HARARE – The Chinese embassy in Harare has taken the unusual step of disputing figures of its bilateral support to Zimbabwe provided by finance minister Mthuli Ncube in his 2020 budget last week.
The Chinese embassy said there was a US$133 million disparity and has asked Ncube to “revisit” his figures, which showed the United States as the leading provider of bilateral support to Zimbabwe.
“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 embassy said in a statement Tuesday.
“According to our record, from January to September 2019, the actual bilateral support provided to Zimbabwe by China is US$136.8 million. Such a figure does not include the other bilateral supports such as the expense of expert assistance, embassy’s donations to local vulnerable groups and so on.”
The embassy said it wished 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 the budget statement.”
Ncube said developmental support from foreign countries and international finance institutions had “gone a long way in improving livelihoods, as well as ensuring that no one is left behind.”
Zimbabwe accuses the United States of imposing sanctions which have wrecked its economy, but Ncube revealed that the United States was the biggest provider of aid with US$50,064,531 disbursed between January and September, followed by the United Kingdom with US$50,000,375.
China, hailed by Zimbabwe’s leaders as an all-weather friend, placed sixth.