UNITED STATES Ambassador to Zimbabwe Bruce Wharton yesterday said Chinese business dealings in this country left a lot to be desired.
Speaking on the sidelines of a tour of Naletale Ruins in Somabhula in Midlands province, Wharton said although China seemed to be making inroads in Africa, especially in infrastructural development,the manner in which it was conducting its business remained a huge concern.
“The competition between the US and China is not ideological. We strongly believe American companies can do better business with Zimbabwe than their Chinese counterparts whose business practices are less transparent,” said Wharton.
Wharton said the partnership between Zimbabwe and the US was genuine and his government’s policy on the country was not static.
“We continue to engage the people in Washington through our embassy here so that they understand the situation on the ground,” he said.
Wharton said Zimbabwe’s challenges lay in formulating transparent policies to attract and boost investor confidence.
Chinese companies’ opaque business practices have been roundly questioned for violating internationally accepted labour practices.
President Robert Mugabe has of late been courting China and Russia as key partners in economic development after Zimbabwe fell out with Western financial backers over alleged human rights violations and political repression.
However, the Zanu PF leader insists that his former backers imposed sanctions on his government because of the land reform programme meant to empower the majority blacks.
The US embassy last year awarded over $64 000 to the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe to restore the collapsed walls of Naletale National Monument.
The support was made possible through a US Department of State initiative, the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation.
The Naletale National Monument was placed on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s 2012 World’s Monument Watch List.
The site is known to have the greatest variety of traditional Zimbabwean culture decorations and patterns, displaying the highest level of craftsmanship of pre-colonial Shona civilisations.
Archaeologists believe the total collapse of the remaining walls would render the patterns irrecoverable.