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Harare Seeking Links With China's Guangzhou City

A woman walks at a market in the "African village" in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, Oct. 25, 2014.

A delegation from China’s Guangzhou city is in Zimbabwe to finalize a twinning agreement with Harare City that will see the two cities co-operating in budgeting, governance, business and infrastructure development.

Speaking at a meeting to finalize the twining agreement, Harare Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni said Harare stands to benefit from Gaungzhou as it has many opportunities to offer, especially in terms of business.

He said the fact that the Gaungzhou is more developed than Harare is a positive development for the city that has so much to learn and promote growth.

Manyenyeni said Zimbabwe’s capital city is not going into the arrangement with a begging bowl in hand but would want Guangzhou to exploit opportunities and invest in Harare.

Leader of the Guangzhou delegation, Peng Mengjian, said the Harare arrangement is part of efforts being made by China to strengthen co-operation between the two countries.

He said Guangzhou as a city of more than 10 million had a lot to offer Harare. Mengjian invited their counterparts in Zimbabwe to visit the Chinese city and explore opportunities.

Local residents like Maina Penjeni said any arrangement that would improve service delivery was welcome.

Penjeni said with another Chinese company already upgrading the city’s water reticulation system, she expected Guangzhou city to assist in other areas such as waste management that Harare seems to be struggling to keep in place.

Harare Metropolitan Residents Association spokesperson, Marvelous Khumalo, noted that while they would normally applaud any meaningful twinning arrangements between Harare and any other international cities, they were unhappy with the way the Chinese have handled their deals with the Harare city council.

Harare has twinning arrangements with cities like Munich of Germany that have led to massive capacity building programs being implemented resulting in improved water billing and revenue collection in the capital city.

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