China questioned about Zimbabwe arms ship

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Flag of Zimbabwe
Flag of Zimbabwe

Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa has commended South Africa and Mozambique for not allowing their territories to be used to offload the heavy Chinese weaponry bought by Zimbabwe.

“I hope this will be the case with all the countries because we don’t want a situation which will escalate the situation in Zimbabwe more than what it is,” Mwanawasa was quoted as saying Tuesday by the state-run Zambia Daily.

Mwanawasa, who is also chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), said on arrival from Mauritius, where he had gone to attend the SADC summit on poverty and development, that China could play a more useful role in the Zimbabwean crisis.

A Chinese arms ship bound for Zimbabwe has been spotted heading for Angola, although it is not yet established whether an agreement has been reached for it to dock.

The ship left South Africa last week after dock workers refused to unload its heavy weapons amid fears that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe had ordered them to crush the opposition.

Mwanawasa said he was glad that South Africa and Mozambique had refused to have the weapons from China off-loaded on their soil.

He said the answer to the Zimbabwean crisis was dialogue.

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