Zimbabwe: Truth Comes From Facts, Not Publicity Stunts

11 September 2020

In the past few weeks, Tawanda Majoni, who claims to be a journalist and anti-corruption activist, has been making up so-called inside stories about the Chinese government being involved in Anjin's business in Zimbabwe. This is an attempt to distort and smear China's foreign policy towards Zimbabwe.

The Chinese Embassy has released a statement on its principled position. Minister Winston Chitando also issued a statement on the matter, revealing the falsehood of the conjectures about Anjin's return. However, Majoni finds it difficult to see his carefully woven lies exposed.

He glorifies himself as a defender of "freedoms of conscience and expression" and continues to deceive the public with more lies to defame the Chinese government, stigmatise the bilateral relations and cooperation, and poison the goodwill between ordinary Chinese and Zimbabweans.

The embassy wishes to reiterate the following points:

First, the Chinese Embassy welcomes any fact-based discussions, debates, suggestions and criticism. But to respect the fact and truth is an ethical principle anyone with integrity should uphold. The embassy respects the exercise of the freedoms of conscience and expression by anyone in a serious and responsible manner. But we firmly oppose the abuse of these freedoms for the purpose of making up and spreading lies, especially to the extent of slandering the Chinese government and leadership.

The embassy enjoys the freedom to clear up the fact and truth as well; it will not be compelled to give up this right by any individual or organisation citing their own so-called "freedoms of conscience and expressions". Majoni makes a sensational claim that the embassy's principled statement constitutes harassment and intimidation. He even goes out of his way to bring racism to the argument, which is completely irrelevant here.

It only shows his hypocrisy, double standard, fears of being caught in a lie, and zero confidence. It also shows that in his view, the so-called freedom of speech is selective and only for himself. This is a typical bullying practice against the Embassy by abusing his easy access to the media, and of course, we must resolutely reject it.

Second, the embassy encourages efforts to share the truth.

In our first statement, we have made it very clear the Chinese government is not part of the business dealings of private Chinese companies. Minister Winston Chitando has also explained the Government policies leading to decisions about Anjin. Majoni flatly refuses to acknowledge information from authoritative sources.

Again, he resorts to his active imagination to put the information in a dubious light, which is another indication of his potential to be a second-rate screenwriter.

In his article on The Standard on 30 August, he claims Deputy Minister Kambamura said in an interview with Bloomberg that Zimbabwe had to re-admit Anjin after an agreement with Beijing; in the 27 August article on NewZimbabwe, the Deputy Minister is also said to have insinuated in the same interview that Chinese pressure led to the readmission of Anjin.

But it is baffling why no individual or organisation has responded to the facts the embassy provided in the first statement. Why does Majoni choose to avoid engagement with the Deputy Minister himself, but pin all his hopes and credibility on a piece of uncorroborated report by a third party almost two years ago? Clearly, desperate efforts are taken by someone to hide the truth from the public.

Third, the Chinese Embassy will never tolerate any false and malicious accusations against the Chinese government, even if the rumour-makers are important persons like Majoni brandishing all kinds of banners of justice. In the first statement, the Embassy stated its views on mining cooperation and a suggestion we have been making repeatedly.

Unfortunately, Majoni has yet to say anything about it. What could possibly be his fears? The answer is clear. The openness of the embassy makes it impossible for him to continue to mislead the public with lies. The embassy reiterates its position that it supports Zimbabwe using mining proceeds to develop itself and improve the life of its people.

We support Zimbabwe in promulgating and implementing laws and regulations to increase corporate transparency in the mining area and promote the sustainable growth of businesses.

To this end, we once again call for the establishment of a compliance monitoring mechanism in all Zimbabwean and foreign mining companies to oversee the lawfulness of their business practices, compliance with Zimbabwean environmental and labour policies, and the use of legal channels to trade mining products and to require information release on the scale of investment, output, and profit sharing.

This is our long-standing position. We have nothing to hide.

Fourth, we have full confidence in the continued friendship and win-win cooperation between the two countries. Not only is Majoni lying, he also usurps the right to speak on behalf of all Zimbabweans, as if his prejudices and personal interests matter more than everybody else's. China-Zimbabwe friendship is time-tested and will not be shaken in the slightest by any rumours or smearing.

Any attempts to stretch differences on some domestic issues into hostility toward China's foreign policy on Zimbabwe will not change China's commitment and practice of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.

We will only be more determined to build cooperation and solidarity with Zimbabwe following the principle of sincerity, real results, affinity, and good faith.

Truth only comes from facts, not publicity stunts that trample on facts and professional ethics. -- Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe.

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