Midlands Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Larry Mavima and Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando have slammed the Reden Mine shooting incident, equating it to machete gang violence that rocked the small scale mining sub-sector last year.
The two top government officials were speaking at the mine during a ministerial visit to establish circumstances that led to the mine manager shooting two employees in an altercation over salaries.
Zhang Xuelin (41) shot and injured two workers, Kenneth Tachiona (39) and Wendy Chikwaira (31) for demanding their salaries in US dollars.
Tachiona was seriously injured and is recovering at Midlands Private Hospital, while Chikwaira was treated and discharged and is recuperating from home.
Xuelin was arrested and appeared in court last week.
Senator Mavima equated the shooting incident to machete-wielding gangs that resolved differences and disputes through bloody fights.
He also expressed concern at the disrespect for authority exhibited by the mine owners who snubbed the ministerial visit on grounds they had other commitments on the day.
“It is regrettable that we have encountered this in our province and more to it the person in charge says he is busy to come and attend to us.
“Such incidents are not different to those of machete-wielding gangs and we will not tolerate such here,” Sen. Mavima said.
Minister Chitando said the absence of an interpreter had affected their mission to establish circumstances leading to the shooting.
He called on mining establishments to adhere to the law.
Minister Chitando said the shooting was a sad incident that should never be repeated.
“We could not establish anything due to absence of an interpreter as the guys present here cannot understand a word in English.
“We, however, urge all mining developments in Zimbabwe to be guided legally in resolving issues and outside this incident; mines should be able to work under traceable boundaries of the law which include environmental and labor laws,” Chitando said.
Xuelin was remanded in custody to July 7 this year when he appeared before a Gweru Magistrate.