Chinese in town for regime change

HARARE – President Robert Mugabe, has applauded the Chinese government for the cooperation and assistance that it has extended to to his party Zanu PF over the years amid reports that will seek to pitch up defensive barriers to help retain Zanu PF in power.

Mugabe was speaking during a meeting with a Chinese delegation from the People’s Liberation Army Airforce.

\r\n

The delegation, comprising four Generals and the Air-Chief of the People’s Liberation Army, General Chu Qiliang, met Mugabe at State House in Harare.

\r\n

President Mugabe described China as a great friend of Zimbabwe who has assisted in special areas including the military.

\r\n

Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander, General Constantine Chiwenga, Airforce Commander, Air Marshal Perence Shiri and Defence Minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa also attended the meeting.

\r\n

Talking to journalists after the meeting, Minister Mnangagwa said the delegation, which arrived in the country at the weekend, brought a message from President Hu Jintao as well as to promote and cement relations between the defence forces of the two countries.

\r\n

Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr. Shin Shungkang, also commended the Sino-Zimbabwe relations and the Defence College Joint Project whose construction he said is going on well.

\r\n

Zimbabwean Parliament has been recalled and expected to discuss the controversial military and defence college which is being built on the outskirts of Harare at a cost of US$ 75 million dollars, and according to a source the matter had been placed on the order paper.

\r\n

 Robert Mugabe has no majority in Parliament and so he will devise a way to by-pass it amid rising tensions between coalition partners.

\r\n

Sources in the Zimbabwean intelligence said the Chinese are going to set up military bases and help train Robert Mugabe’s army to fend off Western influences in the Southern African country.

\r\n

Parliament was hastily recalled by President Robert Mugabe last week despite adjournment of the House until June.

The military and defence college, a project launched by Mugabe in 2007, is situated at Chitamba Farm in Mazowe Valley. It is being touted as an intelligence academy to train security experts in the country.

“The important role of defending our country cannot be left to mediocre officers incapable of comprehending and analytically evaluating the operational environment to ensure that the sovereignty of our state is not only preserved, but enhanced,” Mugabe said at the launch.

Addressing parliament last year, Minister of Defence Emmerson Mnangangwa said the military facility will, “serve as a premier defence education centre in Zimbabwe especially training in the field of national security.”

\r\n

He also said it will also be used to select the military and civilian officers from the various segments of the society to represent the country in various capacities.

\r\n

In addition he said it will also act as a think tank for providing research, military, defence and national security studies for the national Security Council, ministry of defence and other national institutions.

Security experts have in the past described it as “a techno-spy and communication base” whose purpose will be to spy on communications in and outside the country.