“We have directed that the two Chinese engineers be deported for indiscipline and abuse, which includes beating up Tanzania nationals,” Works, Transport and Communication Minister Isack Kamwelwe said yesterday in the region.
The minister, who made an unscheduled visit to the company’s construction site at Matundasi village, was received by local employees who claimed they had endured savage beatings at the hands of the two Chinese engineers Pen Pong and Liun Migun.
Wilson Pawa, one of the employees, said the Chinese nationals often making false allegations against them and threatened to shoot them.
“No matter how well we perform our duties at the end of the day they tell us that we have made them incur huge losses and once a dispute arises they beat us up and threaten to kill us,” he said.
Pawa said while showing to the minister a swelling he sustained from the beatings and a police report form (PF3) to get medical treatment.
Mapuli Mbumba, a driver with the firm, said he was yet to get a written contract since he reported for work, besides the employer regularly deducting their salaries every month for no apparent reason.
Matundasi Ward Councilor Kimo Choga said the company’s construction equipment were all worn out and lacked light indicators and rear site mirrors, which could accidents.
The minister said the government cannot tolerate such gross indiscipline and colonial abuse occurring in an independent state.
He directed Tanzania National Road Agencies (Tanroads) to ensure the two Chinese nationals left the country with effect from yesterday.
“This road is being built with taxpayers’ money, which means it is Tanzanian locals, through their taxes, who have employed this Chinese contractor undertaking this project,” Kamwelwe said.
“Tanzanians are not supposed to endure any form of abuse from any quarter,” he added.
The minister also directed the responsible ministry to cancel the engineers’ work permits with immediate effect.
The Chinese embassy was not readily available for comment yesterday.
Earlier last month, the Kenyan government arrested and deported a Chinese businessman after a video clip of him making a string of racist remarks was widely shared on social media.
The Chinese national, identified as Liu Jiaqi, was promptly deported from Kenya and his work permit canceled, the government said on Twitter.
In the two-and-a-half-minute video shared on Twitter and elsewhere, Liu, who appears to be in the midst of a dispute with one of his employees, is recorded issuing a litany of racist slurs.
"Every one, every Kenyan... like a monkey, even Uhuru Kenyatta. All of them," he says.
After the employee suggests Liu should "go back to China" if he feels that way, the businessman responds with further abuse.
"I don't belong to here. I don't like here, like monkey people, I don't like talk with them, it smells bad, and poor, and foolish, and black. I don't like them. Why not (like) the white people, like the American?"
He adds that he only stays in Kenya because "money is important."
It was not clear from the video clip exactly what Liu's job was in Kenya. Some Kenyans on social media called for Liu to be charged in court rather than simply being deported.