Zimbabwe’s VP Emmerson Mnangagwa refused to travel to China saying the trip was useless as he would return empty handed again.
This comes amid reports the Chinese are sticking to their initial demands which include, among many other issues, leadership renewal in Zanu PF, economic reform and tackling corruption.Government sources said the Chinese only want to invest and give Zimbabwe a sustainable economic rescue package if Harare resolves the ongoing Mugabe succession crisis, addresses corruption and submits bankable project proposals.
Mnangagwa, government officials said, politely told Mugabe that he was likely to come back from China empty-handed, given that Harare had not fulfilled the demands made by the Chinese during his visit in July last year.
Once it became clear that Mnangagwa — who has reportedly fallen out with the Chinese and is now working with the British — was reluctant, Mugabe then decided to send Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko on Monday to attend the 19th China International Fair for Investment and Trade in Xiemen, which started yesterday and ends on Sunday.
He is expected to hold talks with the Chinese on a number of issues on the sidelines of the trade fair. “It is rare that Mugabe dispatches Mphoko to China because that has never been his area,” the source said.
“Mphoko, given his Zapu background and having been a former ambassador to Moscow, has links with the Russians, while Mnangagwa has links with the Chinese, where he trained. It’s, however, likely that Mphoko, like Mnangagwa, will come back empty-handed in terms of investment deals and money.
He is likely to be told the same conditions which Mnangagwa was told.”