Abigail Mawonde Herald Correspondent
China donated 12 000 tonnes of rice to Government yesterday, as relations between the two countries continue to grow.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira said the donation would go a long way in alleviating food shortages in various communities.
“In February last year, His Excellency (President Mugabe) declared a state of emergency because of the El Nino-induced drought which affected the country,” said Minister Mupfumira. “There was a call for humanitarian assistance and we got a lot of support from various sectors, governments, non-governmental organisations and other developing partners. I am happy to report that since we started the programme on food mitigation, we have had a lot of support from our friends and I would like to mention in particular, our friends from the People’s Republic of China.
“Last year, when we started, they donated 19 000 tonnes of rice which we have been distributing in all provinces. I am happy to say we are now towards exhausting the rice which we received from them.
“Today (yesterday) we are witnessing another contribution from the People’s Republic of China where they are donating 12 173 tonnes of par-boiled rice to the Government of Zimbabwe.
“Our meeting today and our signatures on the documents signal the processing of that rice which is expected to take about six weeks to process and we hope by the end of May-June we will start receiving the consignment.”
Minister Mupfumira thanked the Chinese for the gesture.
“We are happy as Government of Zimbabwe and as Zimbabweans and appreciate the gesture made by our friends of the People’s Republic of China and we are thanking them for their huge donation of rice,” she said.