Africa

Zimbabwe opposition MDC 'will expel Chinese investors'

Nelson Chamisa Image copyright AFP
Image caption Nelson Chamisa, 40, said the new government did not care about ordinary workers

A Zimbabwean opposition leader has vowed to expel Chinese investors if he wins elections due in July.

"They are busy asset-stripping the resources of the country," Nelson Chamisa said at a May Day rally in the capital, Harare.

The presidential polls will be the first since the resignation of long-serving ruler Robert Mugabe last year.

China is Zimbabwe's fourth largest trading partner and its largest source of investment.

Mr Chamisa took over as leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party in February.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose nickname is "Ngwena" meaning "the Crocodile" in the Shona language, will contest the election on the ticket of the ruling Zanu-PF party.

He is a strong advocate of a "Look East" policy, but has also been wooing Western investors since taking office in November.

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"I have seen the deals that Ngwena has entered into with China and others, they are busy asset-stripping the resources of the country," Mr Chamisa said at the rally."I have said beginning September when I assume office I will call the Chinese and tell them the deals they signed are unacceptable and they should return to their country."

China has stakes worth many billions of dollars in everything from agriculture to construction.

According to the state-run Herald newspaper, it has helped with an extension to the hydro-power station at Kariba dam and repairing water works for Harare and surrounding towns.

China has also provided funding for various airport expansions, a thermal power station and the construction of a new parliament building, the paper says.

Mr Chamisa, 40, became the MDC's leader after Morgan Tsvangirai, a fierce opponent of Zanu-PF, died of colon cancer.

But his leadership is being challenged by a rival faction led by former Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe.

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