The Herald (Harare)

8 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Govt Gets U.S.$ 1,4 Million Furniture Donation

Government yesterday received furniture and equipment worth US$1,4 million from a Chinese company to be used at the National Defence College.

The 2 836 pieces of furniture, donated by Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Company, includes executive desks and chairs, boardroom tables, beds, computer desks and dining-room tables, among other items.

AFECC constructed the premier defence education centre meant to impart knowledge on national security and defence to senior military officers and civilians from various sectors of society.

The college's first enrolment began studies two months ago.

Speaking during the handover ceremony at the NDC in Harare yesterday, Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa hailed the Look East Policy because of the expansion of bilateral and trade relations between Zimbabwe and China.

He said the relationship should grow from strength to strength for the development of the two countries.

"Our two countries enjoy cordial relations which date back to the difficult period of our liberation struggle when China supported us with moral, material and diplomatic support," he said. "I have no doubt that this donation, being a success story of the Look East Policy, will go a long way in cementing the ties between our countries."

Minister Mnangagwa said the intervention by AFECC was timely as the NDC was in dire need of furniture and equipment.

He said the West's illegal sanctions regime was making it difficult for Government to furnish the college.

"Following the successful completion of construction work and official opening of the college, it was apparent that the next most important task was to ensure that this institution was sufficiently equipped and furnished," he said.

"Without AFECC's help I do not think the ministry would have been able to furnish the institution in the face of the embargo imposed on the country."

The donation, Minister Mnangagwa said, would create a conducive learning environment for students.

"I am aware of the budgetary constraints that the institution is facing as your curriculum requires extensive study tours within the country and beyond and the college is yet to procure an adequate fleet of vehicles for use while undertaking learning and administrative tasks," he said.

"Government will continue to provide the NDC with the necessary support to ensure that its programmes are implemented smoothly."

Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Lin Lin said China would support Zimbabwe through non-interference and open strategies for mutual benefit.

"We are not here for exploiting the country's natural resources but to pursue mutual co-operation with Zimbabwe and other African brothers," he said. "We are happy the economic interaction we have is bearing more and more fruits and we want to continue building on that. The NDC will soon receive ambulances and buses which are on their way from China."

AFECC acting chairman Mr Kan Jiatao commended President Mugabe for supporting the Chinese for "common progress".

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