Human rights groups have ganged up to urge the government to swiftly find the lasting solution to the ongoing butchering of people with albinism as the latest killing in Nkhata Bay has shocked Malawi.
This follows the killing of a 54-year-old Yassin Kwenda Phiri, a person with albinism who was working as a hospital assistant at Kande Health Centre in Nkhata Bay on Monday.
Overton Kondowe, the president of Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM) urged the government to set up special tribunals which should hear cases of killings of people with albinism.
“The killings are continuing because no one has been convicted of the killings because of the slow pace of the legal system in our conventional courts. We need special tribunals which can hear all the cases fast so that this should send a message to others,” said Kondowe.
He said the government should be prepared to fund adequately such tribunals and ensure that it has enough prosecutors and judges.
“We have been telling the government on the need to set up the tribunals but regrettably, it has rejected such an idea. This is the result,” he said.
Kondowe said his organization will now be seeking an audience with president Peter Mutharika to press upon him to set up the tribunal.
Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) executive director David Nungu said the murder of Yassin Kwenda Phiri is a sign of lapses in the measures put in place to protect people with albinism.
Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) also issued strong worded statements, condemning the killing of Kwenda Phiri and urging the government to take strict measures to protect lives of people with albinism.
“This is a set-back on the efforts to end the barbaric act…This shows the government failure to protect the minority groups,” says a statement jointly issued by CHRR and Cedep.
Kwenda Phiri was buried on Tuesday at Kadzando village in chief Fukamapiri’s area in Nkhata Bay.
Government spokesperson Henry Mussa could not be reached for comment.