By Alois Vinga
THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has threatened to launch a global campaign against Chinese investors if the Asian economic giant did not take steps to whip its nationals in Zimbabwe to uphold labour rights.
The details are contained in a petition directed to Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe, Guo Shaochun.
The move follows a recent incident in which a Gweru Chinese businessman, Zhang Xueun shot and injured two employees – Wendy Chikwaira and Kennedy Tachiona – during an ill-fated wage dispute.
Xueun is both mine owner and manager.
In the incident, Chikwaira was treated and discharged from hospital after a bullet grazed his chin, while Tachiona was Tuesday still admitted at a private hospital after being shot on his right leg and thigh.
“We would like to warn you that if these abuses by Chinese investors continue, the ZCTU will have no option but to launch a global campaign against any Chinese investors who come not only to Zimbabwe, but Africa,” ZCTU secretary general, Japhet Moyo said in the petition.
The labour group said Shaochun’s swift move to condemn the incident was not convincing because the embassy has failed to act on numerous similar incidents in the past.
ZCTU said while it was common knowledge the abusers were from privately owned companies, the embassy still had a role to play in stopping the errant employers.
“There is no doubt that your compatriots are a law unto themselves and act with impunity knowing that they have protection from someone in the higher offices,” Moyo said.
“Why is it that of all investors coming to Zimbabwe, the Chinese investors have proved to be the most abusive?
“This is the same behaviour that led Zimbabweans to take arms against white oppressors. Sooner rather than later, workers are bound to retaliate.”