Government has finally identified a special legal counsel who will prosecute all attack cases of people with albinism.
Ministry of Gender principal secretary Mary Shaba said the special legal counsel works for the ministry of justice and will ensure stiff penalties for those who attack or kill persons with albinism.
“In the past, we lost some cases because we mishandled them but now the special counsel will handle all cases in order to secure stiff penalties,” said Shaba.
President of Association of Persons with Albinism Boniface Massa welcomed the move describing it as positive development.
However, Massa said the special counsel should ensure he is available for all cases with Persons with Albinism.
Previously the cases were being handled by police prosecutors who are trained as paralegals.
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.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :