Zim-China sign $220 mln deals to fund infrastructure development

Harare- Zimbabwe and China on Wednesday signed agreements worth about $220 million for the development of key infrastructure in the country.

The funding is divided into a $153 million concessional loan for upgrading and rehabilitating the Robert Mugabe International Airport while the remainder are grants for constructing a new Parliament and upgrading of the High Performance Computing Centre at the University of Zimbabwe.

The loan has a 20 year tenure and seven year grace period at two percent interest per annum.

Zimbabwe is constructing a new state-of-the-art Parliament in Mt Hampden which is expected to be able to accommodate about 650 legislators.

Finance and Economic Development Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, and Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe Huang Ping signed the agreements on behalf of their respective governments.

Chinamasa lauded the Chinese for their continuous support of Zimbabwe’s economic development programmes, even when Harare at times defaulted on its loan repayments.

“The extension of these facilities by the government of the People’s Republic of China is testimony to the lasting friendship that exists between our two peoples and governments,” he said.

He said China understood that Zimbabwe was not only operating under Western imposed sanctions but that it also did not have access to outside financial support.

Ping said more deals were likely to be signed between the two countries in the near future.

“The Chinese government will continue to support the Zimbabwean government and people in their economic revival and social development,” he said.

“These agreements we have signed today are just a testimony of our efforts and our friendship that withstands the test of time.”

The Zimbabwe-China deals, though negotiated under the administration of former President Robert Mugabe, are the first major ones to be signed under the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

New Ziana

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