Has Zimbabwe incurred the wrath of China after the posting funding figures which the Asian giants claim are false and contrary to the amount they have given Zimbabwe between January and September?
Zimbabwe's Finance Minister, Mthuli Ncube released 2019 budget figures to the House of Parliament this week which shows that funding received from China amounted to U.S.$3.6 million from January to September.
However, the Chinese embassy, reacting to the reports says financial support to Zimbabwe within the period in question was far greater. The Asian giants claim they have given the Zimbabwean government U.S. $136.8 million between January and September.
The issue has raised questions and spurred debates on whether President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government is hiding figures or it has just made an accounting error. The opposition believes it is far from the latter.
Some critics believe the issue is evidence that government is in the practice of racking up foreign debt without the approval of parliament; thus, the need to present a wrong report.
Government has said it will engage the Chinese Embassy in Harare to establish a common accounting position on how much Harare received from Beijing as development partner support for 2019.
In a statement yesterday, the government said it was seized with the issue, and corrective measures would be taken.
"Government has noted the query raised by @ChineseZimbabwe regarding bilateral and figures captured in the 2020 National Budget Statement. Necessary consultations are underway to establish a common accounting position. We thank the Chinese government for their support," said the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services.
Earlier on, the Chinese Embassy had implored that there be a relook at the figures that it gave the government as development partner support which it said were at variance with its reconciliations.
"The Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Zimbabwe has taken note the release of 2020 National Budget Statement by the Zimbabwean Government. The embassy appreciates the positive role the Budget will play in promoting the policies and propagating the facts and figures related to the economic development of the country.
"According to our records, 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 wishes that the relevant departments of the Zimbabwean Government will make a comprehensive assessment of the statistics of bilateral support and accurately reflect its actual situation when formulating the Budget statement."
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Header Image Credit: Lintao Zhang/Pool via Reuters