The Association for Persons with Albinism (APAM) Friday called on Malawi government and all stakeholders to take a tough stand on the continuing killing of people with albinism.
APAM made the call at a press briefing held in Lilongwe in conjunction with the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Joint Advocacy Against Persons with Albinism Killing in Malawi (JAAAKM).
The call follows the abduction and brutal killing of a nine-year-old boy with albinism in Machinga recently despite the on-going campaign against such brutal acts.
In a statement co-signed by APAM Chairperson, Abigail Dzimadzi, and chairperson for the network of civil society organizations defending the rights of persons with albinism, Amon Lukhele, the organizations said over 50 attacks of people with albinism had been recorded between December 2014 and March 2016 alone.
“We have registered over 50 attacks with 11 deaths of which 64 percent of the deaths are women and children,” said the statement.
The two observed in their statement that although there was political will and personal commitment by the President Prof. Peter Mutharika to protect persons with albinism in Malawi, the task force had not been fully financed to date, leading to a lapse in its implementation and operations.
“There are no meaningful results from the task force evidenced by continued attacks, abductions and exhumations of body remains from the grave: this is a clear indication of collective failure to guarantee the right to life for people with albinism,” reads the statement.
The CSOs grouping has since called on government to take administrative measures to ensure maximum protection and enjoyment of right to life of persons with albinism in the country.
The grouping has also asked government to fully implement without delay, the Action Plan of 2015 on the response to the killings and abduction of person with albinism.
“We also call for the review and amendment of the Disability Act to include a provision on persons with albinism,” the statement further said.
The CSOs further appealed for international cooperation in the investigations to effectively speed up access to justice among all Malawians concerned in the killing of people with albinism.
Present at the briefing also was APAM President, Boniface Massa, who cried out to SADC and AU to intervene and bring the abduction and killing of the persons with albinism to an end in Africa.
On the night of 26 February 2016, a mob of unidentified men broke into a house in Mpakati Village, T/A Nkoola in Machinga and abducted a nine-year-old-boy, Harry Mokoshoni, injuring his mother in the process.
The head of the boy was found five days later in Chikweo, over 20km away from where the boy was abducted and the body is still reported missing.
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