By Tarisai Machakaire
A Chinese businessman reportedly fired shots before setting vicious dogs on three employees that had approached him demanding payment. Xu Lei, 36, appeared before Harare magistrate Milton Serima charged with contravening the Firearms Act and assault charges.
He was released on bail.
The complainants are Farai Kondo, 29, Simon Chikwanda, 29, and Tatenda Jenami, 22, who were employed by Lei since March 2017 to July 23 this year.
On July 23, Lei went to his Zvishavane shop where the three complainants were employed and told workers that he was closing the premises to relocate to Bindura because business was low for him.
Kondo, Chikwanda and Jenami loaded all the goods into two trucks and Lei promised to give them transport fare to Bindura.
However, the court heard, Lei drove away leaving Kondo and his colleagues stranded in Zvishavane.
The trio had to seek assistance from a police vehicle that dropped them off at Mhandamabwe roadblock where they caught up with Lei.
It was reported that Lei began alleging that Kondo and his workmates had stolen money from him and later gave them $15 each before agreeing to meet at his factory in Graniteside.
On July 25, the trio went to Lei’s factory at 98 Kevin Road South, Graniteside in Harare where they met but did not discuss or agree on how they would be remunerated because Lei now claimed Kondo and his workmates had stolen his $40 000.
On July 27, Kondo and his colleagues went to Lei’s factory and told him they would be taking their case to the Labour Court.
On July 31, the trio was given summons to serve on Lei by the Labour Court. When they arrived at his business premises, they were chased away.
When Kondo and his workmates resisted, Lei got into his office and returned with a Pietro Beretta pistol and fired three shots into the air threatening to kill the complainants.
He then pointed the gun at Kondo and Chikwanda’s chests before moving it to Jenami’s forehead. He then ordered the trio to move out of his premises and set his dogs on them on their way out.
Kondo, Chikwanda and Jenami were rescued by another Chinese national who restrained the dogs from further attacking them Lei reportedly advanced towards the trio with a broken asbestos sheet and struck Jenami with it.
He sustained a fractured elbow and bruises as a result of the attack. DailyNews