No to corruption

China demanded details of when their investment would break even. There is a further precondition for investing in Zimbabwe - the removal of corruption, one that is not easily achievable, for as long as Mugabe remains at the helm.

“We had a nationwide anti-corruption movement targeting both the tigers and flies and ministers were investigated and some of them are already in jail for corruption. You cannot make an economy grow to higher levels without tackling corruption,” said Wang Wenbin, CEO of the Industrial Commercial Bank of China.

No investor will put up money without attaching conditions. Despite all the liberation war nostalgia – ‘our all-weather friend’ – as long as Zimbabwe extends its begging hand, there will always be preconditions from the benefactor, whether American or Chinese.

By its definition, a memorandum of understanding is merely a letter of intent. What is lost on Mugabe and the geniuses that advise him is that China, the ‘all weather friend,’ is circumspect – if not afraid – to make any solid undertaking. A case of ‘don’t call us, we’ll call you.’ If China had faith in Mugabe, the two heads of state would have signed an actual agreement, rather than a mere MOU, which may as well have been written on the reverse of a paper napkin.

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