Chinese abuse Malawian workers – report

A newspaper report on Tuesday highlighted Chinese brutality to Malawian workers at the construction site of a National Stadium in the capital city Lilongwe.

And Nyasa Times correspondent followed up by visiting the construction place where it established that indeed workers were being abused.

Those who spoke to Nyasa Times collaborated the Daily Times report that they face corporal punishment from the Chinese supervisors.

It was established that there were high levels of employee harassment.

The workers claimed that their Chinese bosses beat them with fists, whip them and kicked them with heavy safety boots but they had to stomach in to keep their jobs.

Slaves in their own land: A photo  depicting Chinese brutality - Pic by Golden Matoga, BNL
Slaves in their own land: A Daily Times photo depicting Chinese brutality

Workers were mostly being harshly ordered to carry out tasks, shouted at and taunted, accused of being lazy.

“Some of our colleagues have been badly injured,” said one of the workers.

But site manager a Mr Chen dismissed the abuse claims, saying only those “caught stealing” are punished.

“We do not do such a thing. That is a lie,” Chen is quoted saying in Daily Times.

“We only have problems with local staff who are stealing from us and our concern should be your concern as well,” he said.

He blames Police on the site for not being helpful .hence the physical abuse.

The newspaper report irked most Malawians in internet chat forums with others urging workers to defend themselves against Chinese employers, a move observers warned could trigger xenophobic violence across the country.

The Chinese signed an agreement with Malawi government to build a new state-of-the-art national stadium at an estimated cost of US$70 million.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Asian nation will provide a concessional to be repaid in 20 years.

Construction of the new stadium, with a 40 000 capacity, is expected to be completed by end of 2014.

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