The government of Zimbabwe says it has spent up to $180m in unbudgeted expenditure to improve its trade and financial relations with China in the first half of 2014.
The money was paid by the Robert Mugabe-led government to service the outstanding loan Zimbabwe owed China.
Zimbabwe’s minister of finance, Patrick Chinamasa, said the South African nation had to service the loan “to make ourselves (Zimbabwe) look good.”
Zimbabwe is paying this money to maintain its credit line with China.
“We had been borrowing from the Chinese financial institutions and as soon as we borrowed, we never went back, even to tell them that we had some challenges which prevented us from honouring the commitments. They wondered what kind of debtors we were,” Chinamasa explained.
In August, Chinamasa accompanied long-time Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe, to China where the leader sought support to help a struggling economy.
During the visit, the countries signed several cooperation deals.
Some of Chinese investment in Zimbabwe include the construction of special economic zones and industrial parks, as well as the reconstruction of the country’s hydro-power plant.