Zimbabwean Civil Society Organisations slam Chinese firms

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The organizations charged that the Chinese companies were looting Zimbabwean resources, displacing citizens from their homes as they embark on various business projects in the country….reports Asian Lite News

Chinese companies in the African continent are posing threat to the interests of the locals of Zimbabwe as studies highlighted that there has been an increase in the human rights violations by Beijing investors in areas, endowed with natural resources, especially the mining sector.

A Canada based think tank reported that the increasing presence of Chinese companies in the African continent is arousing waves of negative sentiments from several sections of the society.

There is a sentiment that the relations between China and Zimbabwe deepened and expanded massively after Zimbabwe adopted the “Look East Policy”, in the last decade, International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS) reported.

Empirical studies have suggested that following this, there has been an increase in the human rights violations by Chinese investors in areas of Zimbabwe, endowed with natural resources, especially the mining sector, it added.

Recently, a group of 27 Zimbabwe-based Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) issued a communique titled “Civil Society Statement on Chinese Investments in Zimbabwe: Communities’ Sentiments should be respected”, criticising the operations of Chinese companies in the country, IFFRAS reported.

The organizations charged that the Chinese companies were looting Zimbabwean resources, displacing citizens from their homes as they embark on various business projects in the country.

The CSOs named Chinese companies including “Anjin Mining”, which has not paid its taxes. They also blamed ‘Freestone Mines’ for not conducting environmental impact assessments to gauge the damage it has done to the environment, according to the think tank.

The CSOs, further demanded that the Zimbabwean government must engage China and Chinese investors for being socially irresponsible, violating human rights, and illegally extracting natural resources of the country.

IFFRAS reported that the statement came in the backdrop of an order issued by a Chinese company serving a three-month notice to villagers in Binga, Matabeleland North province, to leave their ancestral land after the miner was granted permission to extract coal in the area.

Furthermore, the CSOs-led by the Centre for Natural Resources Governance (CNRG), highlighted the low levels of governance led by Chinese investors and urged the government and the media to take the Chinese companies to task.

According to the think tank, Chinese investments in Zimbabwe and the African continent in general, have surged due to the ‘Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)’, a slew of infrastructure projects unleashed by President Xi Jinping in 2013. (ANI)

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