A 26-year-old man, Feston Josam, has been arrested in central region lakeshore district of Salima for threatening the life of a person with albinism by calling him “gold” in public, Police has confirmed to Nyasa Times.
Salima police station spokesperson Jacob Khembo said Jossam shouted at Blessing Kadewere, a person with albinism that he was a living “gold”.
Khembo said police have laid a charge of intimidation contrary to Section 56 of the Penal Code.
He said the suspect met Kadewere at Nguwo Fishing Beach in the district where he uttered the “demeaning words” about his albinism condition.
Jossam who comes from Masuka Village, Traditional Authority (T/A/ Chiwere in Dowa, will appear in court “soon” to answer the charges.
The arrest comes at a time when people with albinism are living in fear as they are killed and dismembered, and graves of albinos dug up and desecrated.
There are various skewed beliefs that body parts of albinos have magical powers, which have led to many killings of people with albinism.
Their body parts are desired by witch doctors for use in black magic potions and spells, said to bring love, luck and wealth.
Such superstition has been promulgated and exploited by witch doctors and others who use such body parts as ingredients in rituals, concoctions and potions with the claim that their magic will bring prosperity to the user.
The current populations of people with albinism in Malawi is estimated at 10 000.
Albino rights activists have called for greater protection of albinos but said that killing suspects was unlikely to deter criminals offered large sums of money for securing body parts as they were likely to still take the risk for the promised reward.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :