Behind the Zambia shooting: Chinese mining companies are struggling to expand in Africa

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On October 15 (Zambia local time), 11 local employees and 3 Chinese employees were injured in a shooting conflict at the Kelan Coal Mine in Sinasangui Region, Southern Province of Zambia. On the 19th, Zambia charged with "attempted murder" Two Chinese managers of the coal mine.

On October 20, a person from the Chinese Embassy in Zambia introduced to this reporter that the Kelan Coal Mine has partially resumed production, and the injured people have been properly resettled. "This incident will not affect China's investment environment in Zambia."

"It is normal to be prosecuted, Zambia is a country with the rule of law." Wu Youjin, head of Yongtongchang Mining, a Chinese-funded enterprise also in Zambia, told our reporter that Zambia is one of the countries with the best investment environment in Africa. In recent years, China Enterprises have entered in large numbers, and their companies have also achieved "unprecedented" development, but "when you go to other people's places, you must respect them" and "prevent people with ideas from attacking Chinese investment."

The shooting case

"It was not intentional to injure local employees." The aforementioned embassy source said that the 11 local employees were accidentally injured. "The Chinese did not shoot directly at the local employees, but the shotgun shot was shot on the local employees."

Previously, Kelan Coal Mine had a one-week holiday due to the sluggish market. October 15 was the salary payment day of Kelan Coal Mine. Among the wages, the Chinese side did not pay the wages during the holiday, but the local employees believed that even the holiday would To pay wages.

"In addition to the absence of the main person in charge of Kelan Coal Mine, the two sides have 'poor traffic', which led to conflicts." The aforementioned embassy source said that at that time, the location of Kelan Coal Mine was surrounded by local employees. Throw rocks.

Since there were only 10 Chinese personnel and hundreds of local employees at that time, the Chinese personnel fired warning shots, but in a panic, the Chinese personnel shot at the ground, causing accidental injuries to some employees.

"The matter has been transferred to normal processing procedures, and I believe all parties can get a fair answer." The above-mentioned embassy source said that the local injured employees have been properly treated, no one died, and most of the injured employees have been discharged from the hospital. The treatment is not life-threatening."

According to Reuters, Zambia's Sinazongwe police chief Oliver Pelete said that the local police were ready to charge two Chinese managers of the Kelan Coal Mine who were involved in the shooting on charges of "attempted murder." Detained in jail, awaiting trial."

In the Reuters report, it said Chinese companies were in constant conflict with local miners, labor unions and the opposition, and cited the 2005 shooting at the Chambishi copper mine.

However, the aforementioned embassy source said that China and Zambia have a deep traditional friendship, and the shooting incident will not affect the development of Chinese companies in Zambia. "The Kelan Coal Mine has partially resumed production."

In Wu Youjin's view, "it is normal to prosecute, and there is no need to make a fuss", "solving the problem through legal channels is the best way to deal with it."