GOVERNMENT has condemned the gruesome murder of three Chinese nationals at warehouse in Makeni.
And Police spokesperson Esther Katongo says police have retrieved the third and last body of the slain Chinese nationals.
Speaking to journalists at State House, Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Minister Joseph Malanji described the killing of the Chinese nationals as anarchy which would not go unpunished.
“We just want to register our regret on the killings that were done in Makeni to foreign nationals who own a business there. Zambia runs a liberalized economy, we don’t choose white, black, short, tall, female, male, anybody who wants to do business and are in Zambian legally, [foreigners] should not feel threatened by this temporal setback. The government through the Ministry of Home Affairs has made progress in trying to make sure that they arrest the culprits. All diplomats, all investors that are in Zambia legally should not feel threatened. As a government, we are saddened by the killings and I am quite certain that through the Ministry of Home Affairs, the police will be on top of things,” said Malanji.
“This is something regrettable. I know it can happen in any country, on any given soil it is something we can’t tolerate in Zambia. This is anarchy! And this government will not be ready to tolerate anarchy. We will make sure we follow up with our colleagues at the Ministry of Home Affairs to make sure that the culprits are brought to book. We send our condolences to the Chinese Embassy through my Permanent Secretary. We have already written to the Chinese Embassy registering our regret at what happened three, four days ago.”
And Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo assured foreign nationals that the country was safe and that the culprits involved in the murder would be brought to book.
“I want to start by joining my colleague and brother, the honourable Minister for Foreign Affairs in conveying our condolences to the Republic of China through the Chinese Ambassador here in Zambia. Certainly, it is regrettable that Zambia Police recorded the barbaric act in which we lost three lives of the Chinese nationals. We at the Home Affairs Ministry are treating those barbaric acts as criminal activities. I want to take this opportunity to inform you and I am sure the Zambia Police service through the spokesperson have already shared to the nation how much progress they have made in terms of tracking the suspects in those murder cases. We shall ensure that the due process of the law is followed in dealing with these culprits,” said Kampyongo.
“I want to assure the Chinese community and all the foreign nationals that are resident in Zambia that they will be guaranteed security and protection. We at the Ministry of Home Affairs apart from protecting our citizens and their investments, have a responsibility to facilitate trade by issuing various permits and we collaborate with other ministries and stakeholders such as the Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry when we are deciding who we should issue the permit to and we make sure that those that are non-complaint of the requirements of the permits that we issue are dealt with according to the law. So, we expect all those our investors to ensure that they operate within the law and they are assured of our protection and support. So we are looking forward to the continuous co-existence of different nationals in this country. We won’t tolerate any acts that seem to be xenophobic in nature because we as Zambians have been hosting different nationals prior to independence and post independence, that is what we are known for. We are a peaceful country.”
And in a statement, Katongo said police had managed to retrieve the third body.
“The Zambia Police and the fire brigade today retrieved the third body of the Chinese nationals murdered in Makeni on Sunday. The body was found in a burnt state. Among the victims were one female adult and two male adults. The bodies are in UTH mortuary and investigations have continued. So far , we have two suspects in custody,” said Katongo.