GWERU – Zhang Xuelin (41) appeared before the magistrate’s court yesterday where he was remanded in prison to 7 July for shooting two of his employees over a wage dispute at Reden Mine on Sunday 21 June 2020.
Xuelin is facing attempted murder charges after shooting Kenneth Tachiona (39) and Wendy Chikwaira (31) who were both referred to Midlands Private Hospital for treatment with the former supposedly recuperating and in stable condition while the later has already been discharged.
Xuelin was not asked to plead as the court argued that it was against their standards that an accused person brings their own interpreter.
“We can’t have an interpreter coming from somewhere in these courts as it is against the standards set by the Judiciary Services Commission,” said Magistrate Edwin Marecha.
Representing the accused, Ignitius Mupfiga of Gundu and Dube Legal Practitioners agreed to the request on condition that the court provides a Chinese interpreter whom the accused will understand to which Marecha gave surety.
Xuelin is accused of drawing his FN pistol, serial number 76025381 and fired towards Tichaona during an altercation. He shot him thrice on the right thigh and twice on the left thigh…the accused assaulted the complainant with his feet and fired one shot towards his workers and the bullet gazed the chin of Chikwaira causing other workers to disperse.
Visibly following court procedures was Midlands Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) leader Charles Chikozho, a significant move showing their discontent against Chinese employers as shown in their recent tweet.
“The government has sold the country to China,” the ZCTU said in a statement released via Twitter. “Now the Chinese do as they please and ill-treat Zimbabwean workers in our own country because they know we have no protection from the government. The liberators have turned our good country into a predator state.”
The court sitting also comes after the Chinese business community recently visited the Tichaona’s home to apologise and offer compensation.
In a statement on Monday, the Chinese embassy however said it “firmly supports Zimbabwe’s law enforcement agencies to transparently and openly investigate and handle the case in accordance with the laws of Zimbabwe.”
“Any possible illegal acts and persons who violate the law should not be shielded,” the embassy said.
Police were also on high alert fearing protest from angry residents who have since described the incident as human.
Fredrick Macheza represented the state.