Malawi Police register albinos to end horrific trade in body parts

Malawi Police say they are registering all persons with albinism across the country in a bid to protect them.

Police chief Lexten Kachama: Gondwa: Malawi Police will protect surviving albinos
Police chief Lexten Kachama: Gondwa: Malawi Police will protect surviving albinos

According to police spokesperson at the National Police Headquarters Nicholas Gondwa said the process of registration of the people with albinism is going on well.

“We are yet to finish the registration exercise. As you might be aware this was ordered by our commander in chief His Excellency the President,” he said.

Gondwa said this means the police will now be using community policing structures to protect people with albinism.

The registration comes at a time President Peter Mutharika ordered the Inspector General of Police go for an education tour in Rwanda and Tanzania to learn how the authorities in the two countries dealt with the abductions and killings of people with albinism.

So far 38 people with albinism have been killed so far for their body parts.

The albino attacks is fuelled by witchcraft and locals  are swayed by promises of large sums of money. In many cases a relative has been involved.

“Some parents or relatives don’t really value a child with albinism. They get tempted by the offer of money,” says Bonface Massah, head of the Association of People with Albinism in Malawi.

As for the source of demand for albino body parts, speculation abounds.

Dr Mary Shawa, principal secretary of the Ministry of Gender, Disability and Social Welfare in Malawi, denies there is a market and insists that the killings are conducted by opportunists acting on rumours of payments.

But there is plenty of evidence to suggest that there is indeed an organised trade fuelling the killings: many of those arrested in Malawi in possession of bones have said they were to be sold to buyers in neighbouring countries.

In a new report released today Amnesty International, a rights group, says the Malawian government has failed to protect people with albinism. It criticises the government for, among other things, not trying very hard to investigate why Malawi has seen a rise in attacks or to work out where demand is coming from.

President Mutharika says he is “ashamed” by the attacks but seems to have done little.

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6 years ago

The president shifted responsibility to church leaders and now the police are following their commander by shifting it to ink at a groups. Running away from making seemingly difficult but appropriate decisions. These people are killing our brothers and you are treating them like their Kings whose beyond the Law. Or is it true that the Achair advised you to use albion juju in 2019 because you have so badly failed that the foolish southern voter is now not sure whether it wouldn’t be better to try something else. In Malawi murder suspects are tried in court and hanged if… Read more »

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