Lloyd Gumbo in BEIJING,China
Resettlement areas are set for a major facelift after China pledged a US$24 million grant which Government will use to build schools and hospitals.
After the land resettlement programme, Government struggled to build proper structures in resettlement areas owing to the effects of the West’s illegal economic sanctions.As a result, pupils in resettlement areas have been learning under inhumane conditions such as tobacco bans.
A memorandum of understanding for the grant was signed here on Tuesday where President Mugabe is on a week-long State visit.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the grant would help address the social needs of resettled families.
“We also have signed an MoU where China is giving us a grant of US$24 million, which we can use for purposes which we desire and already, we have committed ourselves to using this grant towards putting up social infrastructure in the recently acquired land reform (areas) that is towards putting up schools, clinics and so on,” said Minister Chinamasa.
Minister Chinamasa said China was also donating rice worth US$8 million for the poor.
President Mugabe and his delegation last night arrived in Guangzhou Province where they are expected to visit a diamond cutting factory.
Value-addition and beneficiation are a critical pillar of Zim-Asset and President Mugabe is on record calling for value-addition for maximum revenue.
As such, this meeting could create opportunities on how Zimbabwe can learn how to beneficiate its gems.
The President is also expected to meet Guangdong governor, Mr Zhu Xiaodan, as well as officials from Chinese telecommunications firm, ZTE Company.
He is also expected to be jointly interviewed by Southern Daily and Guangdong TV today.
Earlier on, the President and his delegation had visited Shannxi Province where they toured an historic tourist attraction that China deem “Eighth wonder of the World” — Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses.
The museum symbolises the main defending forces that guarded the First emperor in China’s history Qin Shihuang.
In his message in the visitors’ book, President Mugabe said: “This visit to Shannxi province has been informative as it has been educational in that it enabled me and my delegation not only to be in touch with the people of the province and learn from the natural wealth of the province, but also to be exposed to the history and culture of its people.
“The most important aspect as part of the visit was the visit to the Terra Cotta Warriors Museum. We shall forever cherish memories of the visit.”
Shannxi provincial governor, Mr Lou Qinjian, said his province was ready to partner Zimbabwe in developmental cooperation adding that he was grateful that President Mugabe had visited the province for the first time.
“Your visit boosts mutual understanding and bilateral cooperation. You are a good friend of the Chinese people,” he said.
Governor Qinjian said Shannxi with a total population of about 37 million was one of the leading provinces in technological innovation in China adding that about 300 000 graduates were churned out of the province’ institutions of higher learning every year.
He said the province was leading in energy and chemical innovations.
President Mugabe said Zimbabwe would look at possible areas of cooperation with the province.