Malawi opposition MP moves motion to amend penal code targeting killers of people with albinism

Malawi Parliament Thursday weighed in on calls to tighten the country’s laws when it adopted a motion to review some sections in the Penal Code and the Anatomy Act in a bid to stop the rampant killings of people with albinism.

Agnes Nyalonje: Lets look at education
Agnes Nyalonje: Lets look at education

Member of Parliament for Dowa East Harry Chipeni moved the motion saying shortfalls in some of the provision within the two legislations in their current form were the reason perpetrators of albino attacks get lenient punishments.

“The current penal provisions aimed at deterring would-be offenders are not having the desired effect and in order to ensure stiff punishment of all offenders once convicted, there is need for the consideration of the house to make amendments to appropriate section in the penal code and the anatomy act,” Chipeni said.

He further said that no any amount of money should be placed as punishment to those found with bones or body parts of people with albinism.

“There have been times when the culprits have gone away with just a fine of K10, 000, K15, 000 or a custodial sentence of two years only. The whole reason we are bringing this bill is that if the culprits are found guilty they must spend the whole life in jail,” he said.

Most of the members of parliament who contributed to the general debate of the motion supported its adoption in line with the amendment of some appropriate sections in the two Acts.

In her contribution, MP for Mzimba North Agnes Nyalonje said that as the House look at punishments dealing with offenders, they have also to look at the root causes like the issue of education.

“We cannot escape the fact that education is extremely important in preventing future occurrences of these acts. There is a need to do a lot of civic education because these perversions occur deeply because of some beliefs that we hold and those beliefs cannot be addressed by the courts alone,” she said.

She further pleaded with the house to seriously consider this aspect of beliefs to avoid tackling the same issue in the near future if the bill does not address the issue of beliefs.

Meanwhile, the house lauded the Mzuzu High Court Judge Dingiswayo Madise for his life imprisonment of 33-year-old man who attempted to murder an 11-year-old boy with albinism.

The sentence on Wednesday became the first to be meted out on a culprit in an albino related case.

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