By William Milasi
Miners have called on government to immediately deport Chinese nationals who are abusing workers across the country.
The Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Minerals Workers Union (ZDAMWU) Secretary General Justice Chinhema let rip of some abusive Chinese following an incident in Gweru were a Chinese mine owner shot at his employees following a salary stand off.
“The attitude by the Chinese now requires our Zimbabwean government to raise the red flag and ensure that the culprits are either deported back to their country or alternatively face the full wrath of the law and severely punished as a deterrent measure,” an angry Chinhema said in a statement.
He desrcibed the shooting of Wendy Chikwaira and Kennedy Tachiona as unfortunate following a misunderstanding with their employer.
“This comes barely a week after another Chinese employer pointed a gun to an employee at a mine in Zvishavane over a salary dispute and the union condemns these rampant acts in the strongest of terms especially the use of fire arms by mostly Chinese employers to settle labour disputes.
“Since the invasion of the mining sector by the Chinese, incidents of beatings, harassment and ill-treatment of workers by armed employers are rife and what is more worrying is that these employers brags about their political connections,” Chinhema said.
The loaded statement from the veteran trade unionist strongly warned all Chinese employers in the industry to desist forthwith from using colonial tactics and habits in handling labour disputes.
“We have, for a long time tolerated these brutal actions by these so called ‘weather friends’ against innocent workers and other peace loving citizens of this country and we have reached breaking point,” the exasperated Chinhema said.
He further added that labour disputes must be dealt with, within the confines of the law.
” For a long time , the union has queried the Chinese’s sincerity as investors in this country as they have proven beyond doubt that besides mistreating their workers they are also certified looters and ‘bloody’ with very little of their investment benefiting the country,” he let rip before adding that the miners are consulting structures on the way forward,” with the objective of mobilizing its members to voice their concern collectively against such acts of abuse of mineworkers by Chinese employers countrywide.” Chinhema further argued that its saddening that the government seems to treat these Chinese employers with kid gloves while other countries such as Zambia has deported those found to be ill-treating and abusing its citizens especially workers in their mining and construction sectors.