A sickening video showing an alleged Chinese boss assaulting a local worker, with dogs barking savagely at the victim, has appalled many Zimbabweans, prompting the Chinese embassy to deny enduring allegations of widespread abuse of locals by Chinese employers.
In the 25-second clip, an Asian man identified elsewhere as Zhong Yi Zhang, who is said to be the owner of Fools Investment Mine in Hope Fountain, just outside Bulawayo, is captured physically attacking the black employee even as he walks away.
Other disgusted workers are heard mobilizing each other to fight back and defend their colleague. The workplace abuse is alleged to have started after workers asked for their outstanding salaries dating back to March last year.
ZimLive was told that the confrontational Chinese national went on to strike his employee with a shovel after the camera stopped rolling. The victim sustained a deep cut on his arm, it was claimed. Other reports said Zhang assaulted two employees.
The viral video was circulated widely on Twitter and WhatsApp platforms on Monday, sparking outrage among Zimbabweans who accused local Chinese employers of being downright racist and abusive.
The Chinese embassy in Harare responded with a defensive statement Tuesday, counseling against painting of its nationals with the same brush while slating “trial by some on social media based on partial information in a video of only 25 seconds.”
“The Chinese Embassy has taken note of a short video circulating by some on social media purportedly showing a fight between a local man and his employers,” the embassy said.
“The Chinese Embassy supports a fair and transparent handling of all violations of law by the Zimbabwean authorities, regardless of whom is involved.
“It is important that a complete and truthful account of the incident is made available. Trial by some on social media, based on partial information in a video of only 25 seconds, is not helpful.
“The whole truth of the incident has not been established; it is wrong and dangerous to hold the entire Chinese community for what happens in this unclear incident,” the embassy added.
In a similarly disgusting attack that roiled Zimbabweans last year, another Chinese boss shot and seriously injured two local employees at Reden Mine, some 25 kilometers out of Gweru, during a row over unpaid wages.
Zhang Xuen, 41, was charged with the attempted murder of Wendy Chikwaira, 31, and Kennedy Tachiona, 39.
The matter is still pending.
The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA), condemned the barbaric attack, calling it part of a “systematic and widespread” pattern of labour rights violations by Chinese companies and investors in Zimbabwe’s mining sector, where China has invested heavily.