Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mary Kachale has asked prosecutors in the country to familiarize themselves with the amendments to the Penal Code and the Anatomy Act for them to come up with right charges when handling cases involving persons with albinism.
She was speaking in Mzuzu Friday during a training workshop office of the DPP organized to sensitize state prosecutors on the just amended Anatomy Act and the Penal Code.
Kachale said being conversant with amended pieces of legislation would also help the prosecutors acquire good advocacy skills and tactics which could be used to successfully prosecute offenders in a court of law.
She observed that sometimes prosecutors had problems determining right charges in cases involving people found with human body parts and that is why the office of DPP took an initiative to make sure that prosecutors know the right charges in line with the amended laws.
“We have had cases where people found with bones of people with albinism were charged wrongly. The initiative we have now is to make sure that prosecutors should know the right charges as there some changes to the penal code and anatomy Act,” she said.
Kachale said following the amendments to the Penal Code and Anatomy Act, the perpetrators of offences against persons with albinism will now get stiffer sentences and longer jail term in order to end the brutal activities.
“Offences against people with albinism are some of the offences that we do not want to see again on our desks; so we hope that with the amendment, the sentences that will be passed will stop people from committing these offences” she said.
Commenting on the development Vice- President for the Association of People with Albinism in Malawi (APAM), Alex Machila said the workshop will help in delivery of justice as the prosecutors will now be equipped with new skills and tactics to be used when handling charges in cases involving people with albinism.
He called on all people and the government to continue fighting against the abuse people with albinism are facing.
Machila said there was need as a country to do more digging than it is currently the case to end abusive acts.
“We have seen commission of inquiries being instituted; that is a good initiative but as APAM we want the commission of inquiry to lead to the arrest of the buyers of bones of people with albinism so that they face what the amended Penal Code and Anatomy Acts states,” he said.
Among other things, the amended Anatomy Act states that any person being found with the human body parts shall commit an offence and shall be liable to life imprisonment. Previously offenders could either pay a fine of K15, 000 or be imprisoned for a period of 10 years.
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