Chinese companies in Zimbabwe accused of abusing workers
A Chinese granite miner allegedly broke a 17-year-old boy’s arm after allegedly administering thorough beatings amid revelations that three work-related deaths have gone investigated almost five years later, the 2022 Zimbabwe Country Report on Human Rights Practices has revealed.
The detailed report conducted annually by the United States Department of State has once again exposed China’s investments in Africa leaving many to ponder whether the former is indeed the continent’s “all-weather friend”.
According to the report, during the year 2022, there were rampant worker abuse reports against management at certain enterprises and companies owned by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) parastatals and private.
PRC citizens were commonly reported, including reports of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse of workers; unsafe working conditions; underpayment or non-payment of wages; unfair dismissals; firings without notice; failure to abide by collective bargaining agreements; and failure to report health and safety incidents.
“A report released in January says multiple sources alleged PRC-linked granite mining companies engaged in human rights abuses, poor working conditions, and violence against employees, including Jinding Mining Company and Shanghai Haoyang Mining Investments.
“One villager reported witnessing a beating with a steel rod and the breaking of a 17-year-old’s arm for arriving late to work at the mine.
“In May, a publication reported the deaths in 2020 of three miners at Kunyu Mine in Banze were the result of unsafe working conditions. Representatives from the Progressive Mining and Allied Industries Workers Union of Zimbabwe alleged the incident was never investigated due to close ties between PRC enterprises and Zimbabwean authorities,” the report said.
It was also observed that in February, PRC-owned Freestone Mines closed a quarry following a public backlash when investigative journalists documented labour rights abuses and attempts to bypass environmental laws in companies owned by PRC parastatals and private PRC citizens.
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