Self-exiled former cabinet Minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo has said that the return of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga from China aboard a Chinese plane and reception by Chinese officials at Robert Mugabe International Airport signified immense influence China has on Zimbabwe.
For him, it is bizarre that a government official of Chiwenga’s stature who has been absent for a prolonged period of time is not welcomed by government officials. In an interview with the News Day, Moyo said:
You cannot have the senior vice-president, who had been away critically ill and was receiving treatment in China for some five months, returning on a special Chinese plane to be received by China’s deputy ambassador in Harare, who was head of the welcoming party with no government or ruling party officials. That’s unheard of. The inescapable impression, if not reality, is that China was demonstrating its muscles and exposing Zimbabwe as a Chinese puppet.
His remarks come when there are reports suggesting that China prefers Chiwenga to take over from President Emmerson Mnangagwa whose administration seems to have strengthened relations with other states at the expense of China.
Relations between Zimbabwe and China could have been strained further when Finance Minister, Mthuli Ncube announced that China’s aid to Zimbabwe in 2019 was lower than of USA, UK and others, a narrative which later proved to be inaccurate.
More: News Day