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Pressure mounts as Malawi, China vow to act on viral BBC racism, child exploitation report

……..”Disgusting, shocking, inhuman and unacceptable!”

By Fatsani Gunya

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-These were the words Malawi’s Minister of Information and Digitisation Gospel Kazako used at a press conference in the Capital Lilongwe on Monday when commenting on a racist video allegedly made by some Chinese national for commercial purposes, exploiting local children in the process.

Chinese racist Lu Ke

The Chinese national in question has been identified as Lu Ke and is popularly known among his victims as ‘Susu’, a Chinese word for uncle.

The video, exposed in a documentary broadcast on BBC Africa Eye Investigation programme, shows local children at Njewa Village in the outskirts of the Capital Lilongwe who were made to read Chinese phrases that read: “I am a black monster! My IQ is low.”

There has since been outrage over the reports, with social media bouncing with condemnations of all sorts against the malpractice and reservations on the same.

Sensing the danger, government swiftly come in to help quel the situation that has potential to cause diplomatic tension between Malawi and her giant partner from the East; with Minister of Foregn Affairs  Nancy Tembo vowing that government will do all it takes to ensure justice is done on the perpetrator.

“No, this can’t be happening. Not in this era and certainly not on our land. We are already investigating and we should be engaging our Chinese counterparts to see how best we go about it. Our children deserves better,” Tembo said during the press conference held alongside Kazako and Minister of Finance Sosten Gwengwe.

Her comments came on the backdrop of a statement by the national police who insisted they had already instituted investigations onto the matter.

“What we want is to establish; what really happened, there are children involved, children are protected by laws from any form of exploitation,” said a statement from National Police Spokesperson Harry Namwaza.

However, despite the Chinese Embassy releasing their own condemning statement on the development, some quarters in the country have been  vocal; calling for an urgent and radical approach to the matter “as it touches on the lives of the most vulnerable in society: children”.

University of Malawi’s Child Rights Legal Clinic has since announced plans to hold protest march on Tuesday next week from the affected Njewa Village along the Mchinji Road to the Chinese Embassy at City Centre to force authorities act decisively on the matter.

In a statement the organisation released earlier today, Child Rights Legal Clinic says the protests are primarily against the released video in which Malawian children were made to use demeaning and racists words by the said Lu Ke.

The statement, strongly condem the slurs in the video and was jointly signed by incoming president Comfort Mankhwazi and the outgoing Bettie Mlauzi.

Meanwhile, government  Spokesperson Kazako has called for calm; urging Malawians to tread carefully in the matter as the latter may end up venting their fury on innocent souls.

“Yes, we are aware that the suspect is a Chinese national but you may agree with us that not all the Chinese among us are like this, for the lack of a better word, evil and inhuman so to speak.

“This is why we are calling on the masses to desist from taking the law into their own hands. Government is taking the issue with the seriousness it deserves. Kindly trust the process,” he said.

Reports indicate that Lu Ke was making a fortune through sales of the videos he was making, largely mocking local Malawian children of their Poverty and taking advantage of the same.

In one of the several twitter spaces dubbed The Controversial Video that some Malawian youths hosted last night, it was noted that authorities would do well to enhance human rights awareness campaigns especially among the rural masses as a way to avoid repeated occurrences in future.

“Educating the masses is key. An enlightened society is an empowered society. This would not have happened had the communities out there been made aware of their human rights and freedoms long time ago.

“Even in our  poorest form, we could not have allowed this to happen. It’s inhuman so to speak,” said Andrew Massa in one of his comments to the online conversation.

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