Deals with Chinese costing sovereignty

Zimbabwe must weigh up the advantages of its business deals with the Chinese against losing independence and control, according to Pim Kraan of the Netherlands’ ministry of foreign affairs.

Kraan said agreements such as the recent Beijing $319m loan for the Kariba power station project could cost the country its sovereignty.

Kraan said: “The Kariba Zimbabwe-China loan would bind Zimbabwe to the Chinese for the 20-year repayment period.”

Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Zimbabwean in Harare recently, Kraan said there was need for Zimbabwe to audit of its mineral resources and make sound economic judgements before committing itself to agreements.

He noted that the Chinese did not create meaningful employment in Zimbabwe, but would siphon off mineral resources to Beijing. Zimbabwe authorities were instead urged to pursue more positive relationships to protect the country’s resources.

A prominent Zimbabwean entrepreneur and business advisor, Caleb Dengu, said Zimbabwe was “blindly” getting into unsustainable international agreements because the deals were negotiated by the wrong people. He said the country was not attracting direct investment but investor loans biased against Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe’s minister of finance, Patrick Chinamasa, thinks otherwise. He has said the Kariba deal would go a long way to reducing power outages.

Observers said that, as a concession, China was eyeing up Zimbabwe’s diamonds and platinum deposits.

Post published in: News
  1. mrs susanmunroe

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