|Chinese killed at Zambian mine|
|Tuesday, 07 August 2012 00:00|
“We have arrested 12 people in connection with the killing of a Chinese manager at Collum Coal mine, although we have not yet charged them,” southern province police commissioner Fred Mutondo told reporters.
“Not all the 12 are employees of the mine. Some are villagers that joined in the riot . . . We have a clear lead of the people who released the trolley to kill their manager but these people are still on the run,” Mutondo said.
The clashes took place after a labour dispute at the Chinese-owned Collum Coal Mining Industries Ltd in Sinazongwe district of the province.
The two wounded Chinese miners suffered minor injuries from the incident, the Embassy said.
According to reports, eleven Zambian workers were injured in the incident.
A local radio station reported that the clashes were triggered by local miners after the mine’s management allegedly delayed to put a new salary increase into effect.
The Chinese Embassy has been in touch with relevant departments of the Zambian government and the police and has sent a team to the scene to investigate the incident.
Home Affairs Minister Edgar Lungu told the press on Sunday that those responsible for the death would be prosecuted.
Zambia’s government recently issued a statutory instrument for a significant increase of minimum wages from about US$100 to about US$201 for casual workers and others.
Collum Coal Mine, a private firm run by Chinese investors from Jiangxi province, has an annual production capacity of 100 000 tonnes of coal.
In October 2010, another clash occurred at the same mine, in which a dozen local workers were injured.
China and Zambia established diplomatic ties 48 years ago and the two countries have enjoyed close economic and trade relations ever since.
Chinese investment in Zambia has brought great benefit to both countries.
China is Zambia’s fourth largest trading partner, with a bilateral trade volume amounting to US$2,85 billion in 2010.
The Zambia-China economic and trade co-operation zone established in 2006 has realised US$700 million of investment and created nearly 6 000 jobs.
Zambian President Michael Sata has on many occasions voiced the country’s willingness to keep good relations with China and welcomed Chinese firms to invest in Zambia and help the country’s economic and social development. — Xinhua/AFP.