- January 18, 2021
- Posted in LOCAL
- A Chinese national assaulted and injured a worker with a shovel
- Miners call for the ejection of Chinese from Small-scale mining
- The government implored to take action
Matopo Gold Miners Association Chairperson Rev Sifelani Moyo has called on the government to investigate and intervene on issues of abuse and exploitation by Chinese “mining investors” in the country as the allegations pointing the Chinese to exploitation and ill-treatment of workers are increasing every day.
Rudairo Dickson Mapuranga
The call has come after a Chinese national was recorded assaulting an employee at a Chinese-owned mine in Bulawayo. The Chinese national reportedly used a shovel to hit the worker who sustained a deep cut on the arm after the camera was switched off. The incident occurred at Fools Investment in Hopefountain Milling Centre in Bulawayo after the employees asked for their backpays dated March 2020.
Rev Moyo said it was high time the government and law enforcement agencies intervene on the issues of human rights abuses perpetrated in the mining industry.
“We are appealing to relevant authorities as well as law enforcement agencies to intervene on such issues.” Rev Moyo said.
Mineworkers are increasingly being frustrated by the government’s reluctance to look into their pleas.
“Our Government has been too silent and complacent in handling these Chinese. Remember that one who shot an employee last year? We don’t even know how the story ended.” One mineworker said.
Zimbabwe Diamonds and Allied Worker’s Union (ZDAMWU) General Secretary Mr. Justice Chinhema had no kind words with most Chinese investors who he regarded as thugs with no moral campus with their fellow beings.
The ZDAMWU General Secretary said those who are found on the wrong side of the law should be deported and lose their investments in the country because they are directly suffocating the gains of the people’s liberation movements which saw the country gaining independence from white minority rule.
“If the freedom fighters went to war to fight for freedom, fight against abuse like what we are seeing today perpetrated by Chinese nationals on workers, then it means another war to liberate mine workers against abuses is inevitable.
“We are just being told by these thugs that we are now in charge.
“ZDAMWU is now mobilizing workers all its structures to defend themselves from such abuses,” he said.
Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio on Mines and Mining Development Hon Edmund Mkaratigwa said it was heartbreaking to hear stories of nationals being treated in a colonial manner. However, he advised Zimbabweans not to treat cases with a racial eye as this would affect others who have good moral standards.
“The Government of Zimbabwe already has legislation in place with regards to industrial labour relations in our industries. The challenge is you can not judge the book by its colour but only through its contents/actions, like in this case we need to be cautious and be non-racist, but embrace humans with the dignity each deserves. Each case has to be treated as proven law and dealt with in accordance with the laws of this land. If that’s true, its heart wrecking to see a fellow Zimbabwean treated in a colonial manner, we deserve better and the law must take its course. Thank you for letting us know this other case among many.” he said.
Miners platforms had miners seething with anger with many calling for retaliation and ejection of Chinese nationals from the small-scale mining industry for the unacceptable behaviour.
Last year a Gweru based Chinese mine manager shot a worker after a misunderstanding over outstanding salaries. This triggered anger in the country with many calling for Chinese removal from the ASM industry.
The President of the Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) Ms. Henrietta Rushwaya then met with the Chinese Ambassador to raise concerns of rampant worker abuse which she called unacceptable behaviour. To date, the ZMF has remained mum over the latest incident raising the question of who is exactly currently at the helm of the organisation as usually with ASM’s issues Rushwaya would have responded and taken action already.
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