Zimbabweans should make full use of their labour laws to put checks and balances on Chinese companies many of whom have been accused of abusing locals.
This was said yesterday by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara during a question and answer session in the House of Assembly.
He was responding to Zaka West MP Festus Dumbu who asked him to explain government policy on the rampant unfair labour practices by Chinese employers.
Dumbu’s question came in light of media reports exposing the unfair labour practices by Chinese companies scattered all over the country in the mining, construction and fast food business.
“The Chinese must operate in our country on our terms and also respect our laws and it is up to us to apply those laws,” said Mutambara.
“In terms of other companies, we can determine and say the Chinese must not come and enter into restaurant, food and hair salon business and it is important to safeguard our interests although we cannot avoid doing business with the Chinese,” said Mutambara.
He said despite the ill-treatment of workers, the Chinese were an economic superpower which Zimbabwe could not afford to ignore.
“The Chinese are now the second largest economy in the world and in fact in 2040 the Chinese will attract 40% of the global economy, while America will attract 30%,”said Mutambara.
He said as a result the Chinese would be the future and Zimbabwe should make sure that as a country it extracts value from Chinese deals in order to benefit.