Zimbabwe Association of Small and Medium Enterprise Mashonaland West chapter chairman Ruzive Ruzive says Chinese businessmen ‘are fleecing from Zimbabwe potential by importing cheap quality goods and also managing tuck shops” throughout the country.
In an interview Ruzive says, ‘’I am strongly against the Chinese setting up small retail shops that can be done by locals. This is unacceptable.’’
Ruzive says although they have engaged the economic and commercial consular Hun Bing at an indaba called Mashonaland West- Asia Investment Forum in Chinhoyi, nothing will improve as many Chinese are flooding into the country but without tangible evidence that the economy will improve.
‘’Many are witnessing the sprouting restaurants in most central business centres in major towns where they sell sadza and during lunch hour those in working class make a bee line. But will this ever change Zimbabwe economy?. We need serious investment. How can they come all the way from Asia to set up tuck shops here as if we do not know how to cook and sell sadza here? They are taking us for granted.’’
Militant empowerment group Affirmative Action Group also underscored the need for meaningful boosting of the economy by Zimbabwe’s friends especially China.
AAG Mashonaland West regional president, Clifford Hlupeko says, ‘’ The Chinese must move away from establishing tuck shops where they sell airtime, pots and pans. If we are to unlock Zimbabwe investment value, it needs serious investors in capital intensive sectors such as agriculture, mining, and manufacturing which has potential to create job opportunities.’’
Hlupeko adds that the Chinese are still yet to commit themselves by building infrastructures but are only renting those that closed due to poor performance of the economy.
‘’They lack commitment in our economy and we cannot rely on them for future generations. Why not build better infrastructures to compliment those that we had if they are serious?’ adds Hlupeko.
Embassy officials from Palestine, Iran and India snubbed the indaba although some of these countries stand accused of not injecting Zimbabwe’s ailing economy.
Chinese benefited from President Robert Mugabe’s Government Look East Policy in the early 2000 after top Zanu (PF) officials were slapped with travel restriction by mostly Western countries among them Britain, United States of America for alleged human right abuses.