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Chinese firm in Zimbabwe speaks on social media video

Herald Reporter

The challenges of fake news have come to the fore again, following a recent video that went viral on social media, claiming that a Chinese national was assaulted by Zimbabwean employees over alleged unpaid wages.

The victim in the video has since been identified as Mr Yang Zhanhui, a Chinese based in Zimbabwe, contracted by a leading mining and plant construction company, Xinhai.

The firm provides mineral processing technology and equipment.

In a statement, Xinhai said the violent incident which occurred on August 29, stemmed from a misunderstanding that was exacerbated by language barriers.

“Contrary to online unjust rumours, the assault did not stem from unpaid wages owed by Yang Zhanhui, to local employees,” said Xinhai.

“This assertion is false. According to the company’s regulations, the wages of local employees are paid on the 2nd of each month, and the company has never defaulted on these payments.

“The reason for this violent altercation was the demand by local employees that Yang provide their August wages on August 29, 2023, after learning that Yang Zhanhui’s visa expired and was about to return to China.”

The company said due language barriers, Mr Yang was unable to provide a satisfactory response to the employees, resulting in an escalation of the situation and the eventual outbreak of violence. “However, in response to the employees’ request and to further calm the situation, the payment of August salaries was made,” said Xinhai.

The company said the employees had violated the code of conduct and failed to follow proper procedures for registering their grievances.

“The company operates within the parameters of the law and is committed to upholding the highest standards of employees’ ethics and legality. “Consequently, we implore our employees to utilise proper channels, such as workers’ committees, to address their concerns and shun violence,” the company said.

Xinhai said it has confidence in the judiciary system and the law enforcement agents to bring the assailants to book.

“Xinhai reserves the right to file a lawsuit against the abusers in accordance with the law, and at the same time, requires that the relevant law enforcement departments diligently handle these individuals according to the law.

“Such actions will play a pivotal role in safeguarding and preserving the legitimate rights, interests, and personal safety of investors and foreign citizens within Zimbabwe,” said Xinhai.