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6 Sep 2018

Top businessman arrested after calling president a ‘monkey’

Kenya has arrested a Chinese businessman after a video of him making a string of racist remarks was widely shared on social media, the government said Thursday.

The Chinese national, identified as Liu Jiaqi, has been arrested and is being processed for deportation, said Kenya’s immigration department.

“His work permit has been canceled and (he) will be deported on racism grounds,” the immigration service said on its Twitter feed.

In the two and a half minute video shared on Twitter and elsewhere, Liu, who appears to be in the midst of a dispute with one of his employees, is recorded issuing a litany of racist slurs.

“Every one, every Kenyan… like a monkey, even Uhuru Kenyatta. All of them,” he said.

After the employee suggests Liu should “go back to China” if he feels that way, the businessman responds with further abuse.

“I don’t belong to here. I don’t like here, like monkey people, I don’t like talk with them, it smells bad, and poor, and foolish, and black. I don’t like them. Why not [like] the white people, like the American?”

He added that he only stays in Kenya because “money is important.”

It was not clear from the video exactly what Liu’s job was in Kenya.

Some Kenyans on social media have called for Liu to be charged rather than simply deported.

This is not the first time Chinese workers in Kenya have been accused of racism.

Three years ago a small Chinese restaurant in the capital Nairobi was shut down by authorities and the owner charged for operating a “no blacks” policy after 5pm.

Earlier this year Kenyan workers on a new Chinese-built railway alleged racism and discrimination by Chinese staff and managers.

However, the government dismissed allegations of racism on the $3.2 billion (2.8 billion euro) signature infrastructure project.

Kenyatta was this week in Beijing attending a conference where China promised to invest another $60 billion in Africa.

The arrest comes a day after Kenyan police raided the African headquarters of the China Global Television Network in Nairobi, briefly detaining several journalists as part of an ongoing crackdown against illegal immigrants.

The Chinese embassy said in a statement it would express its concern through diplomatic channels, after several incidents in which nationals with legal documents were hauled into police stations for verification.

(AFP)

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