Zimbabwe minister admits Chinese arms import

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Flag of Zimbabwe
Flag of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe Monday confirmed a Chinese ship that was refused permission to unload its cargo in South Africa this week was carrying arms. Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the arms were for national defence and not for use against civilians as reported by the international media, which prompted dock workers in South Africa to refuse to unload the ship. “It is our sovereign right to buy arms from anyone to defend ourselves,” Chinamasa said. Zimbabwe, currently under international spotlight over last month’s bungled election, this week drew criticism from human rights campaigners for importing arms instead of food, to feed millions who are hungry and for allegedly intending to use the weapons on civilians who voted for the opposition. But until Chinamasa’s admission, the government had remained mum on the arms shi pment from China. The Chinese ship was reported to be heading to Angola after Mozambique, another close sea-route for Zimbabwe, which refused it permission to dock. Panapress.

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