Case 14: Hiring and Firing in the Chinese-Zimbabwean Mining Industry

  • Christian Martin Boness
Part of the Palgrave Studies in African Leadership book series (PSAL)


Since its independence, Zimbabwe has opened its gates to Chinese investment. The country has precious mineral resources, and mining industries are booming. In a gold mining plant in Mashonaland, the relationship between the Chinese management and the staff is quite tense. Grievances of the Zimbabweans include the treatment of workers, the “hire-and-fire” policy, and safety and security measures. Admittedly, the Chinese management has created many jobs, but mine workers are not sure if they can keep their places in the mining company. Some feel threatened by the high number of workers who lose their jobs suddenly. But the issues of unfair contracts and the abuse of labourers are also on the agenda. The situation in the gold mine has gained public interest, and investigative journalists approach Mr Peng, the human resource manager of the company, to get an answer. Mr Peng responds in a friendly manner to their questions about the Chinese management’s expectations of the working staff in the mine.


Recruitment Labour Dismissal Value orientations 


  1. Ernstes, C. (2014). Education in Zimbabwe. The Borgen Project. Retrieved from
  2. Inglehart, R., & Welzel, C. (2010). Changing Mass Priorities: The Link Between Modernization and Democracy, World Values Survey. Perspectives on Politics, 8(2), 551–567.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Mangirazi, N. (2016, September 11). Workers at Chinese Mine Raise Hell Over Abuse. The Standard. Retrieved from
  4. Mayer, C.-H., & Boness, C. (2016). “Somehow It Is Like The Military …”. Experiences of Chinese and Tanzanian Cooperation in a Chinese Organisation in Tanzania. In T. Jackson, L. Louw, D. K. Boojihawon, & T. Fang (Eds.), Chinese Organisations in Sub-Saharan Africa: New Dynamics, New Synergies. Routledge.Google Scholar
  5. Mbiti, J. S. (1990). African Religions and Philosophy (2nd ed.). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  6. Ojakorotu, V., & Kamidza, R. (2018, January 24). Look East Policy: The Case of Zimbabwe-China Political and Economic Relations Since 2000. India Quarterly: A Journal of International Affairs. Retrieved from
  7. Perper, R. (2018, May 3). Zimbabwe’s Opposition Leader Has Pledged to Rid the Country of Chinese Investment. Business Insider. Deutschland. International. Retrieved from
  8. Schulman, M. (2006). Business Ethics. Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. Santa Clara University, California. Retrieved from
  9. Taylor, I. (2005). ‘The Devilish Thing’: The Commonwealth and Zimbabwe’s Dénouement. The Round Table, 94(380), 367–380. Scholar
  10. Zimbabwe. Ministry of Mines and Mining Development. (2016). Mashonaland Central. Important Minerals and Potential. Retrieved from
  11. Zimbabwe. Ministry of Mining and Mining Development. (2018). Our Vision. Our Mission. Retrieved from

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Martin Boness
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ManagementRhodes UniversityGrahamstownSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations