HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsIt’s not for party-less Mutambara to tutor us about unfair Chinese practices

It’s not for party-less Mutambara to tutor us about unfair Chinese practices


Like I alluded to last week, the government of Zimbabwe does not seem concerned that its citizens are being beaten and abused, literally enslaved by the country’s newfound dog-eating rich “friends” from far-off China.

This has been confirmed by utterances in Parliament last week by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara whose response to a query by an MP on what measures government was taking to stop the Chinese from beating up their Zimbabwean workers, was tantamount to declaring the poor workers could suffer, for as long as the Chinese brought money into the pockets of those in the right positions.

The party-less DPM, who in reality no longer has any constituency to represent in Parliament, sought to accuse those bringing to the fore the misery wrought upon the hapless workers of being European agents fighting to thwart Chinese investment in Africa.

Instead of addressing the concerns brought to the attention of the House by Zaka West MP Festus Dumbu about the Chinese’s inhuman treatment of their workers, Mutambara simply said the Chinese should respect our laws and that it was up to Zimbabweans to see to it that they did.

“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,” Mutambara said before going on a tirade against the people that exposed the dehumanising behaviour of the Orientals.

Dumba had asked why, despite the countless reports of abuse of workers, no arrests had been made.

“Have the Chinese become immune to the Zimbabwe law to the extent that to date we have never had any Chinese who have been arrested for assault or abuse of subordinates or employees?” Dumbu wanted to know.

The DPM said in reply: “You should not fight the Chinese on behalf of the Americans. You should not fight the Chinese on behalf of the Europeans. Most of the criticisms of the Chinese in Africa are initiated by their competitors from Europe and America. Africans are being used to do the bidding for them.

“As long as you are clever as a nation,” said Mutambara, “you should be able to extract and unlock value from the relationship with China.”

So now Mutambara believes allowing our citizens to be abused, kicked around, made to go into mines or onto building sites without protective clothing, overworked and given slave wages, is being clever, or that it is all very necessary in order to “extract and unlock value” from China!

What madness would have a leader of a country make such insensitive utterances except, of course, that given the well-known Chinese knack for palm-greasing, our leaders in government have fallen willing prey and have sold their souls, sacrificing their citizens’ liberties, for a few pieces of silver.

While our authorities are doing nothing about human abuses by the Chinese, animal rights groups, have made headway investigating Chinese cruelty against the dogs that they eat.

The Veterinarians for Animal Welfare Zimbabwe group and the Bulawayo chapter of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, travelled to West Nicholson outside Gwanda town in Matabeleland South to investigate Chinese cruelty to dogs.

Dog-eating Chinese engineers last year caused an uproar in Matabeleland South where they were installing transmitters.

Dog meat is considered a delicacy by some Chinese nationals, who brutally kill the animals so that they die slowly, to flavour the meat with adrenalin and other hormones.

The behaviour of the Chinese who have a penchant for dog meat unsettled villagers who were left with no choice, but to jealously protect their animals which should ordinarily guard them.

Matabeleland South police arrested two Chinese nationals after evidence was found that they were slaughtering dogs at their makeshift camp.

Concerns about the eating habits of the Chinese were raised after dogs began to disappear in the area. The village headman warned his subjects to be careful about their dogs’ movements.

The Chinese were allegedly stealing or buying the dogs for as little as $10 each before brutally killing them.

The dogs were reportedly tied with wires around their necks and hung from trees so that they defecate, before being struck with iron bars on their heads.

This kind of cruelty cannot be allowed to be extended to the workers at the construction sites, mines, restaurants and retail shops where the Chinese claim protection from well-placed government officials.

The Chinese invasion would not have risen so much of a stink had it not been characterised by their flagrant disregard of human rights.

Mutambara seemed to justify this form of slavery by explaining in Parliament that it was a necessary change of environment given the nature of business the Chinese brought to the country, what nonsense!

“ . . . When the Chinese enter an economic sector like cotton, tobacco or wheat, they change the rules because of their huge-scale volumes so they will set a new environment,” Mutambara said.

So the Chinese must change the rules and set new environments where Zimbabweans find themselves back in the colonial era where they worked the fields with their British masters flogging them from behind?

At least the British would flog and then clothe and feed their workers. Now the Chinese will flog and let you go hungry or leave you grossly underpaid!

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