Zambia mine workers kill Chinese over payBy MICHAEL CHAWE in Lusaka | Sunday, August 5 2012 at 16:44
Zambian workers on Saturday killed a Chinese miner at the Collum Coal mine located south of country in a protest over salary hikes while another one is battling for his life in hospital, a government official said Sunday.
Labour minister Fackson Shamenda said miners rioted on Saturday to protest against delays by management to implement the newly revised minimum wage.
The Chinese owned Collum Coal mine is situated 325km in Maamba town south of the capital Lusaka.
In July the southern African nation new government of President Michael Sata raised minimum wages to $110 for maids and household servants and to $220 for shop workers without unions.
Mr Wu Shengzai aged, 50, died on the spot after being hit by a trolley that was pushed towards him by the rioting miners as he ran away into the underground tunnel where he wanted to seek refuge.
‘We are going to sanction a full investigation into the matter…the death of our Chinese brother is unfortunate and regrettable,” Mr Shamenda told Africa Review in Lusaka.
Mr Shamenda has wondered why the same mine continues to be a place of tension between Zambian workers and Chinese investors.
The government said the workers involved would face prosecution.
Two years ago, Zambian police charged two Chinese officials at the same mine with attempted murder following the shooting of 13 miners in a pay dispute.
By Sunday afternoon state broadcaster Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation reported that calm had returned at the mine and the other injured miner was recuperating in the hospital located within the district where Collum Coal mine is.
Chinese companies have invested more than $1 billion in copper mines in Zambia but their local workers accuse firms of slave labour conditions.
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