harare - The new Zimbabwean government borrows millions from China. This includes 153 million dollars (more than 129 million euros) for refurbishing and expanding the international airport named after former president Robert Mugabe. It is the first major deal that Harare concludes with a foreign government since the departure of Mugabe.
The government wants to show that it is working on reforming the economy, said Minister Patrick Chinamasa (Finance). That reformist will also be reflected in the new state budget, he promised.
The minister acknowledged that his country had not repaid previous Chinese loans, but that does not appear to prevent Beijing from putting money back on the table. 'The Chinese government understands our economic situation,' said Chinamasa, who pointed to international sanctions against his country.
The minister signed a total of three agreements with the Chinese ambassador in his country. China is also making money available for a new parliament building and expanding a center with computers at the University of Zimbabwe. This involved more than 51 million euros.