Midlands Bureau

The 50-year-old Gweru miner who on Sunday allegedly shot and injured two of his employees following a pay dispute was yesterday denied bail by a Gweru magistrate.

Zihang Xuelin, a manager at Reden Mine in Gweru is now facing attempted murder charges after he shot one of his employees Mr Kenneth Tichaona three times on both legs and fired another shot that grazed the chin of another employee, Mr Wendy Chikwaira.

Zihang appeared before magistrate Mr Edwin Marecha and was remanded in custody to July 7, 2020.

Mr Marecha said the accused, who is a foreigner and was represented by Mr Ignatius Mupfiga of Gundu and Dube Legal practitioners, could not give his plea because he did not bring a certified interpreter.

For the State, Mr Fredrick Macheza told the court that on Monday morning, Mr Tichaona was among 30 employees of Reden Mine who were gathered at the mine premises during a pay dispute with the employer.

The staff were demanding to be paid in hard currency while the employer insisted on paying them in local currency. This did not go down well with the employees resulting in an altercation and a mini demonstration.

The employees led by Mr Tichaona then charged towards Zihang, who fired two warning shots into the air but the group continued to charge at him, the court heard.

It is the state’s case that Zihang then used the company’s FN pistol to shoot Mr Tichaona three times in both legs resulting in him falling to the ground.

Zihang again shot at the group of employees and a bullet grazed the chin of Mr Chikwaira, the court further heard.

Mr Tichaona is still in hospital while Mr Chikwaira was treated and discharged.