‘Gun- toting’ Chinese national acquitted

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A Chinese national who was accused of pointing a firearm at his aggrieved former employers and also assaulting them with asbestos sheets has been freed by a Harare magistrate after he was found not guilty.

Harare Magistrate, Learnmore Mapiye acquitted Xu Lei after a fully contested trial as he managed to prove that all the five counts against him were not true.

Mapiya said there was no evidence whatsoever leading Xu Lei to the offence and it was hard to try and find a nexus between him and the offence as the facts were a bit far fetched with no proof.

Prosecuting, Delight Mauto failed to prove that indeed on July 27, Farai Kondo, Simon Chikwanda and Tatenda Jenami had a labour dispute with Xu Lei prompting them to approach the National Employment Council For the Commercial Sectors of Zimbabwe for recourse.

The State also failed to prove thaton July 31, the three proceeded to Xu Lei’s workplace to serve him with letters from the National Employment Council for the commercial sectors of Zimbabwe. Upon their arrival they advised the receptionist of their intentions and this did not sit well with Xu Lei who withdrew his pistol ordering the trio to leave his premises with their papers.

The trio did not take heed of his call until he threatened to kill them while pointing his firearm at them, afterwards a report was made prompting the arrest of Xu Lei.

The court rubbished allegations that the trio’s former employer had set  his four dogs on them but they were stopped by another Chinese man who locked them in their kennel. Xu Lei was also accused of picking asbestos sheets and using them to attack the trio.

He was set free.

However, prevalence of  cases of this nature has given rise to speculation that some locals are cooking up trumped up charges against their foreign employers in a bid to extort them- a practice that scares away potential investors.