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Chinese Man Facing Charges of Shooting 2 Zimbabwean Workers in Pay Dispute

FILE: An unidentfied Chinese national and a Zimbabwean man hug while welcoming Chinese President Xi Jinping upon his arrival in Harare, Zimbabwe, Tuesday, Dec. 1. 2015. Jinping is in Zimbabwe for a two day State visit. (AP)


A Chinese man, who allegedly shot two of his workers in Gweru over the weekend after they demanded their wages was remanded in custody Tuesday to next month when he appeared for an initial remand at the Gweru Magistrates’ Court.

Magistrate Edwin Marecha remanded 41-year-old Zhang Xuelin, who runs a mining company in the city, to July 7th. Zhang, who faces an attempted murder charge, was not asked to plead.

Although he had brought his own interpreter, the state said there was need for him to get one certified by the Judicial Services Commission.

Zhang’s lawyer Ignatius Mupfiga told VOA he accepted the court’s decision and had nothing further to say as the case was only in its initial stages.

The incident has drawn outrage, with the country’s biggest labour representative body, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union, saying there is a history of Chinese nationals in Zimbabwe ill-treating their workers, and it would not fold its arms while this continues.

Some locals also expressed their anger through various social media platforms.

Sources told VOA that police refused Monday to clear a demonstration that some residents wanted to stage in Gweru on the basis that there is instability in the country and the protest could be “hijacked” by some people the state claims are anti-government.

According to the country’s laws, all demonstrations have to be sanctioned by the police.

The Zanu PF government counts China among its top allies despite that locals are unhappy over the increasing presence of Chinese nationals whom they accuse of looting the country’s resources.