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FOREIGN Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Wednesday lashed out at the Western nations for giving less in donations and grants towards Zimbabwe, a country he said they “imposed debilitating sanctions” on.

Mumbengegwi was speaking at a function held at a local hotel to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the Zimbabwe-China diplomatic relations.

“In 2014 alone, China contributed $600 million towards government projects, far surpassing those whose governments imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe.

We are very grateful for Chinese support in agriculture, mining, manufacturing and infrastructural development,” said Mumbengegwi before a number of Western dignitaries who included US ambassador Bruce Wharton.

Mumbengegwi also appreciated the role played by China in opposing the imposition of sanctions at the United Nations Security Council in 2008, adding that without such support Zimbabwe would have imploded a long time ago.

“China stood with us at the United Nations Security Council in July 2008.Without that veto many of us would not be sitting here with you today,” he said.

More than a decade ago, Harare shifted to the east, in a program code named the Look East policy after the West had imposed sanctions on the Southern African country on grounds of human rights abuses.

Relations between Zimbabwe and the West have been sour since despite attempts to re-engage. Just last year, the European Union removed some restrictive measures on some key government officials except President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace. Also, a ban on the importation of weapons was maintained.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa also told an aid review meeting with western donors the same day in Harare that Zimbabwe would acknowledge their aid if it was sent directly to the government.

But donors who, since 2002 were channeling aid to Zimbabwe through NGOs, indicated that they were already channeling aid directly through government.

Source : New Zimbabwe

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