GOVT LETS CHINESE LOOTERS OFF THE HOOK
Government has come out and said action against Chinese looters has xenophobic connotations, as other foreign nationals and locals had also externalized cash out of the country.
Chinese individuals and firms mainly featured on the list of alleged looters and externalizers released on March 19.
This list caused concerns among locals, putting China’s relations with Zimbabwe under the microscope after the country looked east following a fallout with western countries over human rights violations and a governance deficit.
But Finance and Economic Development deputy minister, Terence Mukupe, said externalisation was a nationwide issue
“I think, let us not start saying it is a Chinese issue, it is not a Chinese issue. There are equally Indians, who are doing that, there are equally Makaranga, who are doing that, there are equally Ndebeles, who are doing that. It is a nationwide pandemic, so, then to start targeting a certain section of the population to say ‘these people’ that is now xenophobic as far as I am concerned,” he said.
Under the third category, where funds that were externalised in cash or spurious transactions, Chinese firms and individuals amounted to 114 out of the 157 accused, externalising $357 585 448 out of $462 257 646 in that category alone.
Mukupe’s remarks come as the Zimbabwe Chinese Business Association (ZCBA) has admitted most Chinese individuals or firms on the list of looters did not submit bill of lading documents between 2012 and 2014 when banks did not require such documents.