Chinese ambassador supports punishment for Chinese companies violating laws in Zim

Phillipa Jaja

Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe, Zhou Ding has said Chinese companies who violate the country’s laws and regulations need to be punished on the basis of credible evidence.

Chinese companies in Zimbabwe have been constantly attacked by workers’ unions, non-governmental organisations and some parts of the media for allegations of harassment and victimisation of workers.

Some shadowy social media groups such as Pachedu recently claimed that they are behind pollution of water bodies in Zimbabwe such as the Deka River in Hwange, Matabeleland North Province.

This led to an outcry by the Chinese embassy which has said such sentiments constitute profiling of Chinese companies.

Despite the fact that these companies have made great contributions to the country’s development, creating an excess of 100 000 jobs, ambassador

Zhou said they should be punished in the event of failure to obey the country’s rule of law.

“Any companies whether Chinese or foreign ones with a presence in Zimbabwe are obliged to abide by the law so we have to see it case by case.

“If you have any evidence, if some critic or some media implicates such, you should provide it to us or the Government and if they are against the law, then they need to be punished.

“If they do something wrong, they deserve to be punished,” he expounded on the side-lines of a handover ceremony of emergency food assistance yesterday.

The ambassador expressed satisfaction with the conduct of most Chinese investors saying only a “few small companies who may be not used to the laws and regulations here” are the culprits.

He further disproved of sentiments meant to evoke hatred towards Chinese companies and communities on the basis of the few bad ones saying it is prejudiced.

“Well basically, I am very satisfied with the Chinese companies’ performance.

“The majority of companies are doing well and making huge contributions to this country’s social and economic development.

“They are several small companies, maybe they are not used to the laws and regulations here.

“Sometimes, they make some mistakes but the majority of the Chinese companies are doing pretty well.

“There some critics, some media companies and some NGOs who have joined the bandwagon, but generally it is unfair to use one or two companies to stir up anti-Chinese company or anti-Chinese hatred,” he said.

He said most Chinese companies’ contributions to Zimbabwe are not dodgy as their conduct is visible to the public adding that this mirrors their country’s cooperation which is transparent.

“What the Chinese companies are doing is visible like just said in my speech.

“Our cooperation is transparent and inclusive.

“So we welcome all companies from all over the world to invest in Zimbabwe.

“As I mentioned, Zimbabwe is a land of hope, of opportunities, so I think there is a lot that needs to be done in the future,” added.

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