Minister of Homeland Security Nicholas Dausi has apologised for his comments that that the attacks on persons with albinism were yet to get to levels where they should hold vigils at State House or seek asylum in other countries.
Dausi’s comments led to Association of People with Albinism in Malawi (Apam) to withdraw from the Presidential Task force on Persons with Albinism.
He said: “When they say they want to seek asylum elsewhere, do they want to insult government? Seriously? If they [Apam] are listening to us, will they insult government? These are things coming from homes where parents are selling their biological kids and they say we are facing challenges here?
“Even if there could be a country with tight security, but if a mother is selling her own child, a young man is selling his uncle right in the homes where there is supposed to be tight security. Now they say they want to march to State House, what will they be marching for?”
But on Monday at a news conference after public pressure, Dausi said he regrets that his remarks were misunderstood.
Dausi said he has contacted Apam to “explain, apologise and clarify” the matter.
The minister said he understands that his comments could be hurtful to the persons with albinism “even though they were not made with any malicious intent.”
Newspaper columnists had gone flat out to nail Dausi accusing him of displaying his “lack of sensitivity.”
Sellina Kainja writing in the Weekend Nation wrote that Dausi’s remarks were “unfortunate, especially coming from a Minister of Homeland Security, who is supposed to provide security to all Malawians and special security to people with albinism seeing that they have become a target for barbaric attacks.”
She wrote: “Dausi’s remarks embode the true nature of the DPP-led government; it never takes anything with some level of seriousness it deserves. The remarks by Dausi are a clear indication of what goes on at the top of the DDP leadership radar—they gloss over problems thinking they will simply go away on their own, without direction and action from the leadership.”
The columnist called on Dausi to make a public apology for his insensitive remarks.
Another columnist Suzgho Khunga said Dausi has become President Peter Mutharika’s “deadweight”
Khunga wrote: “The former Malawi Young Pioneers (MYP) heavyweight and founding president Kamuzu Banda’s chola boy has become synonymous with blunders and it is anyone’s guess if these reach the ears of APM at all, considering that he is allegedly surrounded by filters that keep crucial happenings in the party and the government from him.
“Dausi’s reign in his current position as minister responsible for home affairs (not the dubious US moniker Homeland Security) has been littered with careless statements and actions not befitting someone of his calibre.
“It is under his authority that there have been arbitrary arrests with ridiculous charges like ‘acting suspiciously’.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :