Youths Demand an Apology from China Government
Local youth groups and networks across the country have written the embassy of China and the Malawi government pushing for an apology by the Chinese government over a scandal in which a Chinese national is allegedly filming young Malawians and letting them speak foreign demeaning language without their knowledge.
In a press release made available to Zodiak, Mzuzu Youth Anti-Corruption Leader, Mathews Kajani says the embassy of China should outrightly make an apology to the children of Malawi and its citizens, arguing the issue at hand is malicious.
"We the undersigned youth leaders from different Civil Society Organizations across the country were shocked to learn of some Chinese citizens exploiting and racially abusing Malawian children by making personalized videos for sale on Chinese websites and social media", said Kajani.
A BBC Eye documentary exposed finding of an investigation done in Lilongwe and Mchinji by BBC journalist; Runako Cellina and Malawian freelance journalist; Henry Mhango.
The investigations established that there are some Chinese citizens who make videos of young African children singing, dancing and chanting demining and racially insulting themselves in a Chinese language that the children themselves did not understand.
In one of the videos children are instructed to repeat the words “I am a black devil; I have a low intelligence quotient (IQ)”.
“The videos are taken under the pretext of teaching Chinese culture but they are posted on Chinese websites and social media for entertainment,” said Kajani.
In another video, a Chinese national identified as Lo Ke, who is known to his victims as Susu is pictured in a relaxed position with children massaging him and others washing his feet.
Some of the children at Kamwendo Villige, Nchinji District revealed that Susu would go as far as beating them if they failed to follow instructions.
When interviewed by another Chinese national in an undercover investigation, Lo Ke is recorded saying only 15 % of Malawians have good conscience.
He also revealed that the videos are posted on a website called “jokes about black people” and they make around 76, 000 dollars which translates to 83, 600, 000 Kwacha.
The documentary also shows the victims squabbling 500 Kwacha an equivalent of less than half a dollar given to each victim by the perpetrator.
"We believe Lo Ke and his colleagues violated the dignity and personal freedom of children by subjecting them to torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment, which is contrary to section 19 of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi", said the team Leader.
From the videos, the organizations are identifying the following violations:
- Overall exploitation of their race for entertainment and financial gain.
The videos are viewed by many people worldwide and the perpetrators are grossing huge amounts of money.
- Children being distracted from their normal school schedule.
- Physical abuse through beating and whipping.
- Making 380 videos in a day is distressing for children
- Sexually suggestive dances, kissing and massage amount to sexual violence.
As an attempt to seek justice, the youthful leadership, is calling on upon The Human Rights Commission to institute an investigation into the matter to fully understand the extent of the problem.
The ministry of gender to follow up the issue, support the victimized children and register the perpetrators as pedophile.
The ministry of homeland security should revolve residency permits of the perpetrators, deport them and declare them persona non grata.
Kajan believes that this is in accordance with section 39 (2b) of the Immigration Act 2014, which empowers the minister to give such an order if he/she is satisfied that it is in the interest of defense, public safety, public older, public molarity or public health to make a deportation order against a person.
The press release further asks the president to pro-actively take measures to reevaluate the terms of friendship with the Chinese government.
Meanwhile, the statement, which has been signed by fourteen NGOs, demand the Chinese ambassador to apologize to Malawians for the conduct of their citizens.
The below organizations signed the document.
Endorsed by the following youth leaders
- Mccollins Mathias, Executive Director, Pauline Long Entrepreneurship Foundation.
- Alice Msowoya, Executive Director, Can Do More.
- Francis Chirambo, Coordinator, Mzuzu Youth Association.
- Russell Msiska, Executive Director, Our Hearts Foundation.
- Shalid Ishmael, Executive Director, Development Network for Youth Empowerment, (DENEYE).
- Elizabeth Byson Malinda, Executive Director, Mwayi wanga Foundation.
- Yamikani Chiphazi, Executive Director, Bright Minds of Today Organization (BMTO).
- Gift Jumbe, Chairperson, Blantyre Rural Youth Network.
- Lamecks Kiyare, Executive Director, Youth Response for Social Change.
- Rehema Patricks, Founfder and Execuitive Director, Section 30 Malawi.
- Akuzike Moyo, Youth Advocate, Blantyre.
- George Phiri, Executive Director, Youth for Rights and Development.
- Judge Banda, Youth Activist, Nkhata Bay.
- Ronald Gondwe, Chairperson, Area 36 Tingathe.