Malawi President Peter Mutharika has renewed his vows to ensure that his government will punish those behind a series of albino killings following attacks from human body parts sellers.
The latest case was the beheading of a boy in Machinga District.
Mutharika said the attacks and killings of the people living with albinism has brought “fear and breakdown of communal life and sense of insecurity” among the people of albinism.
He said the attacks are “evil” and a threat of fundamental human rights enshrined in the Malawi constitution.
The President in a statement broadcast on taxpayer-funded Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) television and radio reminded security agencies to intensify a manhunt for the killers.
He said security agencies have intensified “surveillances” and “investigations” to track down the killers.
Mutharika also called on the judiciary to conduct speedy trials of suspects in the attacks.
Albinism is a condition where people are born with little or no pigment in their skin and hair. People with the condition tend to stand out in Africa, and are sometimes targeted by witch doctors who use their body parts in so-called magic potions.
Witch doctors often tell clients that albino body parts will bring them luck in love, life and business.
However, President Mutharika assured the nation that he will not allow people born with albinism to live in fear of losing their lives because of their condition following some peoples “unreasonable beliefs.”
His comments comes after Albino Association of Malawi president Boniface Massa said it was disheartening to learn that despite assurances of protection from the State and waves of condemnation of the attacks on albinos, the attacks continue.
Mutharika said government has intensified its working relationship with the Association of Persons with Albinism (Apam).
Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Patricia Kaliati was on Saturday quoted by Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) as having said government was working on ending the attacks.
She vowed that government will bring the culprits to book, saying government was working with other stakeholders to review the relevant laws to ensure the safety of the citizens.
But Kaliati dismissed suggestions of safe zones for albinos as something that can promote stigma and discrimination at a time government was seeking equality.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :