The Zimbabwean government has blacklisted several Chinese companies for offering bribes to local officials to secure tenders, president Robert Mugabe has said.
He told a conference of the ruling Zanu PF party that he had informed Chinese president Xi Jinping of the development during a recent meeting.
Mugabe admitted for the first time that his ministers were corrupt and inflated tenders by up to three million dollars each, pocketing the difference at the expense of the people and service delivery. Several senior state officials, including vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa and war veterans minister Christopher Mutsvangwa were named in the scandal. Mugabe threatened to send culprits to jail but claimed there was no hard evidence to pin them down, an excuse also used to exonerate former vice president Joice Mujuru, sacked in 2013 for corruption, among other charges.
China has signed a flurry of deals with Mugabe in recent years but many of the multi-billion dollar promises remain unfulfilled. Chinese officials told Mugabe recently to deal with corruption in government if he wanted more aid from Beijing, which remains one of Harare’s few powerful allies after the West ditched the long-time ruler for election fraud, political murder and embezzlement of state resources.
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