By Auther Chimbgwa
Newly-formed opposition, The Patriotic Zimbabweans Party (PZP) has accused China of intrusion into Zimbabwe’s strategic security systems and manipulating the country’s electoral processes including the outcome.
Speaking at a press conference in Harare Wednesday, party secretary for international relations Pishai Muchauraya, said Chinese investments in Zimbabwe highlighted glaring meddling into the country’s defence and parliamentary proceedings.
He said this was evident in the Asian country’s financing of Zimbabwe’s parliament and defence college projects.
China bankrolled the building of the Parliament and National Defence College to the tune of US$100 million each.
“…China also has a complete access to data on Zimbabwean nationals, military and government personnel via Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology,” lamented the former MDC legislator.
Muchauraya also noted with concern the threat on mass human settlement displacements to pave way for Chinese operations in various areas in Manicalaland.
These include Mhukayesango in Makoni, Odzi, Nyangombe in Nyanga, Rimbi, Takuza, Dangamvura and Penhalonga.
“The same fate has visited the people of Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe and Dinde just outside the coal mining town of Hwange threatening villagers and wildlife,” Muchauraya said.
He added: “Against this background, the PZP’s position on China-Zimbabwe bilateral relations is guided by our nationalist ideology which holds that each nation should be free from outside interference and the interests of Zimbabwean citizens comes first.
“We therefore propose an end to opaqueness in dealing with other nations and instead open and consultative processes that involve local communities up to the legislature on how the nation conducts its business with its global neighbours.”
Muchauraya said there was urgent need to review all China-Zimbabwe bilateral relations with the view of ensuring speedy repayment options while advancing towards non-dependence on Chinese debt as well as ensuring that current mining ventures involved local communities in implementation and beneficiation of raw materials.
He added that parastatals and local government loans from China needed to be managed by an independent financial body.
“…Mechanisms must also be put in place to ensure that they are properly managed in order to prevent the Harare City Council scenario of purchasing luxury vehicles with part of the US$144 million loan facility and the US$10 million transfer by the government,” he said.
PZP proposed the Zimbabwe Diaspora Bond (ZDB) to fund infrastructural, energy, mining, communication, health and agricultural development projects.
Zimbabwe has an estimated 4 million citizens living and working abroad.
“The diaspora contributes billions of dollars in remittances annually and has surpassed foreign aid.
“In his mid-term budget, Professor Muthuli Ncube revealed that the Diaspora contributed US$1.3 billion dollars to the economy while foreign aid amounted to US$430 million during the first half of 2021,” he said.
Charles Mutoma is the PZP president and currently resides in the United States of America. The party was formed this year and intends to contest the 2023 plebiscite.