THE Chinese have in the last few years made their presence in Zimbabwe felt through several controversial projects.
Report by Phillip Chidavaenzi
The government has, however, insisted that the projects are part of a broader policy to strengthen ties with China, touted as the strongest emerging economy in the world.
But there is widespread suspicion that this is a spite strategy against Western countries miffed by Zimbabwe’s unflattering human rights record.
Current projects include a hotel and shopping mall in the wetland close to the National Sports Stadium (NSS), a hotel in Mutare, a hospital in Mahusekwa and state-of-the-art defence college in Harare.
The government is also accused of having taken over most of the lucrative diamond mines in the country through joint ventures, a move observers contend is no different from mortgaging the country to the Chinese.
Prior to these projects, the Chinese were accused of opting to do “small businesses” in foodstuffs, household goods and clothing which — apart from crowding struggling indigenous entrepreneurs out of business and cri