Lloyd Gumbo in GUANGZHOU, China—
Cabinet ministers and senior Government officials must not be corruptible and those caught on the wrong side of the law will be prosecuted, President Mugabe has said. President Mugabe, who is winding up his week-long State visit here, said this on Thursday during an interview with Guangdong province’s top television station, Guangdong TV. “Corruption, corruption is part of us to make a choice between right and wrong,” the President asserted. “What is a right thing for us to do? The ethics of our actions.”
He said there were a number of ways in which corruption could be curbed adding that it was not the role of Government and law enforcements agents to fight the vice alone.
“First, your society must be well-schooled on what is right and what is wrong and that’s why we also insist that the schools, the churches and other organisations must give instructions to people as they grow,” said President Mugabe.
He said even if they were taught on morals, people would naturally be tempted to fall prey to the vice, as such any corrupt people would be punished.
“If you detect people who have committed theft, who have defrauded an organisation or company, they must be punished and punished by being sent to prison. We send them to prison.
“And those in the leadership must lead by example . . . Ministers of Government, officials in Government they must be the model of good behaviour, of good conduct, of respecting the ethics of their actions,” said President Mugabe.
Turning to bilateral co-operation between Zimbabwe and China, the President said the relationship had come a long way.
He said while China helped Zimbabwe militarily during the liberation struggle, the focus now was on economic co-operation to improve the livelihoods of citizens of the two countries.
“It’s a fact that the Chinese are part of us as we keep away the British and the Americans.
“They are partners, they are very constructive. Very positive whereas Europe and America . . . when they give little funding assistance to countries they always attach conditions and that is our objection,” he said.
The President said some of the conditions that they imposed were immoral, for instance the demand that countries in Africa embrace homosexuality for them to get aid.
He said it was clear that Europe and America used propaganda to castigate Sino-Africa relations.
“We know they are negative because the approach of China is quite different from their own approach. As I said, they want to use aid to control, China uses aid to promote the African personality.
“The Africans remain in control of their resources and all they are doing is joining the Africans as partners in order to produce more. To add more value to their natural resources. Surely, there is the aspect of benefits. China doesn’t do it always and I think here and there they will be generous and give things for charity.
“They come as joint ventures and as joint ventures you do business together and share profits. Now the Europeans don’t like that but apart from that they think Africa is their God-given territory because once upon a time they oppressed us. They had colonies in Africa. They had shared Africa like a cake, this part belongs to the British, that part to the Belgians and that other part to the French, the Germans. There was that scramble for Africa. Not so with the Chinese,” said President Mugabe.
The delegation toured one of the leading diamond cutting companies in Guangzhou which also has branches in South Africa.
President Mugabe expressed satisfaction with the firm’s performance adding that there were possible areas of co-operation between Zimbabwe and Guangzhou especially in the mining sector.
He said Zimbabwe would want to engage companies with technical skills, efficient machinery and financial clout to exploit minerals in the country especially deep-seated diamonds like kimberlites and conglomerates.
Some firms extracting precious gems in Chiadzwa last year told Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa that they had hit a hard rock after alluvial diamonds were exhausted.
They requested more mining concessions saying it was too expensive to extract conglomerates and kimberlites on current claims since they did not have efficient machinery.
Minister Chidhakwa, who is , part of the President’s delegation, also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a Chinese firm that is into explosives manufacturing that wants to open a firm in Zimbabwe.
He said opening of the plant in Zimbabwe would see the country cut down on exporting more than US$25 million on explosives every year.
Minister Chidhakwa said Zimbabwe would also export the explosives to other countries on the continent since it would be first such plant to manufacture them.