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Mnangagwa alienates China – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 2nd November 2019 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 03 November 2019 16:44

As President Mnangagwa goes through his pantomime head of state role, flying off all over the place in expensively-hired planes, Zimbabwe slips into mass starvation and hopelessness impelled by incompetence and corruption.

While he plays with his scarf, the government is desperately trying to repair relations with China after officials seized US$10 million from an escrow account containing funds for the expansion of the Robert Mugabe international airport in Harare.

An escrow account is where funds are held in trust while a transaction is completed. In this case the Zimbabwean officials replaced US dollars with the rapidly depreciating local currency. 

China lost patience with their deceit and froze three infrastructure projects it is financing to the tune of US$1.3 billion. The projects are the US$1.1 billion expansion of the Hwange coal-fired power station, the US$153 million extension of the airport and the US$71 million expansion of NetOne Telecoms.

Apparently the Shanghai Construction Group is also complaining that it is unable to access hard currency for the new parliament at Mount Hampden which is being financed by a $100 million free Chinese grant. 

Zimbabwean economist John Robertson said: ‘This deception from government is very serious. We don’t deserve economic support when government acts like this.’ (See: https://www.theindependent.co.zw/2019/11/01/raiding-of-funds-erodes-confidence-in-zim-govt/.)

Despite the economic challenges facing the government it has still managed to find $5 million for allowances and accommodation for MPs at the Victoria Falls for a pre-budget seminar. They will no doubt discuss the government’s austerity measures…..

Other points

  • Thanks to those who helped set up the front table and put up the banners on a wet day: Cynthia Chibanda. Evelyn Chigaro. Chido Makawa, Dambudzo Marimira. Esther Munyira, Hazvinei Saili, Sikhumbuzule Sibanda and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Hazvinei for looking after the front table, to Patience Chimba for handing out flyers, to Chido, Cynthia and Margaret Munenge for drumming and to Chido for photos.
  • Thanks to those who made further contributions for the gazebo: Evelyn Chigaro, Tendai Chigariro, Chido Makawa, Margaret Munenge and Sikhumbuzule Sibanda.
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EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 9th November from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Esther Munyira 07492058109.
  • ROHR fundraising dinner dance. Saturday 7th December from 6 pm till late. Venue tba. ROHR is hosting a dinner dance to raise funds for a Zimbabwe peace building initiative. Tickets £25. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058109, Hazvinei Saili 07857602830, Margaret Munenge 07384300283, Pamela Chirimuta 07762737339.
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil. All proceeds go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe's work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
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