Chinese fear early Zim polls

Outgoing Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Xin Shunkang, yesterday said members of the Chinese business community in the country were getting jittery over President Robert Mugabe’s push for early elections which he said were likely to plunge the country into political turmoil.

Addressing guests during his government’s donation of information technology (IT) equipment to Senate President Edna Madzongwe and House of Assembly Speaker Lovemore Moyo, Shunkang — whose diplomatic assignment to Zimbabwe ends on June 17 — said he had, however, assured the Chinese community such chaos would be avoided if they work together with Zimbabwe in ensuring peace and stability.

“Last night (Sunday), during a meeting with the Chinese commercial people, they were worried about elections — that there may be turbulence. But I said ‘Don’t be afraid of the turbulence’. Let us look at how we can help the country avoid it,” he said.

President Mugabe and Zanu PF have
declared the Chinese as their “all-weather friends” and have pushed a deliberate Look East policy instructed by this friendship.

Mugabe and his party have made it clear they want elections held this year, with or without a new constitution, and only appeared to have been stopped to reconsider by the recent Sadc summit.

Sadc ordered Zimbabwe’s three principals in the inclusive government to fully implement key reforms before pushing for elections.

Shunkang said he had ensured that Chinese businesspeople in Zimbabwe secured whatever assistance they needed, including access to government officials. He said as his tenure comes to an end, he was satisfied with the relationship created by the Zimbabwean and Chinese legislative houses.

“I am leaving this Sunday, satisfied by the bilateral relationships created between our two parliaments,” he said.

Moyo hailed the donation, which included five laptops, 20 LG printers, 10 television sets and 20 scanners, saying it would go a long way in mordenising the Parliament of Zimbabwe.

“Some of us are quite illiterate when it comes to laptops. I hope I will be able to increase my knowledge on how best one can utilise the machine for the best for myself and Parliament as a whole,” he said.

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