|China pledges more aid to Zimbabwe|
China will continue to give material and financial aid to Zimbabwe to further strengthen existing bilateral relations, said Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Zhang Xianyi Thursday at the handover ceremony of 3,000 metric tons of maize donated by China to Zimbabwe.
He said China was aware of the severe food shortages the country was facing due to persistent droughts that have dogged theregion in recent years and would continue to render assistance in dealing with the problem.
"The People's Republic of China cherish the traditional friendship with Zimbabwe, which dates back to the pre-independenceera, and shall assist to the best of our ability," said Xianyi.
The Chinese ambassador said it was not the first time that his government had helped Zimbabwe, adding that they donated two passenger aircraft to the country, in addition to one the government had purchased.
"Only one month ago, on behalf of the Chinese government I handed over an MA 60 passenger aircraft to the government," he said.
Speaking at the same function, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Sylvester Nguni, paid tribute to the Chinese government, saying it was not the first time that they had made such a gesture as they donated 4,500 metric tons of maize in 2003.
He said the donation had come at a critical moment when the agricultural sector was facing some challenges of implementing programs to improve its performance so as to realize the gains of the land reform program.
Finance Deputy Minister David Chapfika signed the handover document on behalf of the government while Xianyi signed for his country.
Grain Marketing Board (GMB) Acting Chief Executive officer Samuel Muvhuti said the gesture of goodwill shown by China would go a long way in helping GMB in its mandate to feed the nation andmeet consumer needs.
He said they would start soon to distribute the maize to their various depots around the country to ensure food security in Zimbabwe.