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Stranded, Broke Zimbabwean MPs Call Time in Guangdong “Hell”

Posted: 07/8/2014 1:04 pm

zimbabwe-parliamentThe stranding of 27 Zimbabwean Members of Parliament in Guangdong Province for five days last week has become a case of finger-pointing after they missed their flight home, reports NewsDay.

The 27 Zimbabwean MPs had separated from the official delegation in Beijing to head to Guangzhou for some shopping. But after blowing all their money, they were unable to get back to Beijing in time for their scheduled flight home. The stranded MPs, who have all mostly returned to Zimbabwe, described their ordeal as “hell”. The MPs had no money, nothing to eat, and nowhere to shower.

ZANU PF Makoni South MP Mandi Chimene said the incident began when Zaka Central MP Paradza Chakona (Zanu PF) led a group of MPs to go shopping in Guangdong against her orders.

READ: Zimbabwean MPs Blow Money on Shopping Spree,
Trapped Penniless in Guangdong

Chimene refuted the suggestion that she had abandoned the breakaway MPs, and gave her own opinion as for why the Zimbabwean MPs got stranded:

Maybe it was God’s form of punishing the MPs for not obeying my advice and revolting against all my efforts…
I did nothing wrong, but helped MPs to get exposure. Maybe God was angry, even Moses had the same experience and God punished the Israelites by sending snakes. Maybe that was the same case here. 

Chimeme then elaborated upon Chinese regulations, and how the stranded MPs did not abide by the rules:

They were told by an Embassy official that if they go there, they should not come back on a Saturday (the day of departure) but they disregarded that and chose to travel that Saturday. They were told to come straight to Terminal 3, but again they argued saying they wanted to pick-up another MP at Terminal 2. I tried to negotiate with officials, but their things have systems. 

We agree that life in Guangdong can be tough, maybe even a little unforgiving, but to call being stranded here “hell”? We’re just glad that they weren’t stranded in Shanghai.

Photos: Amazing Victoria Falls


Zimbabwean MPs Blow Money on Shopping Spree, Trapped Penniless in Guangdong

Posted: 07/2/2014 10:25 am

zimbabwe parliamentTraveling to China can be an overwhelming experience. There’s the culture, the language — and of course the amazing shopping.

Bargain hunting became too much for a delegation of 27 Members of Parliament from Zimbabwe. The group of MPs were in Beijing to promote the country’s “Look East” policy, but took an unofficial detour to Guangdong Province by bullet train to go on a shopping spree. They ended up not only running out of money, but also missed their flight back home, reported Newsday.

To complicate things further, the Zimbabwean MPs fly Air Zimbabwe, and the next flight from Beijing to Harare isn’t until July 10.

The breakaway party of MPs were apparently warned not to travel to Guangdong, according to a source with the group:

We tried to persuade them not to travel to Guangdong as it is very far and they did not have enough money, but they did not listen… They did not have enough money and now they are stranded. We do not know where they are sleeping, what they are eating and how they will come back.

Guangdong is 2,294 kilometers away from Beijing and requires at least ten hours of travel by high-speed rail.

The Zimbabwe Parliament convened yesterday, so the 27 stranded MPs are now missing sessions in the Senate and National Assembly.

Photo: SW Radio Africa


Japanese politician arrested in Guangzhou on drugs charges

Posted: 11/15/2013 10:21 pm

A 70-year-old local Japanese councillor has been arrested at Guangzhou’s Baiyun Airport on drugs charges, Channel News Asia reports.

Takuma Sakuragi was carrying three kilos of what are suspected to be illegal stimulants, Japanese officials said, citing Chinese authorities.

The website has more:

On Friday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei confirmed that Sakuragi was detained on October 31 at Baiyun airport “for carrying drugs with him”.

“He is now being detained in the detention centre of Guangdong province,” Hong added.

Officials in the central Japanese city of Inazawa said Sakuragi is city councillor who was in China for his private trading business.

A council spokesman said Sakuragi has denied the charges.

The case comes after four Japanese nationals were executed in China in 2010 for carrying illegal drugs.

Possession of 50 or more grammes of so-called stimulant drugs such as methamphetamine can draw the death penalty in China, which is known for its harsh drug laws.

The suspect’s associate Kenji Sasaki told Japanese media that there may be a political angle to this as Sakuragi is known to have a hardline stance on diplomatic relations with China and South Korea.

This week, former Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi gave the current prime minister Shinzo Abe a thumbs-up on his approach to diplomacy with China.

Wall Street Journal has the story:

“Since I stepped down, not a single prime minister has visited the Yasukuni Shrine,” Mr. Koizumi said, in reference to the shrine where Japan’s war dead—-including convicted Japanese war criminals—-are worshipped. “Has that improved China-Japan relations? Has that allowed for summit meetings?”

During his 2001-2006 premiership, Mr. Koizumi visited Yasukuni every year, angering China and South Korea who see such pilgrimages as a grave offense to the suffering of their people under Japan’s wartime colonial rule. But that didn’t stop Japan and China from holding periodic summit meetings.

A large delegation of senior ministers did however visit the Yasukuni shrine earlier this year, angering both China and Korea.

The suggestion that there is a political angle to this spells more bad news for diplomatic relations.

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