonialism than Zimbabweans ignoring their own languages like Shona and Ndebele and writing signboards at our airports in Chinese.
It’s high time we woke up and start advocating and acting against the colonisation of our country by the Chinese in broad daylight. – Maxwell is a development specialist and writes in his own capacity and can be contacted at [email protected]
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