“We have people now selling these …Chinese products here for US$1 per two items because there are not paying duty…”said Ncube, who is also Industry and Trade Minister.
Ncube told a Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) conference held here over the weekend that it was a surprise that Zimbabwe was receiving a large number of Chinese nationals despite stringent visa restrictions against China.
Chinese nationals have been making spirited attempts to make their presence felt in Zimbabwe after President Robert Mugabe extended an open invitation for them to invest in the country as part of his ‘Look East’ policy after being snubbed by America and Europe.
The Minister also said it was no secret that the reason for so many road blocks on Zimbabwe’s roads was that police want bribes.
“Even in government we know about this, because we talk about it every week and it is clear that road blocks are meant for bribes,” he said.
Early this year clashes between traffic police and commuter omnibus operators erupted in Harare over roadblocks. Police claimed they were enforcing traffic laws while operators claim they are being fleeced in broad daylight.
Speaking at the same occasion, Education Minister, David Coltart, urged Zimbabwean parents to prioritise payment of school fees over beer and cell phones.
“Parents must spend less time talking over the cell phones and drinking beer and make sure fees are paid because as the government we have no enough money to fund education, and I am very serious about this,” Coltart said.
He also said the unity government should invest more in education than in the Defence Ministry.
Zimbabwe’s education system has been among the best in Africa, although for the past decade it has suffered due to decline public funding. In 2008 the country’s education system was also hit due by combination of low salaries, poor attendance by both teachers and students, and transport problems.
The 2008 education crisis crippled schools across the country crippling most schools’ operations. Teachers embarked on crippling strikes with examinations failed to be marked on time.