Parastatals to cede stake in Chinese firms

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AILING parastatals which have long been bleeding the fiscus are likely to cede a stake to Chinese firms in order to access loans under the Sino-Africa Fund as mortgaging of state resources continues.

State Enterprises and Parastatals deputy minister Walter Chidhakwa said three parastatals, including the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), signed memorandums of understanding with Chinese firms to access the Sino-Africa Fund last month when the entities’ heads visited Xiamen city in China for an investment fair.

The Chinese stand accused of plundering the country’s diamonds in Marange through Anjin Investments and Sino-Zimbabwe Development, a joint venture between the Chinese and security forces. They are also involved in the building of a hotel in designated wetland area in Harare, as well as construction of the Zimbabwe Defence College along Mazowe Road, officially opened last month.

Chidhakwa said state enterprises could access the fund for recapitalisation only if they formed joint ventures with Chinese companies. He said the local firms were forced to accede to the Chinese demands by their desperation for capital to revive operations.

Among the parastatals likely to hand shares to the Chinese are Agribank, NetOne, ZMDC, Grain Marketing Board, Zimbabwe Power Company, Zimbabwe National Water Authority, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, POSB, TelOne and Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ).

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