China rejects Mnangagwa’s ‘looters list’
The People’s Republic of China has downplayed a much hyped “looters list” published by Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Chinese mining companies and individuals who allegedly externalised more than $363-million were at the top of his list. Speaking at a media conference in Harare on Tuesday‚ Zhao Baogang‚ from the Chinese Embassy to Zimbabwe‚ said the list was not accurate.
“Some of the things are not factual. They would have done better to investigate more and come up with a more credible list‚” he said.
“Some of those people and companies on the list have already regularised their issues with authorities.”
The list was released at a time when Harare had dispatched finance minister Patrick Chinamasa and Reserve Bank governor Dr John Mangudya to China to meet officials from the China-Exim Bank and Sinosure for a possible bailout.
Since coming to power‚ Mnangagwa is yet to visit China but he is expected to travel there in April.
“A date (visit) has already been set and preparations are under way. We fully support President Mnangagwa’s government and I can assure you more investors are coming‚” added Baogang.
By 2016‚ trade between Zimbabwe and China had reached $900-million with China importing tobacco worth more than $200-million‚ some of it through contract farming.
The Asian country also imports cotton from Zimbabwe and the majority of its trade with Zimbabwe is vested in the mining industry.
Zimbabwe‚ however‚ owes Chinese banks more than $100-million. As such‚ going forward‚ Baogang said for China to invest more in Zimbabwe there was need for policy clarity which was a hindering factor under President Robert Mugabe’s rule.