THE Chinese embassy in Zambia has been forced to dismiss reports by local media claiming that China has been “feeding Africa with human meat”.
The Chinese ambassador to Zambia, Yang Youming, issued a strongly-worded statement calling the reports “malicious slandering”.
The reports circulated on social media, and a local newspaper, Kachepa, reportedly published a report titled “China feeding Africa with human meat”.
According to Chinese newspaper CRJ Media English, the source was a Zambian woman living in China who claimed that beef companies in the country were collecting human corpses and turning them into corned beef to send to Africa.
A Zambian tabloid website, The Daily Post, tweeted a screenshot of a Facebook post purportedly made by the woman in question, who they have identified as Barbara Akuosa Aboagye.
— Daily Post (@DailyPostZa) May 7, 2016
A hoax-busting website, Snopes.com, says that at least one of the grisly-looking pictures are actually from a 2012 marketing stunt for popular horror video game, Resident Evil 6.
Yang said in the statement: “Today a local tabloid newspaper is openly spreading a rumor, claiming that the Chinese use human meat to make corned beef and sell it to Africa. This is completely malicious slandering and vilification which is absolutely unacceptable to us.”
“We hereby express our utmost anger and strongest condemnation over such an act,” he added.
It's a bad day for China's embassy in Zambia when it has to deny reports China has been exporting canned human meat. https://t.co/GqziDpqo6J
— Chris Buckley 储百亮 (@ChuBailiang) May 18, 2016
The relevant government departments in Zambia have been asked to investigate the tabloid and the source, which Zambia’s Deputy Defense Minister Christopher Mulenga has promised they will do.
He said: “The government of Zambia regrets the incident in view of the warm relations that exist between Zambia and China.
“We will make sure that relevant government authorities will take up the investigations and give a comprehensive statement.”