Saturday, July 16, 2005

The China connection



In a document released by the archbishop's office - entitled "State in Fear - Zimbabwe's tragedy is Africa's shame" co-authored by the archbishop and Roger Bate, who is the resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute at Washington DC and Richard Tren, who is director, Africa Fighting Malaria, in Johannesburg - they argue the controversial clean up campaign "has pointed to the removal of local competition threatening newly-arrived Chinese businessmen whose stores sell cheap and often poor quality goods".

Influx of Chinese citizens

The document reports that Chinese investors in Zimbabwe were reported to have interests in Hwange colliery, electricity generation and platinum mining.

They note too that the Zimbabwean government had purchased goods from China "such as three commercial airplanes, buses, K-8 jet trainers and military vehicles, small armaments and riot control equipment".

China was also a major backer of the ruling Zanu-PF military campaign during the war against the former regime of Prime Minister Ian Smith.

New authority

Assessing the consequences of the operation - which has devastated both Harare and Bulawayo's informal settlements as well as informal businesses in recent weeks - the three noted that the licensing of stallholders had been taken out of the control of city councils - which were dominated by opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) members - and applications were now being dealt with by inter-ministerial committees.

Land vacated by razed settlements has already been pegged out for houses to be built "which are reportedly being reallocated to police, army and party officials, which is consistent with Mugabe's past method of rewarding those who do his grizzly bidding", said the report.

AEI is right wing think tank, but usually puts out economic stuff...again, since I know nothing about economics, I report, you decide...

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