Thursday, December 15, 2005

Malawi Today: Chinese Cannibals

My favorite African country, if only because the populace lives in fear of vampires, and the current president built a huge mansion for himself, only to discover it haunted by ghosts, so he can't live there. Now we find out there's cannabalism, but not by the Malawi - by the Chinese. Of course.

Malawi police fire on mob outside home of Chinese businessman accused of cannibalism

Police on Tuesday fired on a mob outside the home of a Chinese businessman rumored to have abducted and eaten a number of boys in the southern tea-growing town of Bvumbwe.

Two people were rushed to a hospital after they were shot in the melee, said police spokesman Willy Mwaluka.

The bizarre incident happened after the disappearance of at least six boys in the area, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) south of the commercial capital, Blantyre. Local leaders filed a complaint with police Tuesday after an employee of the businessman alleged one of the boys had been brought to the man's residence.

Police searched the residence, but found no evidence to support the claim, Mwaluka said.

Residents then decided to take matters into their own hands and besieged the house. Some refused to disperse after the shooting, and police were maintaining a 24-hour watch to ward against further violence.

Rumors of cannibalism have surrounded Malawi's small, largely isolated Chinese community since they first arrived in the 19th century to help build the southern African country's railway line. No incidents have ever been confirmed, reports AP.

In related Malawi news, Paul Theroux rips Bono and Bill Gates a new one in the NY Times, and describes how Malawi has been decimated over the course of the 40 years they've been "helped" by us civilized folk.

"THERE are probably more annoying things than being hectored about African development by a wealthy Irish rock star in a cowboy hat, but I can't think of one at the moment. If Christmas, season of sob stories, has turned me into Scrooge, I recognize the Dickensian counterpart of Paul Hewson - who calls himself "Bono" - as Mrs. Jellyby in "Bleak House." Harping incessantly on her adopted village of Borrioboola-Gha "on the left bank of the River Niger," Mrs. Jellyby tries to save the Africans by financing them in coffee growing and encouraging schemes "to turn pianoforte legs and establish an export trade," all the while badgering people for money." Much more here.


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