'China remains our all-weather friend,' says Zim fin minister

2018-03-23 18:09
Patrick Chinamasa (File: AFP)

Patrick Chinamasa (File: AFP)

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Beijing – Zimbabwe's finance minister Patrick Chinamasa has reportedly said that ties between the southern African country and China remained intact despite revelations this week that a bulk of Chinese businessmen were found to have externalised funds.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa this week publicly named more than 1 800 companies and individuals accused of illegally stashing hundreds of millions of dollars overseas and not bringing the money home under a now-expired amnesty deal, reported AP.

His list showed China as the main destination for funds "externalised to foreign banks in cash or under spurious transactions".

But, according to New Zimbabwe.com, the finance minister said the southern African nation would not hold the Chinese government liable over the alleged externalisation of funds.

"China is our all-weather friend," Chinamasa was quoted as saying.

"Whatever those people do, we don't hold the Chinese government to account. Those are people who come to do business. It's not the people of the Republic of China. And if they don't obey our laws, the law will be persuade."

Widespread mismanagement

This came amid reports that the Chinese government had ridiculed the looters list, saying it was not credible, reported NewsDay

Speaking at a media conference in Harare, Chinese embassy official Zhao Baogang rejected the list.

"Some of the things are not factual. They would have done better to investigate more and come up with a more credible list. Some of those people and companies on the list have already regularised their issues with authorities," Baogang was quoted as saying.

Following the dramatic resignation in November of long-time leader Robert Mugabe, whose government was accused of widespread mismanagement of the once-prosperous country, Mnangagwa vowed to fight corruption.

Mnangagwa in December announced the amnesty deal, which expired last Friday, when he revealed that at least $591 million of the $1.2 billion suspected to be illegally stashed overseas had been returned.

The president said that those on the list should "take heed of the importance of good corporate governance and the legal obligations of citizenry" or face prosecution.

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Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  patrick chinamasa  |  emmerson mnangagwa  |  china  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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