Government officials were last week frantically trying to salvage three Chinese-funded infrastructural projects totalling US$1,324 billion.
This follows reports suggesting that the Chinese are ready to pull the plug on the deals after Zimbabwean authorities siphoned US$10 million from an escrow account held at Stanbic Bank.
When asked to comment over the issue during a public debt conference in the capital last Friday, Chinese deputy ambassador Zhao Baogang said:
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There are companies who are handling the projects in question. Those companies may have given the information to the newspaper people.
Well, I’m in no position to deny it, but I cannot also confirm it. All I can say is that the newspaper people are well-informed.
The Independent reports that Finance Ministry secretary George Guvamatanga and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya, among other government officials, have intensified talks with Chinese embassy officials.
Government officials have denied they raided the escrow account but that the US$10 million was converted into local currency by Stanbic Bank.