Chinese businessman attacks Zim’s labour laws, investment policies


A CHINHOYI-BASED Chinese businessperson has lashed out at Zimbabwe’s “restrictive labour laws and prohibitive investment policies,” describing them as a major bottleneck to the country’s bid to attract foreign investment.


Yang Zhimeng, manager of ZIM-China Wanjin Agricultural Development Company, told NewsDay in an exclusive interview at the weekend, that although Zimbabwe was endowed with natural resources and good weather, its harsh “labour laws” chased away potential investors.

“Zimbabwe is quite a fascinating place to do farming business. There are so many good resources, for example, the land, climate and the farm workers,” Yang, who operates a brick-moulding business just outside Chinhoyi,” he said.

“It’s pretty good, this is absolutely your advantage, but on the other hand I think there is need to improve policies on foreign investment. The government should facilitate the application of business licences and the flow of goods and capital without stringent conditions.”


He said Zimbabwe’s labour laws largely disadvantage the employer, adding Chinese investors were generally against government determining minimum wages.

“I would like to mention the Labour Act of this country, I think it is too strict. They set the minimum salary, so all the workers must be paid more than that standard, but if the worker doesn’t perform we cannot reduce the salary,” Yang said.

Asked about cheap Chinese imports that have flooded the Zimbabwean market, leading many to loathe the products, he laid the blame on Zimbabwean business people, whom he said import “too many cheap products and damage the image of Chinese products”.

Yang said China produces products for all classes adding generally there is a balance between the price and quality of the goods.

Some workers at the brick-moulding plant who spoke on condition of anonymity, said although their wages were below the stipulated rates, they were happy that at least they were paid on time.

ZIM-China Wanjin Agricultural Development Company employs more than 50 workers at its brickmaking project and farm. They hire contract workers on a daily basis to load the bricks for $3 per load and long contract workers who earn $152 per month.


  1. Yaah agree on investment bt kutaura chokwadi we all know that chinese dnt pay and treat labour like dogs so no to free lanour practises

  2. Who have tough laws for foreigners, Zimbabwe or China? If Zimbabwe have tough laws, would the Chinese have flooded the Zim market? Go to Marange, you find Chinese, farming – Chinese, Retail shops – Chinese, go to Epworth – Chinese, etc. Its really unfair for Yang’s utterances whilst our people cant operate shops in City Centre where they have taken over.

  3. Our labour laws are not harsh chinese men all you want is people to work hard for your bussiness and pay peanuts consider yourself in the place of a worker how much would you expect to be paid those labour laws are there to protect workers from employers like you chinese employers you are well known of bullying workers and bad industrial relations dont take advantage of the zim economic situation its temporal learn to be fair in business but, i agree with you on certain laws pertaining investment for sure certain areas need revisiting but, above all as zimbwabeans we need to enjoy the fruits of our country in a fair manner with foreingers.

  4. This Chinese company has a name that suggest it is an agricultural company and the owners talk about agriculture and farm workers yet they make bricks (farm bricks maybe).

  5. We are surprised to hear a Chinese national expressing himself on the investment laws in Zimbabwe. While he is making valid points on the issue but if a foreign investor said the same thing in China I am sure he would be in trouble with the govt. By the way is making bricks not a reserved area in terms of the Indigenisation Act?

  6. Sick and tired of people who always want to oppress workers. They want to do as they please in our country? Want to do to us as they did to our fathers and mothers?

  7. Making bricks is that an investment??? Aripi Zhuwao?? There are many people in Mash West who can do this business. It would be interesting to see what his investment certificate says.
    Two generation from now Zimbabweans will be kicking out the Chinese the same way we did ne varungu ma Rhodies.

  8. is it necessary to print such kind of story in the media, you always contradict yourself. your paper supports capitalism and have Eurocentric ideas, when did you start to support communism and the Chinese. You bring in someone from Hong Kong to make a comment, mind you it is an autonomous region of China which maintains its law of capitalism. Your job is to inform not brainwash tell us the background of this Chinese guy are laws of labour fair under communism or capitalism. If that Chinese guy think our laws are bad he is free to go to Chinatown in USA. Your newspaper must give us a sample of what a good labour law looks like not to just make unnecessary contradiction mend to distabilise the country. furthermore your did not write about Chinese president”s visit but you only wrote about the so called glitch at Harare airport. You are a troop illiterate baboons.

  9. Chinorwadza apa ndechekuti factory yema bricks iyi iri mukati memunda wakaorera pedyo nematura anofanira kuzadzwa nechibage asi munda wacho wava kucherwa kuita mabricks.

  10. This is absolutely nonsense, which labour laws need to be chenged? l’m not sure what really motivated the reporter/writer to publish this article. Judging from the given speech l think Chinese want to exploit us as Zimbabweans. We should not allow us to be colonised at personal level. Better to work with whites who reward our efforts than with someone who jeorpadises the future of my life and generations to come. Ngatimukei vana vevhu tingwarire vanhu ava.

  11. The investor that complains about labour laws most of them treats their workers as creaters
    So those laws are preventing them from what for doing their specilization.

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