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Zambian court charge miner with Chinese boss murder
by Staff Writers
Lusaka (AFP) Aug 6, 2012

A Zambian miner was charged in court Wednesday with the killing of a Chinese manager in a wage riot at a Sino-owned coal mine with a history of sometimes violent tensions with workers.

Alex Sindebuka, 25, was charged with murder while 11 others were charged with theft and riotous behaviour.

Wu Shengzai, 50, died after being hit by a trolley which was pushed toward him as he fled underground. A Chinese colleague was also injured in the attack in Sinazongwe, 325 kilometres (200 miles) south of Lusaka.

Chinese investment in the world's biggest copper producer topped $1 billion (800,000 euro) in 2010 but tensions over working conditions have dogged the Asian giant's relations with locals.

The miners rioted during a strike on Saturday at the Chinese-owned Collum Coal mine to protest delays in implementing a new minimum wage.

In 2010, two of the mine's managers were charged with attempted murder after allegedly opening fire on a group of protesting miners. The charges were later dropped.

Eleven Zambian workers were injured in that incident and the mine has since then been a source of controversy between Chinese investors and Zambians.

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