People are still commenting, a lot has been said, conclusions being made, the media has brought to light the ills, others are treating the issue while wearing their political lenses, but mine will be an honest opinion based on how I feel about these killings of people with albinism.
According to the recent released report by the Human Rights defending body, Amnesty international, these killings have been recorded in 23 countries in Africa, with Malawi and Tanzania recording the highest number.
Yesterday I argued with a friend who was saying that these killings are as a result of weakness in the country’s leadership and my answer was simple; this is how I presented my arguments, starting with some examples;
In South Africa, crime is a prominent issue. The country has a very high rate of murders, assaults, rapes (adult, child, elderly and infant), carjacking and other crimes compared to most countries. But wait a minute; South Africa has had prominent leaders in Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki now Jacob Zuma. Is the high crime late as a result of weak leadership for the past years?
To me the issue is all about the sickness of the society in South Africa. The high crime rate is being contributed by social factors from poverty, high unemployment rate, emigration, illiteracy, over population, post apartheid effects etc.
Yes, some of the issues can be sorted by government but others are beyond government because the rot is just deep rooted in the South Africa’s society.
Imagine this is happening yet SA Police has over One thousand police stations across the country. Their police is also one of the most organized in Africa, with enough resources but crime is almost everywhere.
Crime rates can be reduced but cannot be ended everywhere in the world crime is committed almost every day, even in America but that doesn’t translate to weak leadership.
In Malawi we have had cases of defilement and rape where women and children are the most victims. Cases of armed robbery are recorded almost every day. And this has been happening even from the time of Bakili, Bingu, JB and now APM. Only that in the past we had no social media and the traditional media was still in its infancy.
Now in this era of Smart-phones, we no longer rely on the traditional media for breaking news. Within seconds the story is all over facebook, twitter and whatsapp. We were hearing albinos don’t die, they just go missing. We used to believe in such stories up until when the media started reporting that no, our friends are being killed by some monsters kind of people.
To add on to that, courts have been melting stiff punishments to the rape suspects, armed robbers are being killed through mob justice and sometimes killed by the police. Have these punishments stopped wanna-be-offenders from committing the very same offences?
I thought the killings and the stiff court punishments would scare away other criminals? NO! We can arrest the rapists, the robbers or even kill them etc, but almost every day, someone somewhere will be committing a crime.
As you can see, this is not as a result of weak leadership.
Now the case of Albinos, the president doesn’t live with the albinos in the villages, we do. We know where they live, we see them every day. What measures have we taken to protect them? What are the traditional leaders doing?
I remember we still have community policing in our communities, what are they doing to protect our friends? Have we done enough in our communities to protect our friends or we don’t care anymore?
How can we know that so and so is planning to abduct and kill an Albino? Can government afford to give the albinos police protection 24 hours? Should we say the albinos must drop out of school so that they stay home and remain safe? Or they should also stop going to church? Remain indoors? But some of the abductions have happened while the albinos are safely sleeping in their homes? Must the lives of the albinos come to a halt for them to remain safe?
Government has condemned the albino killings lead by our president which is commendable. The police have arrested some of the killers and the courts have successfully sentenced them.
So what’s the problem now? What must we do as a nation? Because the people that are killing the albinos could be MCP, PP, UDF, DPP or they could be CCAP, Catholic, SDA or Pentecostals. They could be Tumbukas, Lomwes, Yaos, Tongas etc. These are the people we live with.
These killings could also be as a result of poverty, superstitious beliefs, high illiteracy levels etc. We have NGOs oeperating in different communities, what are they doing? Instead of initiating the “stop open defecation” projects, why can’t they take lead in senstising communities against these acts?
What about church leaders? School authorities in the communities, traditional leaders and other village structures.
Why can’t companies compliment government’s efforts in supporting the police with resources?
This issue affects all of us and the solution must come from all of us. We must stop this finger pointing game. It will take us nowhere. It did not take a year to stop the killings in Tanzania, it took them years.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :