Zimbabwe: Working for the Chinese in Zimbabwe

Over 300,000 teenage school leavers in Zimbabwe are currently working for Chinese shop-owners. One of them, Meagan Ngwenya, claims to be heavily exploited.

Meagan Ngwenya (18) is an orphan who has already worked for a variety of Chinese employers. She accuses them of unfair labour practices.

Ngwenya spoke to RNW at her current Chinese-run shop which sells clothing and vehicle-parts. “Since 2012, a year after I dropped out of school, I have been working for one Chinese boss after the other; often for little or no payment, which renders life hard for me.”

She claims to have been exposed to cruel treatment and extremely long working hours. “There are limited formal jobs here and I have found it hard to secure one, and as a result I continue to toil in shops owned by Chinese. This is my sixth job working for Chinese shop owners.”

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Protests across Africa: Different attention for different countries?

Sokari Ekine, Pambazuka

March 3, 2011


Focusing on Libya, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Gabon and Zimbabwe, Sokari Ekine provides a round-up of international and social media coverage of the multiple sites of sustained protests across Africa and considers the differences in media attention between each of them.


What began as a people’s uprising in Libya has since moved closer towards a civil war as soldiers of the Libyan army defect and some protestors take up arms against Colonel Gaddafi’s forces, as shown in this graphic video (tweeted widely), with the Libyan army protecting protestors against pro-Gaddafi forces. @EnoughGaddafi tweets ‘Massive arrests being made in Tripoli, eyewitness from Jdeida prison says a lot of activists and injured are being held there’. One tweeter reminds us of the chaos and possible endangering of peoples lives by international media reports:

‘@bintlibya: @AlJazeera pls stop airing calls of ppl giving locations details of things that have yet 2 happen u are causing more harm than good #Libya’

Tens of thousands of mostly foreign nationals are fleeing the country and already there is a humanitarian crisis on the Tunisian border. The tweets from UNHCR stress the panic taking place:

‘@refugees: #UNHCR & #IOM ask govs 2 suply masive financial + logistcal asets incl planes + boats: overcrwding at #Libya #Tunisia border worsens by hour’

‘@refugees: Shelter! Shelter! Shelter! Tens of thousands need shelter at the Tunisian border, as Tunisia opens its borders for all. #Libya

As Gaddafi finds new ways to attack Libyans, Libyans unleash their fury against his deployment of mercenaries from West and East Africa as migrant workers from south of the Sahara face increasing attacks and are prevented from leaving the country. Given the racism in Libya and low status of foreign black workers, it was only a matter of time before innocent people were attacked. Continue reading

Patrick Bond on Mugabe’s Repressive Neo-Colonial Regime in Zimbabwe

Will Zimbabwe again regress?

A mid-2011 election announced by Mugabe promises a return to outright violence and poll thievery.

“There was a ZANU-PF that we were part of, the liberation movement, and then there was Mugabe’s ZANU-PF, which is very different. Mugabe is essentially right wing, notwithstanding the anti-imperialist rhetoric.”

Patrick Bond, Bulawayo

November 12, 2010 –  If leaders of a small African country stand up with confidence to imperialist aggression, especially from the US and Britain, it would ordinarily strike any fair observer as extremely compelling. Especially when the nightmare of racist colonialism in that country is still be to exorcised, whites hold a disproportionate share of economic power and state’s rulers appear serious about changing those factors.

But that country needs a second glance. What may seem to some a progressive and brave government is upon closer examination a tyranny whose leader repeatedly acts against grassroots and shop-floor social solidarity, and notwithstanding rhetoric about land redistribution, is ultimately very hostile to its own society’s poor and working people, women, youth, elderly and ill.

“Progress in Zimbabwe” was the title of a four-day conference in Bulawayo last week, gathering mainly academics but also leading civil society strategists. It was organised by University of Johannesburg political economist David Moore and by Showers Mawowa of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) School of Development Studies and the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development.

Said Moore, “For many analysts, the end of progress is signified in the political projects of Robert Mugabe and Zimbabwe African Nation Union-Patriotic Front [ZANU-PF] – not to mention the Government of National Unity.” It has been two years since South Africa’s then-president Thabo Mbeki negotiated dysfunctional power-sharing between Mugabe’s junta and Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Continue reading