Kenyans in China are asking the government to assist them return home after a surge in racial discrimination against Africans.
Many Kenyans living in China have been kicked out of their houses and now live on the streets, depending on well-wishers for food and other basic requirements.
Chinese police are reportedly evicting them forcibly and taking away their legal documents.
“The first thing they ask for are the documentations. Some police allow you to keep the passport, but others just take it,” said a Kenyan citizen in China whose identity we have concealed.
The situation in the country is so bad that posters have been put in malls and restaurants asking foreigners to stay away.
Kenyans, especially those in Guangdong, have been hit hard and live in constant fear because of the the ill-treatment they are facing yet they have not committed any crime.
“I am frustrated and angry because of what we are going through. It is sad that the government is quiet about this. I live in fear waiting for the knock that could send me to the streets,” says Ms. Nyokabi.
“I can barely step out to get even the most basic things. I cannot dare because I will be exposing myself to forceful eviction,” she adds.
The Kenyans in China have reached out to Kenyan embassy officials for help but their pleas have been ignored.
They are now asking the Kenyan government to help in facilitating their return home to avoid the discrimination by Chinese nationals.
“We are discriminated against because they think that we are asymptomatic carriers of coronavirus. Some just hate on us for no reason. Honestly, we need to come back home,” said Ms. Nyokabi.
Meanwhile, Kenyans have reacted angrily to reports of persecution of their countrymen and women in China.
Through social media, many accused China of pointing fingers at others for a problem ‘of their own making’.
Many Kenyans have accused China of turning a blind eye to humiliation meted on innocent Africans and have called on other countries to rise up against this brutality.
Social media was awash with posts calling attention to the issue with the hashtags #ChinaMustExplain and #BringKenyansInChinaHome trending.
Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina called for Africa to unite against the coronavirus-fuelled xenophobia in China.
“Yes we are corrupt and broke but we are not children of a lesser God and neither are we stupid,” he said.
Others turned their anger on the Kenyan Embassy in China, accusing Ambassador Sarah Serem of ignoring the plight of fellow citizens.
“What’s more infuriating than the inhuman treatment of Kenyans in China is to think that the only place where they’d hoped to find solace, the embassy, brazenly turned a deaf ear to them. Tell me why Sarah Serem should continue bearing the title Ambassador” said twitter user @kimathiwamuthee.
There is still no communication from the Kenyan Embassy on the situation.
However, in a rejoinder, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson at the Chinese Embassy in Nairobi, Hong Lei, stressed that they treat all foreign nationals equally in China.
“We reject differential treatment, and have zero tolerance for discrimination. We pay high attention to the incidents and misunderstandings that have occurred in this process. We hope all foreigners in China will strictly observe local anti-epidemic regulations, cooperate with and support us in fighting the virus,” he said.
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