Councilor to push for death penalty for killer of people with albinism

As the debate on whether Malawi should practically utilize the death penalty on convicted killers of people with albinism continues, United Democratic Front (UDF)  shadow Councilor for Chibanja Ward Ulia Kaunda has added his voice to the discussion  with a suggestion that  giving the stiffest  penalty in the land is what will  end  the  increasing cases of ritual murders of people with albinism.

End the attacks against people with albinism

Myths that body parts of people with albinism work in lucky charms for fortune and power-seekers have fanned brutal attacks on  people with albinism in the country.

Kaunda made the suggestion on Friday at a  political debate for  ward councilors organized by the National Initiative for Civic Education NICE (Trust) held at New Jerusalem Private Primary School in Mzuzu.
The debate attracted three participants; Lillian Kadango of Malawi Congress Party (MCP), Chimwemwe Mhango an independent candidate and Kaunda.

The shadow councilor promised to lobby for the utilization  of the death sentence for those found guilty of killing a person with albinism.

Said  Kaunda: “This is a difficult issue. It is not right for a person to be killing
other people just like that and these cases have been left for too long without  finding the real killers and without any convictions while people with smaller crimes get stiff sentences.

“I will protect all people with albinism in Chibanja, when I am elected. I will also  meet the Member of Parliament and ask him to push for the death penalty on anyone who kills an albino.”

Kaunda, a businessman,  however,  sent people laughing when he failed to articulate himself in English and had to ask the moderator , Emmanuel Lawyer,  to  allow him to speak in the vernacular Chichewa or Tumbuka.

“Sir, I will not speak English because my supporters do not speak English, they are not English. I will speak Chitumbuka or Chichewa ,” said Kaunda.

Still, independent candidate Chimwemwe Mhango concurred with Kaunda on the need for the death penalty to  be applied on albino killers.

But the MCP shadow Councilor Lillian Kadango said that she would focus on strengthening community policing efforts to ensure that people with albinism are protected by the community.

While some activists in Malawi feel that if applied , the  existing death penalty law could deter the syndicates involved in the abduction and killings of people with albinism.

Human rights agencies such as the United Nations, through the United Nations Development Programme are against the death penalty saying that such punishments will only lead to further dehumanization of people.

At the close of the  debate in Chibanja  the  three panelists and local leaders signed social contracts  aimed at ensuring that the councilors  adhere to their campaign promises when elected.

Apart from  killings of people with albinism, escalating child-prostitution, mushrooming of illegal bars and high youth unemployment rates are some of the  major issues that people in Mzuzu are asking candidates  in the May 21 Tripartite Elections to take a clear stand.

The Chibanja debate was part of a series of  21 debates  being organized by NICE and other electoral stakeholders  in Mzuzu City and Mzimba North aimed at promoting unity and  tolerance among Malawians and to offer the electorate a chance to assess the would-be political leaders before  polling on May 21 2019.

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