by Staff Reporter
HARARE-A heavily guarded convoy of more than 30 trucks, some of them in the “abnormal load” category, laden with an assortment military hardware arrived in Harare early Sunday morning as President Robert Mugabe’s ruthless government, which has been signing a series of secretive “mega-deals” with the Chinese and Russian governments, could be retooling, theZimbabwenewslive can reveal .
Curiously, a majority of the trucks had ordinary graders, some fork-lifts, water bowsers, some front-end loaders among other innocuous-appearing equipment but these were inter-spaced with a good number trucks that could be seen laden with clearly military hardware like armoured tanks and armoured troop carriers. There were also vehicles that appeared like fire-tenders, but there were at least three that could be positively identified as rocket launcher trucks. A few of the truck had their cargo completely wrapped in tarpaulins.
All the trucks and their cargo were painted in military green.
It appeared like the convoy, had failed to deliver its secretive consignment under the cover of darkness as it trundled up Simon Mazorodze Road way after 7 am under a watchful eye of heavy military escort.
It was not immediately clear where the equipment was coming from. Mugabe was recently in Moscow and there were reports that some of the deals he signed were of military nature.
In 2011, the Chinese were reported building a multimillion dollar military base at Chitamba Farm in Mazowe Valley. Touted as an intelligence academy, the new facility is the largest investment in a military base here in a decade, and the biggest spend on military infrastructure in decades.
Zimbabwe’s “Look East” policy has expanded bilateral and trade relations and China is now the biggest buyer of Zimbabwean tobacco. It is also especially interested in our platinum and diamond deposits. The government has used military hardware from China to wage war against its own people.
It has purchased massive amounts of military hardware from China, including a $13 million radar system, six Hongdu JL-8 jet aircraft, 12 JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft, and more than 200 military vehicles since June 2004 – reportedly using the new-found diamond wealth