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ZCTU says China re-colonizing Zimbabwe, claims government favours nationals from the Asian country

05/05/2017 00:00:00
by Staff reporter
Chinese leader XI with President Mugabe in Mugabe two years ago

CHINA is slowly re-colonizing Zimbabwe with the blessings of the government of President Robert Mugabe, the country’s biggest labour body, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) said Friday.

Speaking during commemorations to mark International Occupational Health and Safety Day in Harare, ZCTU President, Peter Mutasa, said while Britain colonized the country politically, China, the second biggest economy in the world, was bringing in a new type of colonization.

“In our view as the ZCTU, we believe in the saying that Zimbabwe will never be a colony again; and in that spirit, we denounce colonialism in all its forms. Now the Chinese are economically colonizing us. This colonization of the economy by China is a new form of colonization,” said Mutasa,

“We don’t want to be colonized by the West; we don’t want to be colonized by the East. We are worried about the horrors that we hear about Chinese business people. We don’t want economic and social colonization,” he added.

Mutasa said the Chinese were visitors in Zimbabwe and should not socialize us but rather it should be the other way round.

“What they call work ethics we call workers’ abuse. We have received complaints from a number of workers in the Chinese owned businesses, both domestic and industrial. Some are beaten like kids, others are not given salaries while others are not provided with any safety clothing,” he said.

He said complaints of unfair labour practices and abuse of workers raised with the authorities were being ignored.

“We believe they are being given some form of immunity by the government because their cases don’t move in the manner that other cases are dealt with. This is the level of exploitation we don’t need in this country,” he said.

Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe (EMCOZ) Senior Vice President, Matthew Chimbwanda, concurred with Mutasa, saying they were also seriously concerned.

“We represent enlightened employers and we are a very professional body. We believe organisations are made out of people and that life is very critical to us. You don’t get success if you don’t look after employees,” he said.

Speaking at the same occasion, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Ngoni Masoka, expressed concern over the increasing number of workplace casualties, which he said were on the increase.


He indicated that workplace casualties had increased from 54 in 2015 to 63 in 2016, after they had declined steeply from 106 in 2014.

“Locally, records on national OSH performance maintained by NSSA are indicating an increase in occupational accidents and diseases. These statistics are not pleasant at all and continue to be an area of focus for the Ministry as we thrive for a zero percent casualties.

This year’s commemorations were held under the theme “Optimize the Collection and Use of Data”



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