- False promises: Mugabe with Chinese president Xi Jinping.
The multi-billion dollar so-called ‘mega-deals’ between Zimbabwe and China have failed to take off because bankrupt Harare cannot afford agency fees demanded by Beijing, president Robert Mugabe has admitted.
Mugabe told state television Monday that the ‘agreements’ he earlier claimed to have made with Chinese president Xi Jinping had crashed.
“Some are underway. Others have stalled because (the ministry of) Finance could not pay the rates, interests on the funding. They’ve been paying but slowly,” Mugabe said.
He confirmed that his government had given lucrative platinum concessions to a Chinese firm “so the money can be used to pay the debt we have for arms we bought from China”.
Mugabe confirmed that the Chinese were reluctant to advance more money to Zimbabwe after the government failed to service previous loans. Mugabe previously mortgaged the country’s diamonds to the Chinese Red Army in exchange for weapons. He later claimed that diamonds worth $15 billion had disappeared.
The Harare regime turned decisively to China after Mugabe was slapped with sanctions and an arms embargo by the United States and other Western countries to protest his election rigging and gross human rights violations.
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