China boosts Zimbabwe’s military with new armoured vehicles and equipment

China boosts Zimbabwe’s military with new armoured vehicles and equipment

By Agencies

HARARE: Zimbabwe has received a large shipment of military hardware from China, including new armoured vehicles, guns, and other equipment.

The donation was announced by Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who thanked the Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe for the gesture of friendship and cooperation.

The Chinese ambassador, Guo Shaochun, said that the donation was a sign of the “historic ties” and “mutual trust” between China and Zimbabwe, which have been allies since the liberation struggle against colonialism.

He also expressed his confidence that Zimbabwe would overcome its economic and social challenges under the leadership of Mnangagwa.

The donation consists of

  • eight PTL-02 tank destroyers,
  • eight WZ-551 infantry fighting vehicles,
  • eight WZ-551 armoured personnel carriers,
  • eight WZ-551 recovery vehicles,
  • eight WZ-551 ambulances,
  • eight motorized water purifiers,
  • eight patrol boats, and eight minibuses.

The PTL-02 is a wheeled vehicle armed with a 100mm anti-tank gun, while the WZ-551 is a versatile platform that can be fitted with different weapons, such as a 25mm or 30mm cannon, or a 12.7mm machine gun.

The new equipment will enhance the capabilities of the Zimbabwean military, which has been facing shortages of resources and maintenance.

The donation also demonstrates China’s growing influence and presence in Africa, where it has been investing heavily in infrastructure, trade, and security cooperation. China is Zimbabwe’s largest trading partner and a major source of loans and aid.

This donation is coming barely a few weeks after China redeems a pledge to Southern African Development Community Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) with $100 million donation which includes protective assault vehicles, military utility trucks, mine detectors, generators, personnel protective gear, tents, sleeping bags, beds and mattresses, computers, printers, cameras, conference furniture, projectors, sound systems and other accessories.