Cape Town based Ian Evans reports on the Independent:
Chinese troops have been seen on the streets of Zimbabwe’s third largest city, Mutare, according to local witnesses. They were seen patrolling with Zimbabwean soldiers before and during Tuesday’s ill-fated general strike called by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
Earlier, 10 Chinese soldiers armed with pistols checked in at the city’s Holiday Inn along with 70 Zimbabwean troops.
One eyewitness, who asked not to be named, said: “We’ve never seen Chinese soldiers in full regalia on our streets before. The entire delegation took 80 rooms from the hotel, 10 for the Chinese and 70 for Zimbabwean soldiers.
Meanwhile, a ship laden with weapons from China intended for Zimbabwe is headed for an unknown destination after dock workers in Durban, South Africa refused to unload the freight. From South Africa’s The Times:
The ship lifted anchor and sailed from Durban on Friday evening less than an hour after the Durban High Court ordered that its cargo cannot be transported across SA to Zimbabwe.
Initial reports indicated the ship was sailing to the Mozambican ports of Maputo or Beira, but SkyNews reported on Saturday afternoon that the ship appeared to be heading back down the South African coast.