Stop being xenophobic against Chinese looters, says Charamba

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ZIMBABWEANS should stop attacking Chinese investors as if they are the only ones that have been externalising funds in the last decade, presidential spokesperson George Charamba said.

Charamba said the challenges being faced by the country are not mainly because of money shipped out of the country by the Chinese.

He also said it is shocking that on the whole list of names of companies and individuals announced, locals have decided to focus on and attack the Asians yet there are more Zimbabweans named than the Chinese.

The presidential spokesperson added that the externalisation by the Chinese based in Zimbabwe was never among the issues discussed during President Emmerson Mnangagwa trip to Beijing last week.

Chinese mining companies and nationals were among the 600 names of looters published by President Emmerson Mnangagwa last month who externalised over $1.3 billion.

The biggest alleged Chinese looter cited on the list was Jinan Mining Company which externalised $333 million and it’s among those Asians that ignored an amnesty granted by the new administration that took over after former president Robert Mugabe.

In an interview with a local radio station, Charamba said it has turned out that Zimbabweans have a near xenophobic obsession with outsiders as if to suggest that it is the Chinese investors that brought ruin to our economy through externalisation.

“It was never an issue during President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s visit, it was not an issue at all ….,” said Charamba.

“In China you externalise you suffer a penal punishment so when you compare what the same offence carries in Zimbabwe and what it carries over there you will realise that we actually handle people who are guilt of externalising funds better; we are treating them with kid gloves.”

He added, “So, really the Chinese system does realise where we are coming from and what we are trying to do and by taking such major steps.

“If you look at that whole list it has many Zimbabweans, in fact more Zimbabweans than there are Chinese on it.

“So, it just shows that Zimbabweans have near xenophobic obsession with the Chinese investors.”

The presidential spokesperson remarks come after Mnangagwa said before he left for the trip that the Chinese nationals named on the list of looters published last month will face the full wrath of the law despite the fact their government stood by the Zimbabwean government in difficulty times when the West imposed illegal sanctions on the country.

Also, the Chinese embassy in Harare reacted angrily to the list saying Zimbabwe had better know who her real friends are.