New Chinese equipment for Zimbabwe Defence Forces

39105

What Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa calls “the unparalleled strategic partnership” between his country and the People’s Republic of China saw him accept a consignment of new Chinese military equipment, including armoured personnel carriers (APCs).

The “donation”, as it was billed in some reports, took place at Inkomo Barracks, home to 1 Mechanised Battalion of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) earlier this month (December).

Photographs were released of at least eight Norinco WMA301 6×6 self-propelled guns, an unknown number of WZ551 6×6 APCs in at least three configurations, and trucks. Some WZ551s are fitted with a single operator turret while others have the older 12.7 mm machine gun turret, Janes reported.

In addition to the military hardware the “donation” included ambulances, water purifiers, patrol boats, minibuses, sniper rifles, machine guns and pistols as stated by the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC).

Mnangagwa, like other African leaders, is commander-in-chief of his country’s defence force, and is quoted as saying the “delivery of military gratis equipment valued at US$28 million will go a long way toward consolidating our ongoing quest to modernise the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF)”. The new equipment will “ensure the ZDF remains an indomitable and efficient force” able “to play its part as enshrined in our Constitution and in line with regional, continental and global expectations” a Zimbabwean newspaper reported Mnangagwa saying at the handover.