China accuses Zimbabwe of understating developmental support

Finance Minister of Zimbabwe Mthuli Ncube, gestures during an interview with AFP at the World Economic Forum  annual meeting, on January 22, 2019, in Davos, eastern Switzerland. (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
Finance Minister of Zimbabwe Mthuli Ncube, gestures during an interview with AFP at the World Economic Forum annual meeting, on January 22, 2019, in Davos, eastern Switzerland. (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

China has accused the Zimbabwean government of understating the extent of its bilateral support, after budget figures released last week ranked China lowly against other countries.

Finance minister Mthuli Ncube said last week that China had provided Zimbabwe with US$3.6m in "development support" ranking it below the United States and UK, who both provided US$50m. The EU has provided US$41m in support.

In the wake of the budget, China's embassy in Harare disputed the figure, saying in a statement it was "very different from the situation on the ground."

The embassy said its records show that bilateral financial support to Zimbabwe was far greater, at US$136.8m between the period of January and September.

"The embassy wishes that the relevant departments of the Zimbabwean government will make comprehensive assessments on the statistics of bilateral supports and accurately reflect its actual situation when formulating budget statement," it said in a statement.

In response the Zimbabwean government tweeted:

The Chinese embassy then responded: 

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