Xi Jinping is no Santa Claus


Chinese President Xi Jinping came into Zimbabwe like a shipment of penicillin to a sick economy and was, therefore, treated to a 21-gun salute at Harare International Airport, with Chinese nationals in the country, school pupils and Zanu PF supporters lining the main road to the country’s main airport.

NewsDay Comment

At first sight, one would have been forgiven for thinking that all Zimbabwe’s economic woes would disappear like mist in the sun when Xi– who presides over the second largest economy in the world – waved his “magic wand”.


But this is not how economics work. There are neither shortcuts nor “miracle money” – even when one inks 12 major deals. At the end of the day one has to go back and deal with the major economic fundamentals.

One has to confront that “avenging economic spirit” that can only be appeased by addressing economic fundamentals: The rule of law, fighting endemic graft and creating an enabling environment for foreign direct investment.

Trying to escape from these fundamentals is like fleeing one’s shadow.

For starters, far from the high tables where these deals were supposedly inked, we are aware that hundreds, if not thousands, of Chinese nationals now resident in this country are selling toys, clothes and food in small retail shops dotted all over, especially in downtown Harare.

It is an open secret that the Zimbabwean economy is desperate for a massive cash injection, yet the cash, the Chinese supposedly doing business in this country, are making hardly finds its way into the formal banking system.

It is curious that some of the things that drove a sulking Zimbabwe from its erstwhile Western colonisers-cum-friends are the same things that, when one reads the fine print, China is demanding from Zimbabwe.

For all its autocratic system of governance, China’s zero-tolerance of corruption and its related ills has probably made a significant contribution to what it is today.

But we know that for many years now, corruption has been a bedfellow with the Zimbabwean political establishment and, where it has been fished out, it has been handled with kid gloves and pampered.

Zimbabwe fell foul with her Western donors in 2000 over the implementation of land reforms, allegations of poll rigging, political violence and other human rights abuses.

So we all continue dashing for the gravy train that will not stop until this country is stripped of all of its abundant natural resources to line the pockets of a few fat cats.

It is quite unclear how the relationship between Zimbabwe and China will bear the expected fruit, particularly in view of the fact that Chinese investment in this country has not scaled the “dizzy” heights as it has reportedly done in other African countries primarily because there is so much uncertainty surrounding Zimbabwe’s political future as President Robert Mugabe continues to hang on to power in defiance of growing disenchantment in the population, advanced age and related health complications as well as the Zanu PF succession matrix.

It is our hope that Mugabe and Zanu PF will be able to read these signs and act accordingly for the good of the country and its future.


  1. This year alone Mugabe has travelled 186 000 km by air. This is the distance covered by an average car in 20 years. And what has he achieved?

    • my Aunty Brianna just got a great Lexus IS F Sedan just by some parttime working online with a macbook…


  2. With a fat thug like Mboko wasting taxpayers money staying in a hotel for a whole year, can the country really progress?

  3. When the Chinese president bumped into Mphoko & grandchildren while they were vacating the presidential suite in Rainbow Towers he must have been very shocked how we waste our money. Im sure he felt like cancelling the visit & returning to China same day

  4. Xi is no fool, this visit is for his solely for his BENEFIT to antagonize his western “counterparts”..Mugabe is like a fool who is given attention by a beautiful woman who has her own agenda’s and is not the least bit enthralled by him……

  5. For the first time Newsday has written an article which makes sense but spoiled it by saying “It is our hope that Mugabe and Zanu PF will be able to read these signs and act accordingly for the good of the country and its future” – as if Mugabe and ZanuPF are two different things or entities. If you do not know then the fact is, Mugabe is ZanuPF and ZanuPF is Mugabe. Mugabe makes the decisions alone, with some help from Grace and nephew, Zhuwao. All the others are just powerless praise singers or blind followers.

  6. Only a hired President or President on short contract would take a ZANU PF government seriously. Unfortunately or fortunately, Xi is not one. Ndiyo yatinoti jema newadya.

    • my Aunty Brianna just got a great Lexus IS F Sedan just by some parttime working online with a macbook…


  7. ust as Micheal responded I am amazed that any body able to get paid $4334 in 4 weeks on the internet
    —————— w­w­w.b­u­z­z­n­e­w­s­9­9­­.­c­o­­m

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