Inspector General of Police Rodney Jose has said the police have clues as to who killed a person with albinism on Monday in Nkhata Bay and they are following the leads.
Unknown assailants on Monday killed 54-year-old Yassin Kwenda Phiri, a person with albinism who was working as a hospital assistant at Kande Health Centre.
“The police are working on some clues. They are looking for two men who come from the same community at Kande but we are requesting people with some information to come forward to us,” he said.
He said the police were shocked that one more person with albinism has been killed, more so in the presence of his nine-year-old son.
Mdawuku wa aTonga – a Tonga tribe cultural group – issued a statement condemning Phiri’s brutual murder.
Both the main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM parties have condemned the killing and said this is a sign of security lapses in the country.
However, Homeland Security minister Nicholas Dausi said there was need for a concerted effort from everyone to protect people with albinism.
“The assailants make such sinister plans in secrecy, this is why it makes it difficult for the police to foil the murders,” he said.
Association of People with Albinism in Malawi president Overton Kondowe said the only solution to end the killings is for the government to set up a special tribunal to hear such cases in a bid to speed justice as courts delay in hearing the cases.
He said stiff punishment for the offenders would send a strong message to would be offenders, a sentiment shared by Inspector General Jose who asked courts to speed up cases of killings of people with albinism.
Police chief has vowed that the killers would be brought to book.
“Let me assure the nation that no stone will be left unturned in order to find these killers and bring them to book,” said Jose at a news conference in Lilongwe.
He partly blamed the slow pace of the judicial system in hearing the cases of the killers of people of albinism as the catalyst for the resurfacing of the killings.
Jose said courts should speed up the hearing of the cases in order to give a lesson to would be offenders.
Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) executive director David Nungu said the murder of Yassin Kwenda Phiri is a sign of lapses in the measures put in place to protect people with albinism.
Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) also issued strong worded statements, condemning the killing of Kwenda Phiri and urging the government to take strict measures to protect lives of people with albinism.
“This is a set-back on the efforts to end the barbaric act…This shows the government failure to protect the minority groups,” says a statement jointly issued by CHRR and Cedep.
Kwenda Phiri was buried on Tuesday at Kadzando village in chief Fukamapiri’s area in Nkhata Bay.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :