ANTI-CHINESE SENTIMENT RISES IN ZIMBABWE OVER SHOOTING OF MINERS
The shooting of two Zimbabwe workers complaining about not being paid in US dollars as agreed has infuriated Zimbabweans who have accused the Chinese investors of systematic and widespread abuse of miners working in Chinese mining concessions, the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Society (ZELA) told Nyasha Chingono of CNN on June 28, 2020.
Police said Zhang Xuen shot Kenneth Tachiona five times and wounded another at the mine he runs in Gweru province, Zimbabwe, during a row with workers over unpaid wages. Zhang has been charged him with attempted murder, said Zimbabwe police spokesman Paul Nyathi. A video that many alleged to be of the incident has circulated on social media in Zimbabwe, provoking public anger and calls from a local watchdog for a re-evaluation of Chinese mining operations in the country. China is Zimbabwe's largest foreign investor with significant interests in the country's extractive sector. Last year, Chinese firm Tsignchan signed a $2-billion deal with the Zimbabwean Ministry of Mines to extract chrome, iron ore, nickel and coal, vital resources for China.
In February, a group of local miners in Matabeleland South province petitioned a labor court to protest their firing by their Chinese employer. Last April, workers at another Chinese mining operation in the province complained of being underpaid and working without protective clothing. Several cases of Chinese miners refusing to pay salaries or provide their workers with protective clothing, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, are currently being investigated by ZELA, according to its deputy director Shamiso Mutisi
"It has become a pattern and a system. We have cases where miners are abused, beaten, and discriminated against by Chinese miners," Mutisi said. In a statement on Wednesday, ZELA said locals in some Chinese-owned mines often operate “dangerous, harsh and life-threatening” conditions while being paid poorly for their time.