Malawi Police optimistic on ending abductions and killings of persons with albinism

The Malawi Police Services (MPS) says it made significant progress towards ending attacks, abductions and killings of persons with albinism.

Briefing journalists at the National Poli

Malawi Police DIG Mrs. Merlyne Yolamu (centre) addressing the media in Lilongwe on Monday–Photo by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times

ce Headquarters in Lilongwe on Monday, MPS Deputy Inspector General Mrs. Merlyne Yolamu said the police have intensified intelligence collection and use of informants to proactively arrest a situation before it occurs or to arrest the perpetrators if a crime is committed.

Yolaum further stated that patrols in the remotest of areas have been enhanced while they are working to increase police visibility and reduce the fear of crime.

“On the part of engagement, police is working with all stakeholders with the same purpose of protecting people with albinism to increase awareness. Of recent, police have engaged traditional healers to take an active role in protecting people with albinism as it is believed that the traditional healers also promote the attacks on people with albinism through the medicine they give their clients popularly known as ‘Chizimba’. Traditional healers from 12 districts have already been targeted,” she explained.

Yolamu also disclosed that community-policing structures have been strengthened to make them vibrant at grass root to help in preventing and responding to violence against people with albinism.

Kondowe articulating issues as Mrs. Yolamu (centre) listens attentively–Photo by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times

She appealed to Malawians to help the police in protecting people with albinism by reporting any conspiracy people might be planning against people with albinism, to police.

“Additionally, relatives and close friends to people with albinism are advised to report any person coaxing them to sell their relation with albinism for any amount of money. If we are all patriotic, this war of protecting people with albinism in Malawi will be easily won,” said the DIG.

In his remarks, the Special Advisor on Persons with Albinism and Disabilities, Overstone Kondowe, commended the police for the progress made in eradicating violations targeted at persons with albinism.

However, Kondowe emphasized that citizens should be complacent to think that ‘Malawi has won the battle’.

Statistics from the Malawi Police Services indicate that the country 194 cases bordering on attacks, abductions and killings of persons with albinism, among others.

Out of this figure of 194, 93 cases were completed, 23 cases are still in court at hearing stage, five cases are in court pending judgment and 73 cases are under police investigation.

Briefing by the Malawi Police on the progress made in ending crimes against persons with albinism in progress–Photo by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times

In 2013 one case was registered, in 2014, seven cases were registered, in 2015, 49 cases were registered, in 2016, 60 cases were registered, in 2017, 29 cases were registered, in 2018, 24 cases were registered, in 2019, 18 cases were registered, in 2020, four cases were registered, in 2021, two serious cases have been registered so far.

The first is that of murder of Daison Saidi in February at Kadewere Village in Traditional Authority Chowe in Mangochi District.

The second incident is that of theft of a child, which occurred in March this year in Tulusida Village in the area of Traditional Authority Ngabu in Chikwawa District.

This brings the total number of registered cases to 194.

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