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China in Africa: The Real Story

Murder of Chinese Manager at Zambian Mine

Deborah Brautigam

Henry Hall, at China Africa News, posted this thoughtful comment on his blog after reading about the sentencing of a Zambian worker from the Chinese-owned Collum coal mine, which has been in the news recently. Apparently, a year ago, a Chinese manager at the Collum mine was murdered by one of the workers, This worker has now received the death penalty. Henry Hall caught the story and begins his comment with a reference to the Collum coal mine:
... where Chinese managers injured a number of workers late in 2010. What I did not see reported at the time however, was that a Chinese manager had been killed by a Zambian worker as recently as February of last year. Although this in no way excuses the actions of the Chinese managers, it certainly seems relevant to the discussion. It again highlights Beijing's failure to properly manage the media impact of their African misadventures.
I also thought this report was sad and revealing. Sad because clearly the Collum coal mine is a place with deeply troubled labor relations, problems that apparently drove one man to murder. And revealing because I could not find anything else online about the killing of a Chinese manager by a Zambian worker. Did it really happen? Wasn't it considered news?

For a collection of stories on the shooting of Zambians by two Chinese managers in October 2010, including a link to a Chinese investigative reporter's story, see China Digital Times.