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Zimbabwe PM Courts Chinese Investors Despite Growing Resentment

Wrapping up his Beijing visit this week, Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai called on Chinese investors to continue setting up businesses in Harare despite growing resentment by locals who accuse them of ill-treating workers.

Mr. Tsvangirai told the Sino-African Trade in Services and Investment forum in Beijing late Tuesday that Chinese investors were welcome in Zimbabwe on a “win-win basis.”

“China’s trade with Africa has undoubtedly been growing at an exponential rate in the last decade and is poised to grow even more," he said on his first official Chinese visit.

"For those of you who have yet to invest in our country, you are welcome especially as we seek to deepen our economic relations on a win-win basis that serves the interest of our peoples.”

Despite the prime minister's positive sentiments, some members of his MDC party are on record as saying Chinese employers are ill-treating locals.

Last week Labor Minister, Paurina Gwanyanya Mpariwa called for a boycott of Chinese products as retaliation for their alleged brutality against local workers.

Tsvangirai enjoys a cordial relationship with Western countries which slapped targeted sanctions on President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle.

Commentator Alois Dzvairo, who is also the youth chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly told VOA the prime minister was likely to come back home empty handed.

“Tsvangirai is just trying to appease his partners in the coalition government,” he added.