Breaking News

China printing new Zimbabwe currency in exchange for oil and diamonds

by Itai Mushekwe
14 December 2018 | 98649 Views
COLOGNE - China has intensified it's grip, control and access to Zimbabwe's mineral wealth by reportedly demanding diamonds and oil drilling rights from President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government, as payment for printing and backing a new Zimbabwe currency, and the building of an opulent new capital city in Mount Hampden, Spotlight Zimbabwe has reported.

The new Zimbabwe dollar is expected to be launched in early 2020, to repeal and replace the surrogate currency of bond notes, and will be backed by the country's diamond and gold reserves supported by Beijing, which holds the largest diamond reserves in Asia, diplomatic sources in Harare said this week.

Mt Hampden city, the new capital city, itself a Mnangagwa brainchild mooted when he was still vice president in 2015, is expected to be operational when a new Chinese funded parliament in the city is completed around 2021.

Mount Hampden is situated some 20km from central Harare, and is also nearby to the landmark Charles Prince Airport in Mashonaland East Province.

Prominent features of the new capital, which is part of a grand strategy to de-congest Harare, and designed in the mould of South Africa's economic capital Johannesburg, include a university, technology centre, schools, churches, hospitals, industrial sites, residential areas, shopping malls, and hotels. The city will house the new parliament complex at a value of more than US$140 million, together with a new State House for the head of state, including the official residences for the Speaker of parliament and the Senate president.

Zimbabwe trashed its fiat currency in 2009 after it was ravaged by hyper-inflation which had peaked at around 500 billion percent, rendering it unusable. It then adopted a slew of foreign currencies, including the US dollar, the South African rand, the British pound and the Euro.

"It is all about oil and diamonds," said one envoy representing a South Asian country. "China has demanded for oil rights and exclusive access to your country's diamonds in Marange, without having to cede ownership of those assests to locals under the indigenisation threshold. It will soon not be applying to their firms coming back to mine diamonds, following a fallout with Robert Mugabe's government. Actually it could be the reason why Mugabe is no longer in power, because he wanted Chinese companies to be under Zimbabwean miners thus posing a threat to Beijing's diamond interests and long term future reserves. Marange had become their biggest foreign source of diamonds to supplement, about 50% of their proven diamond reserves concentrated in the Liaoning Province. That is why they're generously constructing the new city, and working on the new Zimbabwe dollar set to be launched in early 2020. It is being printed as we speak, but the date of introduction remains a secret."

In July 2017, Mnangagwa, then VP, was quoted by a state newspaper saying that government was "building diamond and gold reserves to back the local currency upon its re-introduction in future".

"We are building reserves of gold and diamonds which if they reach a certain level I will not tell you here, it will then allow us to introduce our own currency that will be backed by those minerals. I am not at liberty to disclose to you the level that we want those minerals to reach before they can back our own currency," Mnangagwa was quoted as saying.




Another diplomat said China had signed a deal on access to Zimbabwe's oil and gas exploration in 2009, but it had not yet been formalised.

"The departure of President Mugabe affected many deals with China, as they had to be revisted when Mnangagwa came in," said the diplomat from her mission residence by phone last night. "They're in desperate need to secure oil for future energy security, and the 2009 deal now formalised, gives them oil and gas exploration rights covering millions of acres of land on the Zambezi Valley, amid strong belief that this country holds huge oil and natural gas deposits according to feasibility studies conducted by a five-member team of Chinese oil experts that has been resident in Zimbabwe since 2008."

"Major players in the deal includes senior military and intelligence officers, Mnangagwa's Zanu PF party, China Sonangol International Limited , China National Petroleum Corporation and the China Development Bank. Not everything makes it into the newspapers, but Zimbabwe will soon have a new currency and capital city because this deal has been sealed, and your president is coming up with a favorable new diamond policy to appease China, which should be signed into law soon."

According to the U.S Energy Information Administration (EIA), China is going to be having about 120 million private cars by 2020, and is projected to import at least 60 percent of her oil requirements.

Oil exploration and production has now become one of the key areas of Beijing's foreign investments in Zimbabwe and Africa. The Asian economic powerhouse has also increased her diplomatic and economic engagement in Southern Africa, especially with South Africa and Angola.

Despite not importing oil products from South Africa, China has set out to benefit and acquire South Africa's technology in the energy sector, particularly the advanced refining and gasification infrastructure of Sasol, a South African based International firm.

The Chinese Embassy could not provide comment, as acting Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Zhao Baogang, was said to be out of office for the day yesterday late afternoon.

China is now Zimbabwe's second largest trading partner after South Africa and leading arms supplier, benefiting immensely from Harare's blind mortgaging of natural resources in exchange for arms and other military technology. The government has already granted China mineral concessions for gold, platinum, lithium, aluminum and zinc to mention but a few.

Zanu PF MDC Obert Gutu

Source: spotlight

Comments

Latest News

Mnangagwa and Matabeleland leaders finally find each other

by Matabeleland Collective | 22 March 2019 | 1 Views

Mnangagwa to support Gukurahundi victims

by Mandla Ndlovu | 22 March 2019 | 2 Views

Chamisa, Mnangagwa cancel Bulawayo, Shurugwi rallies - THE MDC has can...

by Staff reporter | 22 March 2019 | 1 Views

Operation Florian to train BCC fire fighters - United Kingdom-based ch...

by Staff reporter | 22 March 2019 | 1 Views

Airlifted leather sofas trigger PR disaster as Mnangagwa meets Idai vi...

by Staff reporter | 22 March 2019 | 1 Views

Hwende disowns Twitter account

by Staff reporter | 22 March 2019 | 1 Views

Teachers reject $129 salary deal

by Staff reporter | 22 March 2019 | 1 Views

Zanu-PF MP under fire for 'lying', deserting cyclone victims - CHIMANI...

by Staff reporter | 22 March 2019 | 1 Views

Victoria Falls tour operators dispatch helicopters, rafters to Chimani...

by Staff reporter | 22 March 2019 | 1 Views

Obert Mpofu's ex-employee freed on $500 bail

by Staff reporter | 22 March 2019 | 2 Views

Gweru in major roads rehabilitation exercise - GWERU City Council has ...

by Staff reporter | 22 March 2019 | 1 Views

Bulawayo's fire brigade defies odds

by Ben Sheppard I AFP | 22 March 2019 | 1 Views

Fuel shortages worsen

by Staff reporter | 22 March 2019 | 1 Views

New telecoms tariffs loom - CONSUMERS of telecommunications services m...

by Staff reporter | 22 March 2019 | 1 Views

Auxillia Mnangagwa throws out chief, MP from event

by ZimLive | 22 March 2019 | 1 Views

Chamisa's MDC on fire - THE intense jostling for positions within the ...

by Staff reporter | 22 March 2019 | 1 Views

Zenzele Ndebele freed after arrest at Mnangagwa event

by ZimLive | 22 March 2019 | 1 Views

Govt use of violence on its own people is tragic - Continued from last...

by Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield | 22 March 2019 | 1 Views

Cyclone did not affect fuel pipeline, says Gumbo - Energy and Power De...

by Staff reporter | 22 March 2019 | 2 Views

Wicknell Chivayo acquitted

by Staff reporter | 22 March 2019 | 1 Views

Zimbabwe blocks US$1bn pipeline project - THE Ministry of Energy has b...

by Staff reporter | 22 March 2019 | 1 Views

cCourt to decide on Mphoko pension

by Staff reporter | 22 March 2019 | 1 Views

Mnangagwa must be open on deals

by Staff reporter | 22 March 2019 | 1 Views

Mliswa takes Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi head on again

by Mandla Ndlovu | 22 March 2019 | 1 Views

BREAKING: Journalist Zenzele Ndebele freed

by Mandla Ndlovu | 22 March 2019 | 1 Views

Mnangagwa snubs Warriors

by Mandla Ndlovu | 22 March 2019 | 1 Views

Army told China Mnangagwa’s power expires in 2020

by Spotlight | 22 March 2019 | 7 Views

Mnangagwa's reason for using expensive jets revealed

by Mandla Ndlovu | 22 March 2019 | 9 Views

Entertainment

Andy Muridzo promises new album

by Simbarashe Sithole | 18 March 2019 | 268 Views

Kwejani band is back! - AFTER an eight-year hiatus, Victoria Falls' su...

by Staff reporter | 13 March 2019 | 1188 Views

Moyo revives Pantsula genre

by Staff reporter | 10 March 2019 | 428 Views

Majaivana's sad farewell

by Bruce Ndlovu | 10 March 2019 | 6650 Views

Nceku shifts base to SA

by Staff reporter | 09 March 2019 | 824 Views

Baba Harare abandoned by band members - Jit musician, Baba Harare has ...

by Staff reporter | 04 March 2019 | 2049 Views

Winky D pays the price

by Staff reporter | 03 March 2019 | 5411 Views