Police have arrested the two Chinese nationals who shot at 11 miners and one onlooker at the Chinese Collum Coal Mine in Sinazongwe district in Southern Province.
The Police sources informed Lusaka Times that Senior Police Officers from Livingstone town and Choma were sent to the coal mine to arrest the culprits who opened fire at the crowd and wounded the 12 people.
A check at the Maamba Hospital found that two miners who were in critical condition have been referred to the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) for specialist medication.
Sinazongwe District Commissioner (DC) Oliver Pelete is reported to have confirmed this development. He said that it was unfortunate that the Chinese nationals shot at the Zambians and that they should be arrested.
Police sources said the two Chinese nationals involved in the shooting have been taken to Choma after a statement was recorded from them.
The two miners Vincent Chengele 20 and Simon Simwete 28 who were in critical condition at local Hospital were taken to UTH after they were shot in the chest and the head.
Madinda Siamubotu, one of the victims, said from his hospital bed that workers from shaft two and shaft three decided to gather in order to reach a consensus with management over their grievance to improve the conditions of service.
The miner explained that the Chinese management urged them to stop going underground because they had produced enough coal for sale. However, management decided to cut their salaries for the days they were informed not to go underground.
Mr. Siamubotu said the workers decided to call their Union President Mr Sifuniso Nyumbu who promised that he would drive from Lusaka to come and address them.
Mr Siamubotu pointed out that when the two Chinese nationals from shaft two saw that the workers had gathered outside the gate they came out of their offices armed with shot guns and decided to open fire at the crowd.
However, an eye witness, John Siabana said the Chinese nationals opened fire at the miners after they started throwing objects at them.
And yesterday, miners protesting against the shooting broke the wall fence, and ripped off the roof at shaft two and carried away the iron sheets. The protesting workers also got away with water pumps and pushed the buckets that ferry coal from the underground into the tunnels. Sinazongwe police failed to control the angry protesting workers and called for reinforcement from Choma and Livingstone. The angry protesters vowed to sort out the Chinese management.