In separate interviews with NewsDay ahead of the Chinese leader’s arrival in Harare tomorrow, the opposition parties said the Asian country was sceptical of Zanu PF’s long unresolved succession issue and would not risk making mega investments for now.
According to government officials, the visit is expected to open up new investment channels, as well as cement the already existing ones between Zimbabwe and China.
“It’s turning out to be a token visit and after all the promises and mega deals, the Chinese President is not even going to open a chicken run. All we will have are speeches and hot air about this being historic visits without anything to mark the history,” People’s Democratic Party spokesperson Jacob Mafume said.
“It is shameful that after all these years, the only investment from China will be the gaping halls in Chiadzwa and Marange to store water after the Chinese took the diamonds.”
MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu also said the Chinese would not gamble with the investment money under the current unstable political situation exacerbated by Zanu PF succession wars.
“The Chinese are fully aware of the fact that Robert Mugabe is in the sunset of his political career and as such, they will never commit any serious and big money in the Zimbabwean economy until the succession issue is resolved,” he said.
Madock Chivasa, from the National Constitutional Assembly, said there was nothing big to expect from the visit.
“There cannot be anything to expect out of the visit. Chinese are known for plundering Zimbabwe’s resources with the assistance of Zanu PF and it’s for that reason that the Chinese President is here to solidify their long-term relationship of looting resources, especially minerals,” he said.
Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe spokesperson Pishai Muchauraya said: “We will not be happy if our resources are to be parcelled out for nothing all in the name of embracing the Chinese. We have seen so much exploitation of our resources, particularly diamonds in Chiadzwa, and we hope the visit is not about finding more ways of siphoning our resources.”
Kurauone Chihwai, from MDC, also said nothing would happen until Zimbabwe has a new leader.
However, Zanu PF political commissar Savior Kasukuwere hailed the visit, dismissing the opposition as “barking dogs devoid of mental steadiness”.
“The Chinese invest a lot of money in this country and they are the biggest investor even in the whole of Africa. We will not waste our time listening to what the opposition is saying,” he retorted. “We are looking forward to the visit. These opposition are just barking dogs.”
Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo weighed in, saying the State visit has nothing to do with the opposition.
“This is a State visit and it’s [opposition] not their business to comment on that. The Chinese are our all-weather friends,” Khaya Moyo said.
“We have a warm relationship with them and they helped us liberate the country and continued supporting us for economic emancipation.
“They are investing in Zimbabwe and helping us develop our economy by injecting a lot of foregin direct investment. Who doesn’t want to welcome such a friend? We are not worried about opposition parties. It’s not their business.”