A Zimbabwean student is languishing in a Chinese jail with no access to a lawyer or visits from family members. Paul Mbongeni Nyoni, a 21-year-old law student at Zhejiang Gongshang University in Zhejiang Gongshang province was arrested on March 21 this year together with another student from Zambia.
The two students had been working part-time for a debt collecting company owned by a Chinese man described by some students as a bad character.
She said she recently sent him money to pay his university fees but she did not know if he received it since he was in jail.
“I just want to know if he is okay and also to find out if he will be taken to court so that we assist him,” said the mother who was showing signs of depression as a result of the stress caused by the arrest of her son.
She said she tried to contact the police officer dealing with her son’s case but the problem was language barrier between her and the officer. Very few Chinese police officers can speak English which could make life a living hell for her son.
Mrs Nyoni appealed to the Zimbabwe government for assistance in getting her son back home. There are 150 Zimbabwean students who leave the country every year to study in China. International students studying with Zhejiang Gongshang University in Zhejiang Province are allowed to apply for scholarship funding from the provincial government.
Mbongeni is a private student not covered by the Zimbabwe government. Most of the students from Zimbabwe are from Harare and the majority of them are sent under the government scholarship fund with assistance from the Chinese government.