China raps Mthuli over distorted aid figures

BY MOSES MATENGA

China, Zimbabwe’s long-time ally, yesterday reacted angrily to Finance minister Mthuli Ncube’s budget announcement, saying the figure mentioned as having been given to the country was much lower than what was availed by the Asian giant.

In his budget presentation, Ncube said Zimbabwe received over US$3,6 million from China under the development partner support received through bilateral channels.
“This is very different from the actual situation on the ground,” the Chinese embassy said in a statement.

“In the meantime, the embassy has noted that in the statement, among development partner support received by the Zimbabwean government through bilateral channels, the figure of bilateral support provided by China to Zimbabwe is US$3 631 500. This is very different from the actual situation on the ground,” the statement read.

The embassy said its records showed that from January to September 2019, the actual bilateral support provided to Zimbabwe by China was US$136,8 million.

“Such a figure does not include the other bilateral supports such as the expense of expert assistance, embassy donations to local vulnerable groups and so on,” the statement said.
The embassy said relevant departments of the Zimbabwean government should make comprehensive assessments on the statistics of bilateral support and accurately reflect the actual situation when formulating the budget statement.

“The embassy believes that with the efforts of Zimbabwean government and people, and with international support, Zimbabwe will achieve prosperity and development and realise the vision 2030,” the statement read.

Ncube was not immediately available for comment as he is in the United Arab Emirates where he is part of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s delegation.The Information ministry said government has noted the query raised by the Chinese embassy.

“Necessary consultations are underway to establish a common accounting position. We thank the Chinese government for their support,” the ministry said in a statement.

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