Zim, China sign nine mega deals

President Mugabe, the First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe and his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the people in Beijing, China, yesterday. — ( Picture by Presidential Photographer Joseph Nyadzayo)

President Mugabe, the First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe and his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the people in Beijing, China, yesterday. — ( Picture by Presidential Photographer Joseph Nyadzayo)

Lloyd Gumbo in BEIJING, China
ZIMBABWE and China yesterday signed nine landmark agreements that will see the emerging global giant from Asia providing financial support for the much-needed economic enablers in critical sectors that include energy, roads, national railway network, telecommunications, agriculture and tourism as part of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation.
One of the four pillars of Zim-Asset is the Infrastructure and Utilities cluster which spells out a number of major projects to revive the economy by rehabilitating, upgrading and building key physical as well as social infrastructure and utilities to enable the turnaround of the economy and create business and employment opportunities.

Funding was, however, a major challenge to achieving the goals of the Infrastructure and Utilities cluster, but thanks to close to a year of thorough negotiations that included several visits to Beijing by Zimbabwean officials and Cabinet ministers, nine solid funding commitments were made yesterday by the Chinese government in a development that is set to open a new page in the transformation of the economy by funding key infrastructure projects that create jobs and spur economic growth and development.

Government ministers from the two countries under the watchful eyes of Presidents Mugabe and Xi Jinping become the second major, cluster-specific statement since the launch of Zim-Asset last October; the first being the US$180million agriculture support facility that has since scored dividends for the Food Security and Nutrition Cluster which has ushered the country towards a path of national food self-sufficiency within the first year of the new Government that was sworn in on September 11 last year. The development impact of this agriculture input support facility on economic factors such as employment creation is yet to be assessed.

Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa signed two master loan agreements with the China Export and Import Bank and the China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation. Minister Chinamasa told The Herald after the signing ceremonies that the agreements provided securitisation framework for infrastructural and productive sectors.

“We have signed agreements which provide securitisation framework under which projects in infrastructural and productive sectors can be funded,” said Minister Chinamasa.

“The agreements with the China Exim Bank puts into place a framework under which we can secure funding for projects in the productive and infrastructural sectors on a case by case basis that also puts into place securitisation framework on the basis of which we can then submit projects for funding. But that funding will only come from China Exim Bank.

“The agreement with the China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation is also providing securitisation framework for infrastructure and productive projects that can be funded by both the State and non-State financial institutions. It’s opening up other sources of funding. These projects will be anchored on securitisation.”

Contrary to media reports that Zimbabwe was to securitise the funding of the agreed projects with minerals, the fact is that no sub-soil assets were used to securitise the commitments whose security is enterprise-based and commercially pegged to the performance and cashflows of the state enterprises concerned be it Zesa, NRZ, NetOne, Zinara etc.

Minister Chinamasa said only viable projects would attract such funding, adding that the Zimbabwean delegation was not in China to look for budgetary support contrary to reports in some sections of the media.

“No country sets aside a lump-sum payment for no specific projects,” he said. “Projects must demonstrate their ability to pay for themselves. You will not come to China to ask for money to invest in a project that won’t pay for itself. That would not make economic sense”.

Minister Chinamasa said he also signed another agreement on economic and technical cooperation on provision of emergency food donation by the Chinese Government to the Government of Zimbabwe and a concessionary loan agreement for the NetOne Network Expansion Phase Two project.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi signed another agreement on behalf of the Zimbabwean Government on mutual exemption of visa requirements for holders of diplomatic and service passports. He also signed another agreement on the confirmed minutes of the Ninth Session of the Joint Commission of Economic, Technical and Trade Cooperation that met from August 21 to 22 in Beijing ahead of President Mugabe’s state visit to China.

Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Walter Mzembi signed an agreement between his ministry and the National Tourism Administration of China on cooperation in the field of tourism whose implementation will lead to an increase of revenues from Chinese visitors to Zimbabwe.


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  • lovefreedom

    Just a lot of hot air for nothing. What does “mega deals” mean??? This is just meaningless hot air that cannot even be put down to $ figures. A whole country celebrates $180m previous agric support from China, guess what; Transformers 4 movie grossed $90m in 2 days. This is the lowest point, Zimbabwe this is just so shameful

    • Savanhu

      The devil is in the detail, give us the figures of these so called mega deals. The fact that no figures are mentioned says a lot. I suspect they will come back with the usual meaningless pledges for better cooperation and nothing else. Just like everyone else, the Chinese are very much up to date with what is happening in the country. We are in this mess because of mismanagement and no responsible govt will lend to a govt that is unwilling to tackle corruption. Lets wait and see.

  • pidigori

    The minister of finance is plain waffling about the obvious – the whole world knows you only invest in viable projects. Question is what are the viable projects we took to China? A year into zimasset and its still blah blah … cluster this and cluster that. National priorities should not be state secrets – making them such is convenient cover for lack of strategic thinking and planning.

  • Observer

    Our past experiences with our “all-weather” friends doesn’t quite induce feelings of euphoria & hope. The deals represent what we’ve been saying all along, china is reluctant to invest in zim & they’re making all due diligence & taking all precaution. While our prez had to drag a delegation to Beijing, Zambia had Beijing come to it.. Think about that!!

    • Amai Mandigona

      Hauzivi here kuti ku Zambia kune urwere.

  • The best thing

    The devil is in the detail of these agreements. Lets wait and see…..

  • phil

    pamwe zvingafambe ma roads akagadziriswa

  • Sibonelo Jukwana

    We know China is our aal-Weather friend therefore tell us how much there are pouring into ZIMASSET. Surely if they could put billions into our Enemy UK they should give us more. . And I hope its true State companies will need to perform to be able to repay the Chinese! And that means getting comptetent people to run state companies and get compentent boards!Will ZANU-PF be prepared to remove some failures from the feeding trough: let us see the movie script.

  • thula

    landmark deals, when you read on not even a single deal is mentioned, the Chinese seem not keen to splurge billions to zim like they recently did to Kenya, Nigeria and others but lets wait until Friday maybe they will be details that will make us happy,how ever the trip has been a success for the digital warrior the Chinese know he loves praises oh! boy they outdid themselves.

  • Triparwendo Cele

    The Chinese dont tolerate CORRUPTION. Senior Communist Party officials have been fired for corruption. In Zimbabwe CORRUPTION is embraced at the top levels of the party: that is why the state companies have been systematically looted through legalised theft(Mega salaries). I wonder what promises Mugabe gave the Chinese to enable them to sign the Mega deals, our state companies are simply dead. Turning them around will require us to exorcise the CORRUPTION cancer :follwed by appointing comptence boards

  • Jongwe

    I hope The Herald also sent that reporter who followed Tsvangson’s “much hyped” trip to London to bring us the actual financial figures about this trip. I hope it wont be $150 net profit, kkkkkk.

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    MDCT activists are not happy that China will assist us recover our economy . Their insinuations and negative comments on our dear leader`s cordial reception by our Chinese comrades clearly show that they are frightened to the core of their neo colonial hearts ! This is more so after Tsvangiruza`s (the losing puppet) futile visit to UK! If the US borrowed from China after mismanaging their economy into recession , why should China not lend to a progressive ally! After all we have an abundance of natural resources we can exploit in order to service any loan agreements comfortably.
    Looking forward to a succcesful trip by our dear leader and his delegation!

    • Prof Mlambo

      Progress comments indeed. But have you ever thought of why we have not tapped on our abundance natural resources for the benefit of our beloved country since 1980? Have you ever thought that we are currently in a very big debt which we have failed to service despite the abundance of natural resources? My fellow Prof, Zim has been receiving a lot of funding upon funding from 1980-2000 (before the formation of the puppet party), but is still poor. Why is that? If I were you, i would not celebrate this. We should celebrate if our own resources are exploited by our own people for the benefit of our beloved nation. Why don’t we spend this time creating an environment for our own sons and daughters in the diaspora to come back and invest in their motherland? After all Zimbos are standing up tall in other countries.

    • Dr

      kkk, with all the resources available, how did we fail to pay pack this humongous IMF loan!! kwanai Comrade

      • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof )

        You are very naive because you have not cared to understand the negative effects of ZEDRA . ! If you have been awake since the US imposed satanic sanctions on our economy becoz of our land cause, you would not pose such a foolish question on matters that require using one`s brain! Who told you that Zim is the only indebted country to the IMF? Can you explain why the US continues to oppose and scuttle our diamonds trade after the international aproval via the Kimberly Process? How do you expect us to benefit from our diamonds when US blocks our diamonds revenue inflows and intimdates buyers?
        I take it that you are just exercising your democratic right to debate foolishly!

  • Doufi

    Our biggest problem and threat to stability today in Zimbabwe is corruption, we have heratless people in positions of authority, how does one justfy spending $70 000 more per grader when you can get them for less, for an economy in perpetual intensive care for that matter. How far would the extra spent have helped heal the economy which is bleeding? The sad thing is the person who is suppose to save money justifies this madness. We are borrowing to finance corruption rather than development. Noone should give us money till we no know and set our priorities right. We can fool ourselves but there is no way we can fool a normal proper thinking world. A lot has been said about money coming in but how much has really come in. Yesterday it was money to refurbish Harare water supply system and the people in charge chose to buy luxury cars first before the water equipment refurbishment. Surely those who give out money to such kind of people are very foolish as well. My country has signed trillions of dollars worth of agreements in the past few years but very little has really reached our shores.


    When Zim was not invited to the US-Africa summit, many uninformed and clueless “commentators” moaned that we had lost “a great opportunity”. However, the simple and harsh reality is that apart from the photo-shoots most of these African leaders came back with nothing but “pledges” from the ever sleek & smooth-talking Obama!!

  • ProudZimbabwean

    way to go, a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step..CHAIRMAN MAO

  • Chris Smith

    There is an awful lot of big sounding wordsbut precious little substance