The shooting of two Zimbabwean workers by a Chinese boss shows the “systematic and widespread” abuse that locals face in Chinese mining operations, says the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Society (ZELA).
In a court affidavit, police said Zhang Xuen shot an employee five times and wounded another at the mine he runs in Gweru province, in central Zimbabwe, during a row with workers over outstanding pay.
Zhang has been charged with attempted murder, said Zimbabwe police spokesman Paul Nyathi.
According to local media reports, Zhang did not enter a plea because there was no approved interpreter in court. He will remain in custody until at least July 7, the report said.
The shooting happened on Sunday morning, when miner Kenneth Tachiona confronted Zhang after he allegedly refused to pay his wages in US dollars, as agreed, according to the affidavit.
Tachiona charged toward Zhang, who then drew his gun, shooting the worker three times on his right thigh and twice on the left, according to the affidavit.
Police said Zhang fired another shot at workers, and one of the bullets grazed the chin of a member of staff. The wounded workers are being treated at a private hospital.
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.
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