Monday, 29 June 2020

SHOOTING : CHINESE MINE MAY HAVE BEEN OPERATING ILLEGALLY : MINISTER


Government is investigating Reden Mine of Gweru to establish whether the company is operating within the confines of the law following a shooting incident in which two workers were shot and injured, one of them seriously, by their employer a fortnight ago.

Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando said the investigation would inform Government on the appropriate action to take.

Minister Chitando who visited the mine on Sunday on a fact-finding mission after the unfortunate incident emanating from a pay dispute, said documents at hand showed that the company had long ceased operations but could have been still operating illegally.

He said the ministry would set up a team to investigate the way the company had been operating.

“We want all our mining operations to be conducted within the context of the law. If there are any labour disputes or otherwise, they should be resolved within the context of the law. So, yes, we came and we found out that the place is no longer operating. But certainly, this (shooting incident) is a very sad situation in the history of mining in the country. We are conducting investigations on the way they are operating and we will then take appropriate action,” said Minister Chitando.

Minister Chitando said his team also failed to get enough information as to what was really happening on the ground at the foreign-owned mine due to language barriers. 

“The ministry will, however, get to the bottom of it and do a thorough investigation because the shooting incident was a sad development in the history of mining in the country. We are conducting investigations on the way they are operating and their contribution to Fidelity,” he said.

Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister, Senator Larry Mavima also condemned the shooting incident, saying violence should not be tolerated in all sectors of the economy.

“We cannot accept violence to prevail in the mining sector. We have full confidence in our judiciary system and we do believe that justice will take its course. It is quite unfortunate that we had to experience such an incident when we are dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said

Reden Mine manager, Zhang Xuen has since been arrested in connection with the shooting incident and has been remanded in custody.

President Mnangagwa has commented on the shooting incident and said he expected the law to take its course without bias. Herald

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