Lusaka: Managers at a Chinese-run Collum
Coal Mine in Zambia shot and wounded 12 miners who were
protesting against poor working conditions, police said on Saturday.
"The workers were protesting against the poor working
conditions when managers using shotguns started to shoot
aimlessly, not in the air, thereby wounding 12 workers,"
police spokesman Ndandula Siamana told a news agency.
Before the yesterday`s incident in the southern town of
Sinazongwe, workers had constantly been complaining about poor
working conditions at the mine.
Siamana said police were investigating the incident and
no charges had been brought against the managers.
"It`s possible that the managers feared that they might
be attacked but we shall ensure that the culprits are brought
to book," Siamana said.
The 12 workers are currently being treated at a local
hospital for various gunshot wounds.
The incident has halted production at the mine and
threatened to worsen relations between workers and Chinese
employers in the mining industry and other sectors.
Chinese investment in Zambia is on the rise, with several
Chinese firms having snapped up mines in the copper rich
southern African country.
In March, a Chinese company invested USD 37 million to
revive a dormant nickel mine in the country.