Zimbabwe: Zim Engages China On Budget Figures

Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube (file photo).
20 November 2019

Government 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.

This followed a variance of figures between what Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube published in his National Budget Statement that he presented in Parliament last week and figures from the Chinese Embassy.

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 Ser- vices.

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.

In the meantime, the embassy has noted that in the statement, among development partner support received by the Zimbabwean Government through the bilateral channels, the figure of bilateral support provided by China to Zimbabwe is US$3 631 500. This is very different from the situation on the ground," said the embassy in its statement.

"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 comprehensive assessment on the statistics of bilateral support and accurately reflect its actual situation when formulating the Budget statement."

The embassy remained optimistic that Zimbabwe will achieve its national goals and vision.

"The embassy believes that with the efforts of Zimbabwean Government and people and with international support, Zimbabwe will achieve prosperity and development and realise the Vision 2030," said the embassy.

Zimbabwe and China enjoy good bilateral relations which date back to the liberation struggle.

Beijing has over the years been supporting Zimbabwe in the wake of an onslaught by Western countries that saw the European Union and the United States imposing illegal sanctions on Harare.

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