Friday, 9 September 2016

China to bail out Zim economy is Mugabe goes - Chinese opium gift with short term gain but lasting damage. By P Guramatunhu

Zanu PF got a lot of military, diplomatic and financial support from China throughout our war of independence; there is no doubt that the nation but Zanu PF in particular owns the Chinese a huge debt of gratitude. A debt the nation has been paying for the last 36 years; it is no secret that China has enjoyed a favoured nation status in its economic dealings with Zimbabwe. When it comes to corrupt deals such as supply of weapons to oppress the masses or the on-going wholesale plundering of the nation’s diamonds in Marange and Chiadzwa President Mugabe knew he could count on the Chinese as the most reliable partners in crime.
As a freedom fighter, I was aware of the military help Zanla was getting from China; I was aware that China was doing this to get one up on their greatest ideological rivalries but most important for mercenary reasons of exploiting independent Zimbabwe. I was not just me amongst the freedom fighters who was aware of these things but many other freedom fighters too were aware of these realities.
Many of freedom fighters knew that Russia demanded the exclusive fishing rights in Mozambique waters from Frelimo government as one of the prices for Russia giving military assistants to Felimo freedom fighters. Some of us saw the Russian fishing fleet for ourselves where locals were forbidden to fish and saw the processed fish labelled “Country of origin: USSR!”
Due to the secretive way both President Mugabe has conducted the nation’s affairs with China it would not have been obvious to many ordinary Zimbabweans that Zimbabwe too was paying back to China in unfavourable deals. What any politically attentive Zimbabwean could not have missed however is China’s very active interest in making sure Zanu PF remain in power at all cost.
President Mugabe and his Zanu PF cronies’ greed for absolute power and wealth was insatiable, they were willingness to do anything, absolutely anything, to retain power including denying their own people their freedoms, the right to free vote and even the right to life and, of great interest to the Chinese, pay any economic price to anyone willing to help them secure power.
The Chinese leaders had no qualms about helping anyone deny the ordinary people the vote or kill. After all as Communist Party of China (CPC), the country’s sole governing party since 1949, leaders they too owed their political power to denying their own Chinese people the same freedoms and rights. Millions of Chinese have lost their lives on the altar of keeping the CPC in power and, no doubt millions more will continue to suffer and die as long as CPC remain in power. So the Chinese have helped Zanu PF get into power with arms before independence and since independence in more subtle ways such as training the CIO and assisting in vote rigging. In return President Mugabe has granted China special economic favours.
President Mugabe has found the Chinese’s secretive way of doing business much to his liking allowing corruption to grow to what it is today where $15 billion is looted and no one in the regime is alarmed or care.
President Mugabe has looked to China for big-brother protection especially at international forums such as the United Nations. China political muscle as one of the five UN permanent members and economic muscle, it is now the second biggest economy in the world, has made Mugabe so arrogant he has regularly publicly denounce Western leaders confident China will never allow them to punish him.
Indeed it was China who stepped in when the West stopped funding the Zimbabwe government in 2000 for failure to service its already mounting foreign debts. President Mugabe like all big spenders was spending borrowed money but not paying it back. Mugabe turned to China in his “Look East!” policy.
In the 2013 elections President Mugabe was able to successful rig the national elections largely because MDC had failed to implement the democratic reforms designed to stop vote rigging and also because he had billions of dollars looked from Marange diamonds to bankroll the very expensive vote rigging scheme.
However Zimbabwe’s economy was in trouble after decades of gross mismanagement and rampant corruption and President Mugabe hoped to “rig” economic recovery by overwhelming the wastefulness due to mismanagement and corruption by spending an absolute fortune of the economy. He did not have the money to finance his ZimAsset recovery plan. He thought he would win back the West’s finance institutions like IMF and WB and get them to bankroll his plan. They refused!
He had no choice but to turn back to his Chinese friends, they must have fallen off their chair when they saw his $27 billion ZimAsset budget; nearly three times the country’s $10 billion debt which the country was failing to pay back! It is not surprising that the Chinese too refused to bankroll his plan.
With no hope of foreign financial assistance, Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown has spiralled out of control; unemployment has soared to 90% plus, corruption is now so rampant President Mugabe admitted $15 billion was looted and yet no one has ever been arrested, etc. It is clear that the economic situation is simply socially and politically unsustainable; the first thing to go has to be this Zanu PF government since it has clearly failed to deliver economic recovery.
There have been numerous street protests already demanding regime change and there will be more violent street protests and worse until there is regime change or economic recovery!
Regime change is the one thing President Mugabe and his Zanu PF cronies have vowed to resist at all cost but the economic meltdown and street protests have now pushed that cost beyond the regime’s reach. Whilst President Mugabe has managed to bribe, cheat, bamboozle, intimidate, harass, rig elections and even kill his political opponents and critics (with the direct or indirect help of his Chinese friends) to stay in power; he has failed to do the same with the economy (here the Chinese’s corrupt tendencies have only helped to accelerate Zimbabwe’s economic collapse).
Although the Chinese has refused to bankroll ZimAsset they are nonetheless saying they will assist Zanu PF financially to stop the now certainty of Zanu PF being forced out of power if there is no meaningful economic recovery on condition that President Mugabe steps down in three months.
“In what marks the end of President Robert Mugabe’s over thirty years reign in power, China has reportedly told the veteran leader in black and white, to now pave way for Vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, to takeover the presidency within the coming three months,” reported Spotlight Zimbabwe.
“Beijing according to an Asian diplomat in Harare, who spoke to this publication in a confidential telephone interview this week, has made it clear that it can only unlock much needed financial funding for the dislocating economy, if Mugabe steps aside for his VP, in a bid to maintain continuity of her foreign policy on Zimbabwe, while safe guarding it’s cross-section of economic interests in the country.”
China has prop up the incompetent, corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF regime since 2000 when the regime could not borrow any more money on the open market because it continued to profit from its dodgy business dealings in Zimbabwe. As the demands from the wasteful Zanu PF regime has continue to soar China too has found the increasing demands unsustainable.
The only positive thing about Zimbabwe’s present economic meltdown is that it has the economic hardships have galvanized the people of Zimbabwe to demand regime change.
As far as China is concerned the only positive thing about Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown is that it has created a new opportunity for China to Zimbabwe’s leaders into signing a new deal with China. China is hoping the increasing reality of regime change will finally force President Mugabe to accept their offer of him handing over power to their man, VP Emmerson Mnangagwa, as his successor rather than face the consequences of himself and Zanu PF being forced out of office.
The Chinese will spend billions of dollars propping up a Mnangagwa regime confident they will recover whatever they spend a hundred fold as happened with all the money they spend clothing, training and arming Zanla forces before independence.
There is no such thing as a free-lunch certainly not with the Chinese; China’s military help before independence has been like opium – short term gains with damaging long term consequences. China’s offer to bail out the Zimbabwe economy if Mugabe steps down is yet another opium gift with the same short term gain and long term addictive consequences being offered at the time when the nation is at the brink to ending China’s obnoxious influence in Zimbabwe’s affairs!


  1. British embassy spokesperson Tom Oppenheim said: "Media reports suggesting we back par-ticular candidates are not accurate. Our position is clear. We do not and will not support any particular candidate, faction or party.

    "Whoever governs Zimbabwe is a matter for the people of the country, our support for reform is not linked to any particular individual and the urgent need for reform need to be addressed by all politicians of all parties in this country."

    He was reply to the story that the British favour Mnangagwa as Mugabe’s successor and has $2 billion lined up to help fund recovery.

    What the British must understand is that without meaningful democratic reforms, Mnangag-wa will never ever implement any reforms, then nothing will change in Zimbabwe. The people are sick and tired of the problem of corruption and rigged elections coming back again and again. We need a permanent solution even if it means the country limped along for a few more months or years!

  2. @ Ken Mufuka

    Everything you have said here points to one conclusion anyone discarded by President Mu-gabe, regardless of the evil they have done whilst working for him, is an angel! Just because the war veterans have finally seen Mugabe's "dictatorial tendencies", for example, does not mean they have seen their own dictatorial tendencies too and they have changed. These war veterans are going to Mujuru to offer her their services as thugs!

    Mujuru has already shown that she is corrupt and incompetent and therefore not leadership material. You can write volumes of your gruel it will never change the basic facts about her.

  3. A mid-term fiscal policy review presented by the finance minister Patrick Chinamasa this week showed the dire straits that troubled Zimbabwe is in financially. The minister admitted that the wage bill for civil servants ate up 96.8 percent of revenue -- and that the authorities might be unable to meet that bill by the end of the year.

    We are not interested in kicked the can down the road, we have been doing this for the last 36 years and look where it has landed us! What the WB and everyone else out there must understand is that Zimbabwe needs to bit the bullet and deal with the thorny problem of democratic reforms necessary for free, fair and credible elections.

  4. What makes a war veterans is that he or she fought in Zimbabwe's liberation war; whether the individual still consider themselve a member of an political party or not is totally irrelevant! We have lost direction as a nation because President Mugabe and his cronies have politicized everything to make Zanu PF more important than Zimbabwe. This is why we need to implement comprehensive democratic reforms designed to break all these tyrannical links whose only purpose was to make the nation serve Zanu PF when it is Zanu PF which should be the servant!

  5. We are in this political and economic mess because we have a government that is incompetent, corrupt and tyrannical. We have been stuck with this regime for 36 years unable to remove it because it has used the state institutions to deny the people their freedoms and basic rights, notably the right to free. fair and credible elections. Of all the foreign nation China is the one nation that has played the most prominent role in helping Zanu PF create and retain this tyrannical dictatorship.

    There is no doubt that since independence China is probably the one foreign country that has benefited the most from its close relationship with Zimbabwe. The fact that Zanu PF is corrupt and incompetent has suited China to a T. There is no doubt that China will happily bail out this Zanu PF regime if it was confident that the party can hang on to power in the future so it can continue milking the country and recover whatever money it would have spent upfront in the bail out.

    China will NOT want the bailed out Mnangagwa regime to implement any democratic reform and risk being kicked out in free, fair and credible elections. Until we have free, fair and credible elections this country will never cleanse itself of the corrosive culture of political thuggery from which the nation will continue to get the corrupt, incompetent and ruthless tyrants we see today. China wants Zimbabwe to remain a one-party state stifling debate and the right of the people to have a meaningful say in the governance of the country.
    If we want competent and visionary leaders then we must create a new democratic political dis-pensation in free debate and honest democratic competition for ideas are actively encouraged and cherished. Without democratic reforms, Zimbabwe will never realize its full potential.
    What the people of Zimbabwe must tell China in no uncertain terms is that we want economic recovery but that must not be at the cost of forfeiting meaningful democratic reforms. China must not use its economic muscle to continue to impose this failed Zanu PF dictatorship on Zimbabwe, we the people of Zimbabwe will resist such political shenanigans with everything in our power!

  6. Zimbabwe’s main public service union on Friday rejected government plans to cut 25,000 jobs and suspend annual bonuses, saying that would hurt workers already struggling to make ends meet.

    Losing one job is tough but doing so at a time when unemployment is a nauseating 90% and, in all probability you are the only bread winner in the family and are certain not get no alternative job is simply too much! What this Zanu PF regime has failed to accept is that the current economic situation is unsustainable; the regime cannot continue treating millions of our people as if they are ants it can just crash underfoot and walk away!

  7. This is not the first time we have heard of China pushing hard for Mnangagwa to takeover from Mugabe. We first heard this when Joice Mujuru was poised to win the VP at the 2014 Zanu PF congress so China may well have played a direct or indirect role in the booting out of Mujuru from the party. It would not have been the first time that China was involved in Zimbabwe politics; the Chinese made this Zanu PF dictatorship and have kept it in power over the years.

    The Chinese have made a fortune from the exploitation of Zimbabwe thanks to this corrupt and incompetent Zanu PF regime. If China had been sure Zimbabwe will always remain in its sphere of influence the Chinese would have bailed out the regime a lot time ago. The Chinese must have been disappointed to see Grace Mugabe on the political stage after Mujuru and thus creat-ing a new uncertainty that their man, Mnangagwa, will takeover from Mugabe.

    The worsening economic situation and the growing demands for meaningful political change must have forced China to go for broke and demand that Mugabe handover power now before it is too late. Of course the Chinese are desperate to keep Zimbabwe under their thumb and will pour billions of dollars to prop up Mnangagwa but not anyone else for fear the other person will accept their money and still kick them in the teeth.

    My guess is President Mugabe will not give up power, his wife will never allow him to do so. She is still pushing hard to have Mnangagwa removed under the pretext of gender parity in the pre-sidium and have herself appointed VP. Grace knows that it is all or nothing for her because President Mnangagwa will want to settle the score with her the day Mugabe dies.

    The Chinese may think that President Mugabe is their puppet and now they can discard him for Mnangagwa what they failed to factor in is President Mugabe's wife too has a strings on him and he is being force to do mbukumba (African dance to the accompaniment of drums)!

  8. President Mugabe tells his Zanu PF Central Committee meeting to work for the success of ZimAsset and to remain united.

    The economic meltdown will not be stopped by an imaginary ZimAsset blueprint that is dead and buried because no one was prepared to bankroll the plan. The only cheque in the ZimAsset begging bowl is a conditional cheque from the Chinese who are asking for President Mugabe to step down in favour of Mnangagwa.

    As long as the economic meltdown continues to get worse then so too are the street protests because no amount of threats will force the people to continue to suffer and die in silence like sheep. The people will continue to demand meaningful democratic change and free, fair and credible elections as a matter of course. The people know they have been denied their freedoms and basic human rights and human dignity; they are poor, oppressed and ignorant but they are not stupid.

    President Mugabe can continue to blame sanctions for the country's woes but everyone knows no economy in the world can thrive in the face such corrupt as the looting of $15 billion which he himself has admitted but has failed to do anything to stop. He is fooling no one and more significantly the economic recovery will never happen because economy responds to sound economic policies and not cheap lies, excuses or empty rhetoric.
    No one in Zanu PF will ever be fooled by President Mugabe’s call for unity when he is the one attacking everyone else to promote his wife. This Zanu PF dictatorship is imploding because it was built on the misery of others. Regime change is upon us and there is nothing Mugabe can do to stop the tide of change.

  9. @ mastodon
    Mugabe sold the nation's resources cheaply to the Chinese in return for weapons to fight the white colonial regime and the sell-out continued after independence for Mugabe's selfish gain.

    China would happily pay all bail out Zimbabwe on its own rather than allow the international community to help, anything to stop the implementation of the democratic reforms, free and fair elections and the regime change and thus end China's marriage with the corrupt and incompetent Zanu PF thugs and it unfettered access to the country's resources.

    If Zimbabweans accept China's financial bailout then the nation must know that there is a price to be paid for it, just as there was a price to be paid for accepting Chinese weapons before independence, our freedom and economic prosperity. Whilst we had no real say in Mugabe selling out before independence, we do have a say this time. It is up to us to stand up on our own feet and refuse to be China's Hong Kong in Africa with all the exploitation that goes with being a colony of such an oppressive regime.

  10. Here is someone who was been an integral part of this corrupt, incompetent and murderous regime for 34 years and has done nothing to end the madness until the day she was booted out of the party. We are expected to believe that the booting out has opened her puppy eyes.

    "Dog puppies do not open their eyes the day they are born," Mujuru told us.

    Mujuru is not a dog but a hyena and we should be smart enough to know the difference!