Zambian miners shot 'by mistake'

2010-10-19 13:05
Beijing - China said on Tuesday that two Chinese coal mine managers who were arrested in Zambia for allegedly shooting 12 local workers had hurt the Zambians "mistakenly".

The two Chinese nationals have been charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting randomly at the Zambian miners after they protested poor working conditions at their Chinese-run mine on Friday.

The incident has raised a political storm, with opposition leader Michael Sata accusing the Chinese in the country of being untouchable because they are funding the ruling party ahead of next year's elections.

However, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu said the managers of the private company had "mistakenly hurt several local workers", while promising to co-operate with Zambia on the case.

"We will proceed from the overall interests of our friendly relations with Zambia, continue our close co-operation and properly handle the aftermath according to law," Ma said when asked for comment at a news briefing.

The injured workers at the Chinese-run Collum Coal Mine were hospitalised after the incident. The two Chinese suspects will appear in court soon, a Zambian government official said.

Human rights abuses

Investment from China has been on the rise in Zambia, with several copper and coal mines bought by Chinese firms.

Africa has seen a wave of Chinese investment, despite criticism in the West that Beijing was blatantly ignoring human rights abuses, and environment and corruption issues in some countries as it lunges for the continent's resources.

China pumped $9.3bn into Africa by the end of 2009, a government report said last week, and Chinese officials have vowed the push would continue.

In particular, China has been criticised by the West over its support for regimes such as Sudan and Zimbabwe, which have been accused of human rights abuses, but many African leaders praise Beijing for not preaching to them on rights.

Ma said China's embassy in Lusaka had asked the Chinese-run company to "properly handle the dispute".

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    zambia  |  china  |  southern africa publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Scots beat Samoa, end Japan's dream
Woodcock's career ended by injury
Major Payne as Ireland lose star centre
As it happened: Samoa 33 Scotland 36
Traffic Alerts

The phrase for today is:”Out of the blue.” Expect the unexpected and work with the changeable energy. Your intuition is more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.