Xi Jinping tells Mugabe that China is willing to expand cooperation with Zimbabwe

Chinese President Xi Jinping today told Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe that Beijing is willing to encourage capable companies to invest in Zimbabwe and expand mutually beneficial cooperation.

China Radio International says Xi made the remarks when he met Mugabe at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.

The report had very little concrete details of how China would bail out the Southern African nation except that Beijing will continue to back Zimbabwe in safeguarding its national sovereignty, security and development interests, as well as support the development path chosen by the Zimbabwean people.

Zimbabwe and China have signed billion dollar mega deals but nothing has so far materialised despite the fact that Xi paid a state visit to Zimbabwe in 2015 and Chinese delegations have been to Harare.

This has led to speculation that China wants Mugabe to name his successor before it can release its billions.

The mystery over Robert Mugabe’s whereabouts deepened yesterday, after he turned to meet his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, yesterday, hardly four days after his deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, announced that the veteran politician had left China and flown back to his favourite holiday retreat in Singapore.

One of Jamel Ahmed’s houses said to have been seized by the First Lady Grace Mugabe in the on-going $1,3 million diamond ring saga is largely neglected, with its yard being left unkempt. There were rumours that soldiers were now guarding the properties, although this proved to be untrue.

Chinese media yesterday confirmed that Mugabe was in Beijing, where he pledged to strengthen co-operation with China in various sectors of the economy, including infrastructure development and agriculture.

Early last week, Mnangagwa revealed that his boss had travelled to China and on Thursday, the VP told mourners at the late national hero, Peter Chanetsa’s Borrowdale home that he had spoken to Mugabe before the Zanu PF strongman
retreated to Singapore to continue with his holiday.

“I phoned the President telling him about the death and he told me that he had learnt about it through the First Lady, who had read about it on the internet,” Mnangagwa said then.

“I managed to talk to him (Mugabe). He had left China for Singapore and he said tell the relatives that I am in agreement (with Chanetsa’s hero status).”

Chanetsa was declared a national hero and buried at the national shrine, with Mnangagwa presiding over the event as acting President.

Yesterday, Chinese media published images of Mugabe meeting Xi in Beijing, suggesting the Zanu PF leader had either made a second trip to China within a week or had not left that country.

Mugabe is also scheduled to travel to Mali and Equatorial Guinea for yet-to-be-specified reasons.

It has also been reported that the President will fly between Singapore and Dubai, where he will meet some of his ministers, who are making a beeline for Asia, to visit the veteran leader.

Mugabe’s latest visit to China is a follow-up to Xi’s State visit to Zimbabwe and the Johannesburg summit, late last year.

The soon-to-be-93-year-old Zanu PF leader, currently on a month-long vacation together with his family, has lined up several international junkets from his Singapore base, bleeding the national economy and national carrier, Air Zimbabwe, in the process it has been reported.

Last month, presidential spokesperson, George Charamba indicated that his boss’ annual leave would be interspersed with official engagements including a trip to the African Union Summit in Ethiopia later this month.

Mugabe’s surprise appearance in China has set tongues wagging back home, with his critics accusing him of globe-trotting and blowing taxpayers’ money at a time the local economy is stuttering, with the majority of civil servants having received their December salaries only a week ago.

Former Finance minister and opposition People’s Democratic Party leader, Tendai Biti, last month claimed that Mugabe collects at least $4 million from Treasury each time he travels outside the country and about $6 million for his month-long annual leave, leaving government coffers dry.

“Every time the President leaves the country, he takes with him $4 million in hard cash, which in most cases is raided from the RTGS system,” he alleged.

“This is part of the reason why we have cash shortages, because accounts for ordinary people have been raided to fund unnecessary travel. With his relatives and security personnel over the month-long holiday, he could spend close to $6 million.”

Opposition parties and civil society groups have on numerous occasions called on Mugabe to take a cue from his regional counterparts, and cut down on his foreign travel to save the scarce foreign currency.

“The Far East is President Robert Mugabe’s holiday destination of choice. This is a colossal embarrassment to have the entire First Family and their in-laws flying more than 10 000km away for an extended holiday at the State’s expense.

“Other leaders like President Jacob Zuma of South Africa are spending their holidays at their rural homes in Nkandla, KwaZulu Natal, but Mugabe can never spend his annual holidays at local tourist resorts such as the Victoria Falls, Kariba or Nyanga,” MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu said.

Former Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First has also accused Mugabe of choking the economy by his endless foreign trips.

Charamba yesterday confirmed Mugabe was in China. “Yes, the President is in China on official business and held a meeting with his counterpart, President Xi, he later had dinner and, as we stated in our statement at the beginning of his annual leave, he would be engaged in some official government engagements during his leave. You shall see more of those meetings. I can confirm the President is in China.”

Meanwhile Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko has taken over as acting President — taking over from his counterpart, Mnangagwa — who goes on leave until next month.

Mnangagwa has been acting President since last month when President Robert Mugabe embarked on his annual leave.

Charamba, confirmed in a statement last night that Mphoko is acting President from today until Mugabe resumes his duties next month.

“Vice-President Mphoko will act up to the end of this month when His Excellency is expected back into the office,”he said.

Related Posts
Opposition Mistrust Could Torpedo Grand Coalition Plans – Think Tank
Harare,– Local think tank, Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI) has raised fears of an impending fall-out among opposition political parties firming up to form the much envisaged grand coalition in attempts ...
READ MORE
Edgars laments poor trading environment after $2,2mln operating loss in Q1
BULAWAYO—Clothing retain chain Edgars Stores on Thursday reported an operating loss of $2,2 million in the first quarter to March 2016, as weak sales widened losses from the $1,6 million ...
READ MORE
Tensions escalate within ZANU PF as Robert Mugabe’s time draws to finish line
Zanu PF’s deadly tribal, factional and succession wars have gone a gear up as the party’s two major rival camps launch a final assault against each other ahead of the ...
READ MORE
Zimbabwe state asset manager takes up $100 mln in bad loans
HARARE,– A Zimbabwean state-owned asset management company has so far taken nearly $100 million in bad loans from banks to help restore viability in the financial sector, finance minister Patrick ...
READ MORE
Manufacturers and retailers optimistic of positive effect of bond notes to economy
Zimbabwe manufaturers and retailers are expressing optimism that the introduction of bond notes in the market early next month will improve liquidity in the market. Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr ...
READ MORE
Endgame: Robert Mugabe deploys army, police and thugs in the streets as he faces ouster
HARARE - Heavily armed military men and riot police patrolled Zimbabwe's capital Harare and other cities Wednesday after authorities vowed to prevent further protests against President Robert Mugabe's government. Organisers of ...
READ MORE
Warrant of arrest for ‘fraudster’ Prophet Angel
HARARE - A warrant of arrest has been issued for Spirit Embassy Church leader Prophet Uebert Angel Mudzanire after he failed to appear in court to answer to fraud charges ...
READ MORE
Economy to grow by 2,7pct in 2016 – Chinamasa (Full Copy)
HARARE,– Zimbabwe’s finance minister Patrick Chinamasa on Thursday said the economy will expand by 2,7 percent in 2016, from 1,5 percent this year, adding that the country’s growth prospects hinge ...
READ MORE
Reliving The Collapse Of A Giant
WHEN 57-year-old Cecilia Sibanda boarded a ramshackle coach at Mbare Musika’s long-distance bus termini on a chilly morning of July 25 this year headed for Mwenezi, she was optimistic about ...
READ MORE
Robert Mugabe to stay on as Zimbabwe’s president
ZIMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe says he has decided to stay on as president as he wants to prevent regime change that‚ he says‚ has been promised by the US. Speaking at ...
READ MORE
Opposition Mistrust Could Torpedo Grand Coalition Plans –
Edgars laments poor trading environment after $2,2mln operating
Tensions escalate within ZANU PF as Robert Mugabe’s
Zimbabwe state asset manager takes up $100 mln
Manufacturers and retailers optimistic of positive effect of
Endgame: Robert Mugabe deploys army, police and thugs
Warrant of arrest for ‘fraudster’ Prophet Angel
Economy to grow by 2,7pct in 2016 –
Reliving The Collapse Of A Giant
Robert Mugabe to stay on as Zimbabwe’s president

Arts & Entertainment

Arts & Entertainment

Paris Jackson ‘wants to vomit’ seeing white actor as ‘King of Pop’

12th January 2017 Staff Reporter 0

Michael Jackson’s daughter Paris says she is “incredibly offended” by a new comic film in which a white British actor, Joseph Fiennes, portrays the late “King of Pop.” Paris Jackson, 18, also called the tongue-in-cheek […]