China clarifies parly building donation

Albert Chavhunduka

The Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe has clarified that it built Zimbabwe’s new Parliament – located outside the capital Harare – through a grant and not a loan.

The Embassy also poured cold water on mischievous suggestions that it was the “new coloniser” after a picture circulated of its flag flying along the Zimbabwean one at the construction site.

China is due to hand over the plush new building in a few months.

The Parliament building will be among other projects supported by China, including a pharmaceutical warehouse.

And amid the storm, China received support from various commentators in a pitched debate over its role to iad ZImbabwe, which has been under Western sanctions for over two decades.

In a statement circulated last Friday the Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe ridiculed the smear campaign and falsehoods which were spread on social media which aimed at undermining China’s role and work in the modernisation of the country.

“Chinese flag is hoisted NOT at the Parliament, but the construction site where Chinese company is still working. This is normal practice before project handover. Like all other China-funded projects, the flag will not stay after handover,” read the tweet.

“The new parliament building is built with China’s grants NOT loans. Some are spreading falsehoods about China’s assistance to Zimbabwe so that they are not kicked out of the queue for a handout from their paymasters.”

The China-Aid Project of Zimbabwe Parliament Building weighed in to diffuse the controversy that was circulating on social media adding that the two flags which were being misinterpreted were simply symbolic of the solidarity and friendship between China and Zimbabwe.

In their response the China-Aid Project added that as proof of the ongoing partnerships between Zimbabwe and China, even people from the two countries are working together to build the country through various projects.

“Zimbabwe’s New Parliament Building is fully funded by a donation from the Chinese government. The two national flags flying together in the construction site during the construction period show the solidarity and friendship between Zimbabweans and Chinese. What’s wrong with that? Zimbabwean stuff and Chinese stuff are working together for the inspections,” read their tweet.

The multi-million-dollar new parliament Building is one of the developmental projects that have been achieved by President Mnangagwa under the Second Republic and the new structure will be fully functional and ready for use by legislators in a few weeks’ time.

The China-Africa Economic Research Center weighed and emphasised China’s commitment to help Zimbabwe achieve its Vision 2030 agenda.

“Infrastructure development is key to the attainment of vision 2030. The Chinese government has proved beyond doubt their commitment to support Zimbabwe,” read the statement.

Interestingly, China received support from some former Government ministers who noted that the parliament donation from the Chinese government to Zimbabwe was well backed by documents and agreements.

Another commentator drew parallels between China’s acts of goodwill and the hostile actions of Western countries led by the US.

Government recently announced that the state-of-the-art new parliament building is almost ready, with the Chinese contractor putting final touches to the structure which was constructed by the government of China as a gift to Zimbabwe.

Attacks and stereotyping of Chinese investments in the country have been rampant, which has been viewed as a ruse to undermine the country’s recovery path and re-engagement drive.

Bilateral relations between Zimbabwe and China have been on the upswing, with the Asian giant asserting its investment footprint across different sectors of the country’s economy and a litany of other cooperation gesticulations from capital projects which continue addressing community needs.

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