Assistance to Zim focuses on development and people’s livelihood, Chinese envoy says

Philipa Jaja

China says its assistance to Zimbabwe is development-driven and that the recipient country sets the priorities.

Chargé d’affaires at the Chinese Embassy, Mr Cheng Yan, scoffed at nations that preach the so-called democracy and human rights without pursuing the most basic human right of bettering people’s lives.

He said this while delivering a speech in Odzi, Manicaland Province last week, where the embassy was donating 500 boreholes to increase access to clean water.

“China believes that the right to development is the most basic (of) human rights,” Mr Cheng said.

“Democracy and human rights are only empty words without achieving economy growth and people’s better lives.

“China actively supports Zimbabwe’s development and provide effective assistance to enhance its self-driven development capacity.

“Our assistance focuses on infrastructure and manufacturing-related sectors so as to meet the country’s real and urgent needs,” he explained.

Mr Cheng said China would continuously support Zimbabwe agricultural and rural development in realizing its Vision 2030 under the frameworks of the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, the Nine Programs of Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and the bilateral cooperation.

He revealed that Chinese assistance was dictated to by the needs of the host country “China fully respects Zimbabwe’s sovereignty and independence,” he said.

“It is Zimbabwe that makes its own decisions on what and whether to build with China aid or not. China never decides anything for Zimbabwe.

“The grants and financial support by China always follow the principles of openness and transparency. Every China aid project is on the ground in Zimbabwe. It’s easy to trace where and how the funds are used and what benefits are generated.”

Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Development, Anxious Masuka described China’s gesture as a milestone in the water sector’s drive to achieve universal access to clean and safe water in light of Vision 2030.

The 500 Boreholes Drilling Project was implemented in Manicaland, Matabeleland South and Masvingo Provinces.

Since 2012, China has donated over 1000 boreholes in different phases.

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