BY SILAS NKALA
THE Chinese-owned Fools Investment Mine at Hope Fountain near Bulawayo has been slapped with a $40 000 fine for allowing a foreigner, Zhang Zhongyi, to work as a metallurgist at the mine without a valid permit.
Zhongyi’s illegal stay in the country was exposed after he assaulted two mine workers who confronted mine management demanding payment of their outstanding salaries.
He was arraigned before the courts last week on the assault charge and has been remanded out of custody to February 24 on condition he pays $3 000 bail.
While his assault case was still pending at the courts, immigration officials in the country established that he was an illegal immigrant.
The State then charged him for contravening section 29(10b), as read with section 29(2a) of the Immigration Act chapter 4:02 for ‘entering or remaining in Zimbabwe after his permit had expired.
On January 27, Zhongyi (61) appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Stephen Ndhlovu to answer to the charge of illegally staying in the country.
Ndhlovu fined him $5 000 before ordering him to leave the country for China through Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.
Following the deportation of Zhongyi, Fools Investment Mine, represented by Zhiwei Zhao, was charged for employing an immigrant who did not have a valid permit. On Wednesday the company was ordered to pay a $40 000 fine.
The court heard that Zhongyi’s certificate of entry was issued at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport on November 12 in 2020.
It expired on December 12 and was not renewed. However, Zhongyi illegally remained in the country working at the mine until the time of his arrest for assault..