Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (Apam) president Overston Kondowe has on Monday left for South Africa.
In a one sentence message with him a lady at an airport and a South African airways aircraft on the background, he wrote: “When your country refuses to be a home.”
A close friend said he is going to South Africa “for a safe space,” he has not elaborated.
Kondowe left the country just a day after leaving Dae Yang Hospital in Lilongwe where he was admitted to following severe assault by police for leading a protest against President Peter Mutharika’s decision to cancel a scheduled meeting at an eleventh hour.
Most of the key leaders, including secretary for Apam Ian Simbota were arrested for leading the protests which the police dealt with violently.
The people with albinism want to meet Mutharika to discuss with him the escalating attacks, abductions and killings of people with albinism.
APAM publicity secretary Nellie Mlenga has said people with albinism intends to visit some embassies in the country to request for asylum in their respective countries if Mutharika continues to ignore them for a meeting.
Mulenga said persons with albinism no longer feel safe in Malawi.
“We would rather go to countries where we can be safe,” said Mulenga.
She however said the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has offered to mediate on the matter, saying officials want to book an appointment with Mutharika.
She said APAM will give dialogue a chance before seeking asylum in other countries.
Mulenga wondered why the government acted swiftly after 23 people were killed in floods and is failing to act the same after 23 persons with albinism have been killed so far.
People with albinism protested on Saturday after Mutharika cancelled the scheduled meeting to go to the south, prompting the people with albinism to block a road.
Police reacted with heavy handedness by beating them and arresting them but police spokesperson James Kadadzera refutes that the law enforcers assaulted the persons with albinism although there are video clips to prove this.
Meanwhile, commentators have urges stakeholders to give dialogue a chance as the State will make the taxpayer to foot an unplanned K22.9 million as costs for the hosting of members of Apam during their foiled State House vigils in Lilongwe last week.
Presidential adviser on Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Mavuto Bamusi said in an interview yesterday that government will pay the amount as costs for transporting and hosting Apam members at the Malawi Institute of Management (MIM) campus in Kanengo, Lilongwe.
Persons with albinism (PWAs), who last week staged a protest march en route to their abortive vigil at Kamuzu Palace to demand a commitment for their protection amid atrocities perpetrated against them since November 2014, were lodged at MIM on full board arrangement.
Malawi is experiencing a resurgence of attacks against persons with albinism, with two fatalities and three abductions since 31 December 2018. Two of those who were abducted were later rescued by community members, one remains missing.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :