A fierce fight has erupted among Chinese nationals living in Zimbabwe as they tussle for business interests available locally, it has emerged .
Well-placed sources told Business Times this week that the fights which started last year as pockets of business confrontations between Chinese nationals, have now escalated.
It is understood that rival camps are allegedly compromising some security agencies in Zimbabwe to outwit each other in businesses across all sectors.
The Chinese have spread their tentacles in several sectors of the economy following the government’s decision to adopt a ‘Look East’ policy at the turn of the millennium.
The move resulted in an influx of Chinese businesses in Zimbabwe. The Chinese population in Zimbabwe has since grown resulting in clashes in various sectors in Zimbabwe.
It is understood rival groups are allegedly manipulating law enforcement agencies to assist them win ‘wars’ in business interests.
“There is serious fighting in the Chinese community in Zimbabwe and the fighting is around business interests. There are rival companies and business people fighting for business interests in a number of sectors of the economy, including mining. The fight is no longer about the locals and the Chinese but now it’s about the Chinese against the Chinese,” one source told Business Times.
He added: “Some of the groups have mastered the art of bribing law enforcement agencies to outwit rival groups and as you are aware bribery is a serious crime in China.”
All efforts to get a comment from Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Guo Shaochun were futile.
Business Times was referred to one Cong Hong, who was said to be working in the ambassador’s office.
Contacted for a comment, Hong referred Business Times to the new deputy Ambassador Cheng Yan.
However, Yan could not be reached for comment.
Last year, a Chinese couple disappeared on Valentine’s Day in Harare’s Eastlea suburb.
The two Chinese nationals, Lei Ding and his wife Chi Lifen, went missing after visiting a friend, but their vehicle was later found dumped along Arcturus Road, with keys in the ignition and their whereabouts remain unknown. There is unconfirmed suspicion that the disappearance is being linked to the fighting ongoing within the Chinese community.
There have been vicious fights for control of mining interests along the Great Dyke as well and that has seen some Chinese companies battling each other on the control of mostly chrome claims in the Dyke.
There have also been some reports of fights in the Mavuradonha area in Mashonaland Central Province.
The other tussle for business interests in Zimbabwe has also been driven by the ban on foreigners to operate in certain sectors of the economy of which there are certain Chinese that had started some street restaurants in Harare downtown.
Those businesspeople have since diversified into other business sectors like alluvial gold mining and chrome mining.
This therefore has culminated in the scramble for presence in mining and construction sectors.