The project is believed to have cost about US$20 000 and was sponsored by the Xinhua News Agency in China.
The Minister of Information and Publicity, Webster Shamu, was supposed to be guest of honour at the unveiling of the huge screen.
The television shows mainly ZBC TV programmes but which are interrupted by the now "infamous" Zanu PF "Team" advertisement showing President Robert Mugabe and his two deputies Joyce Mujuru and John Nkomo playing football together on the same "team".
Insiders said this project would help the Zanu (PF) election campaign at a time when membership has nose-dived for the former ruling party ahead of elections pencilled in for later this year.
The huge tv screen has become popular with street kids who sleep on First Street.
The Chinese helped Zanu PF during the liberation struggle against the British Government leading to Independence in 1980.
The mainstream Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Morgan Tsvangirai this week issued a warning to foreign embassies against continued funding of Zanu (PF) after the Libyan embassy in Harare donated tractors and other farming inputs to the party.
China has aggressively moved at the speed of light, in making Zimbabwe its oasis of quenching her thirst for Beijing’s economic boom and pivot for her foreign policy objectives on the African continent, as disclosured yesterday by ZNI. The Asian aspiring world power now has an iron grip on the country’s economic and security nerves, raising fears of a total buy out.
Top level army sources revealed that Beijing plans to set a strategic military base in the country, as the Asian nation’s sphere of military influence on the continent spreads. ZNI also reveals today that unknown to the Zimbabwean citizenry, China has acquired significant stakes and rights to the country’s mineral wealth worth billions of dollars at rock bottom prices.
The government has sold mining rights for undiscloesd amounts of the country’s diamonds to a Chinese firm called Anjin, while nickel, cobalt and copper have been grabbed by another company called Jinchuan Nickel Mining Company. The same goes for platinum, whose Chinese exploration firm is unknown. Zimbabwe has the second largest platinum reserves in the world, officially being mined by Zimplats, a member of South Africa’s Implats Group of Companies with operations at the Great Dyke.
Anjin joins Canadile Miners and Mbada Diamonds, the two controversial companies awarded contracts to mine diamonds legally in Chiadzwa. There are reports that Anjin has built a massive infrastructure in Chiadzwa to mine the diamonds, and intelligence information filtering in suggests that the Chinese are possibly earning US$1,5 million per day through the shady deal, reportedly spanning a period of five years.
Beijing dealers alongside Russian bussinessmen Lebanese, Mozambican, Belgian, Angolan, Liberian, Indian and Sierra Leonean dealers are also fingured in a racket of diamond smuggling said to be worth millions of dollars. At least 2000 carats of diamonds are being smuggled out of Chiadzwa daily, according to the Mutare based Centre for Research and Development (CRD).
The diamond watchdog, whose director Farai Maguwa was recently imprisioned for exposing massive human rights abuses at the Chiadzwa diamond fields by military personnel, warns that large quantities of the precious gem are finding their way illicitly onto the International diamond markets without Kimberley Process (KP) certification.
Doing the maths
According to a recent report in the Sunday Times, the value of the Chiadzwa deposits could be worth up to a staggering US$800 billion and could be mined for the next 80 years or more. The blood-soaked fields, following the alleged killing of about 214 peasant diamond panners in the area by armed soldiers in 2008 according to Human Rights Watch in New York, hold at least three billion carats.
If operations at Marange are well managed, the country can earn between US$75billion to US$200 billion in the next 50 years and that could reach US$800 billion in 80 years, the Sunday Times report adds. This means that if China’s Anjin firm is walking away with US$1,5 million every day (excluding smuggled diamonds), it stands to pocket on estimate terms a massive US$3 billion dollars after five years. (US$1,5 million x 365 days= US$547,5 million. US$547,5 million x 5= US$2,7 billion).
Unconfirmed reports talk about a US$5 billion the Chinese paid, to secure at least 50% of the country’s platinum resource, which fetches a real value price tag of over US$40 billion, making it a give away financial rip-off. Finance minister, Tendai Biti has however vehemently denied the reports. Biti’s mouth could have been shut by the egregious Official State Secrets Act
Not so long ago information minister, Webster Shamu said ministers who leak cabinet deliberations to the media face arrest together with the offending journalists under the orwellian piece of law. The Official Secrets Act, was promulgated in 1970, and prohibits the disclosure of any information to an enemy, which prejudices the security and interests of Zimbabwe.
Land and businesses
Chinese nationals and businesses have also acquired prime residential and commercial land in the capital, in areas such as Gunhill, Ballantyne Park, Westgate, Bluffhill, Borrowdale and Mt Pleasant for close to a song in contravention of municipal by-laws. Some Chinese nationals have even been seen in various high density suburbs in Harare.
Now Beijing is opening another frontier of domination through culture. Chinese is being taught at various universities across the country, and there are indications of plans to introduce Chinese as a subject in primary schools with karate lessons being given for free as a sweetner to the young susceptible minds.