Association of People with Albinism in Malawi tells govt to implement action plan

Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (Apam) has asked President Peter Mutharika to seize his re-election opportunity to implement a four-year National Action Plan action plan for persons with albinism.

Mutharika seeks to end attacks on persons with albinism

Apam deputy secretary general Ian Simbota said the national plan of action would give persons with albinism total protection against attacks and killings of people with albinism.

“During his first term of office, we were dissatisfied with how the government protected people with albinism.

“Now it is the president’s chance to show that government can protect us. The government should start from where it stopped,” said Simbota.

Apam and the government have been at loggerheads as the albino body accused the Mutharika administration of not doing enough to protect them.

Earlier this year,  Mutharika directed Treasury to immediately start disbursing the K3.1 billion budgeted for the 2018-2022 National Action Plan on the killing and abduction of PWAs in the country.

Lack of funding for the action plan was one of the major concerns for Apam.

Mutharika also asked Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development to prioritise PWAs in the Decent and Affordable Housing Subsidy Programme popularly known as Cement and Malata Subsidy.

Besides, the President also pledged that government would finance an adhoc court to speed up hearing of cases involving the abductions and killings of PWAs.

From November 2014 to date, the number of reported crimes against PWAs in Malawi has risen to more than 150 cases, including at least 23 murders and seven attempted murders, according to information from public records.

Condemnation of the barbaric acts have been universal. Last year, global human rights watchdog Amnesty International appealed to authorities to urgently overhaul the criminal justice system to protect PWAs, who face the persistent threat of being killed for their body parts in a country where it said the vast majority of the horrific crimes remain unresolved and unpunished.

There are at least 10 000 persons with albinism in the country.

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