Lusaka – Three Chinese citizens were killed in Lusaka, Zambia. The three are believed to be victims of anti-China sentiment that is heating up in Zambia amid the Corona virus pandemic.
The victim is Cao Guifang (52), a woman who owns a textile warehouse in Lukasa and two of her men, Bao Junbin (58) and Fan Minjie (33).
The heinous act was carried out by 3 Zambians on May 24. Police said the three pretended to be buyers.
In the 17-minute CCTV footage, the three appeared to beat the victim to death in the yard, before dragging the bodies of the three into the warehouse.
That’s where the recording ends. According to police, the perpetrators then dismembered their bodies and used flammable materials from the Blue Star clothing business to burn their bodies and warehouse buildings. It took three days for the Zambian government to evacuate the remains of victims from the debris of the building.
Before escaping, the perpetrators raided the victim’s property to retrieve valuables. A blood stained machete was found by police.
In the days leading up to the assassination, Lusaka Mayor Miles Sampa accused a Chinese boss in his area of ”slavery,” using the term “Chinaman,” which then triggered racial divisions.
Sampa even uploaded a video on his Facebook saying that “the Corona virus does not originate from black Zambian people. This virus originates from China.”
There are about 22,000 Chinese citizens living in Zambia, which operates 280 companies, mostly in Lusaka and Copperbelt in the north. Beijing has about 44% of Zambia’s debt, which has raised fears among some Zambians that China has too much control over the country.
While the police did not directly associate the killing with anti-Chinese sentiment. The crime appears as a reminder of the explosion of violence faced by some Chinese while living in Zambia, a key partner for China along the coveted Belt and Road project.
“Even some people who have lived here for more than 20 years, they are also surprised by such criminal activities,” said Eric Shen, a Chinese businessman who has lived in Zambia for more than a decade.