A Police commissioner heading the Northern region police formation has admitted that much as cases of killings of people with albinism keep on proliferating, they still are unable to track down the markets where the body parts are sold.
Speaking on the sidelines of an anti-crime awareness in connection with the killing of people with albinism, the northern region police boss, Commissioner Hannings Mlotha, said as a service they were working round the clock to make sure that the ritual killing of persons with albinism is stopped.
“For now, we can admit that we cannot say where the market for these body parts are sold. But we are working hard to get as many leads as possible,” said Mlotha.
Mlotha asked the community, especially the local police, to work hand in hand with the service so that the perpetrators of the vice can be dealt with.
Inkosi ya Makhosi M’bwelwa V, who was present at the function, schooled his subjects that “there was no way bones would make someone rich.”
Mlotha’s admission comes after Archbishop Thomas Msusa of the Blantyre Archdiocese of the influential Catholic Church has questioned the competence of security agencies in the country for failing to bust albino markets years after attacks on people with albinism were brought to light.
His Grace Msusa, who also heads the Catholic Church in Malawi, said the National Intelligence Bureau and other police agencies “could have identified the market for the bones in order to end the killings of the people with albinism.”
Commenting on President Peter Mutharika’s directive that all perpetrators should be locked up in prison for life, the Catholic Archbishop highlighted that tracing the markets remains the best solution in dealing with the vice.
Mutharika, during the launch of Chiwanja Cha Ayao in Balaka last week, condemned Phiri’s killing, saying government will ensure the perpetrators get the life sentence to “rot in jail”.
Albinism is a congenital condition which leaves a person without coloration in their skin and hair.
In parts of Africa, some witch doctors claim the use of albino body parts in magic potions can be used to bring good luck. Some allege sex with albinos can cure HIV/AIDS, putting albinos at risk of sexual assault.
Since 2013, at least 26 albinos have been murdered in Malawi, the recent one being that of Yasin Kwenda Phiri, 54, who was brutally murdered in his house at Kande Trading Centre in Nkhata Bay on New Year’s Eve in the presence of his nine-year-old son.
Last year, a Catholic priest – Father Thomas Muhosha – was implicated in the killing of 22-year-old McDonald Masambuka, an albino Muslim, who was found buried in Matchinga on April 1 after he went missing in the previous month.
The bishops condemned the murder, issuing a statement saying the Catholic Church “defends the sanctity of life at any point of a person’s life and the killing of albinos is a direct violation of the sanctity of life.”
Msusa said the police should have already “bust[ed] the syndicate” trafficking in human body parts
Malawi police Inspector General, Rodney Jose, hinted that there was a possible market in neighbouring Mozambique after two men were arrested with human bones and confessed they were enroute to the country to sell them.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :