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Chinese Arms & Soldiers to Prop Up Mugabe Dictatorship


Chinese soldiers seen in Mutare

April 16th, 2008

One of our activists yesterday evening received an email from a contact in Mutare, who saw and reported this:

There are some chinese army personnel staying at the Holiday Inn here in Mutare and they are moving between their hotel and the local army/police HQ.

What are they doing there? Especially at this time?

A quick search this morning pulled this article up, published on zimbabwejournalists.com, which corroborates the truth of what he saw:

“Residents are going about their normal business despite a call by the opposition to stay at home. Businesses were operating as usual but there was a heavy police presence in the city centre and in all the high density suburbs,” he said.

The police are armed with AK rifles, teargas canisters and baton sticks. Water cannons were being driven throughout the suburbs. There were no incidents of violence as of mid-morning. However, says Baxter, there was a surprise presence of Chinese soldiers armed with revolvers in the city.


Ship carrying arms 'for Zim' cleared 17 April 2008, 08:37 Related Articles

* Weapons cargo 'destined for Zim' * Ship docks 'carrying weapons for Zim'

A Chinese ship, whose cargo is believed to include arms for Zimbabwe, had been cleared to dock and offload its cargo at Durban's port, Transnet said yesterday.

Transnet spokesperson John Dludlu said in a statement: "As for vessel An Yue Jiang, we wish to confirm that this vessel with its cargo destined for Zimbabwe is at anchorage outside the Port of Durban.

"As is procedure with all vessels, the vessel and its cargo have been cleared by the relevant authorities."

However, Dludlu did not say what the ship was carrying, although according to Noseweek editor Martin Welz, its cargo includes a shipment of arms.

The ship's master, who identified himself as captain Sunaijun, said by radio phone that there was "no dangerous cargo" on board.

Asked if there was cargo destined for Zimbabwe, he said that there was. However, it was not possible to get clarity on the contents of the cargo owing to the poor quality of the radio signal.

Earlier Inspector Nicholas Gunther, of the police explosives unit in Durban, said the An Yue Juang was carrying weapons.

"There are arms on the vessel and the ship is on the outer anchorage of the port and it's been docked here since April 14. We have not allowed it in because they have no clearance.

"There was a problem with documents they submitted and we have directed the matter to the chief inspector of explosives in Pretoria... and it may take days for them to get clearance."


Leonard Hadebe, the head of customs in Durban, said: "We have confirmed that the shipment was headed for Zimbabwe.

"Right now, the ship is awaiting clearance. If they are carrying any prohibited or illegal goods, they will be detained by customs," he said.

Durban port captain Ricky Bhikraj confirmed that the An Yue Jiang was scheduled to dock on Thursday.

"Allegations are being handled by various national security authorities," he said.

Noseweek editor Welz said earlier: "The cargo ship was openly delivering a containment of arms for Zimbabwe."

Asked where he had obtained the information from, Welz said it was his "own business".

Bhikraj, when asked whether there were arms on the ship, said that he could not comment on that.

National police spokesperson Dennis Adriao said he would comment on the matter once he had more details.

DA spokesperson Rafeek Shah said: "Due to the gravity of the situation, the government needs to clarify exactly what the status and nature of the shipment is without delay.

"There are conflicting reports about whether the weapons are still on board the ship concerned or whether they, in fact, are on the road to Zimbabwe. Either way, it is imperative that action is taken to ensure that these weapons are not allowed to destabilise what is already a precarious situation in Zimbabwe."

However, political analyst Protas Madlala said he did not believe that the ship was carrying weapons destined for Zimbabwe.

"In every war, the first casualty is the truth. There is propaganda on both sides in Zimbabwe at the moment, therefore, I do not believe that there are weapons on board that ship.

"I do not think Mugabe would be so foolish as to blatantly import weapons, when he can so easily be caught out. If he wanted to stockpile, he would have done it before the elections," he said. - Sapa

* This article was originally published on page 1 of The Mercury on April 17, 2008