Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has accused the Police of obstructing the investigations into the abduction and killing of people with albinism , saying suspected connected to the attacks are being “killed” under the law enforcers custody.
This was said by MCP representative Edgar Chapalanjira during SDG Question Time debate organised by Nation Publications Limited (NPL), Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) and United Nations Malawi focusing on human rights which featured all the major parties ahead of the May 21 elections.
Killings and abductions of people with albinism, improving justice delivery system dominated the debate on SDGs broadcast live on Zodiak TV.
In his contribution, MCP’s Chapalanjira said: “What is disheartening is that people are being arrested but when they want to reveal the truth they are being killed right inside police custody.”
Recently, Buleya Lule, a key suspect in the abduction of a 14-year old albino boy Goodson Makanjira in Dedza, was electrocuted, then hit with metal bars and died in police custody, according to preliminary findings of an autopsy.
Another suspect in the abduction of an 18-month baby with albinism Eunice Nkhonjera, Donald Msafiri, 61, allegedly committed suicide a day after being interrogated by police in Karonga.
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu however said the death of suspects is “under investigation.”
He said: “Let us investigate the cases first, something which is underway but let’s be slow to make judgement lest we make wrong conclusions.”
Tembenu said government has set aside 30 cases for prosecution and the cases will be tried on fast track.
He also said the National Action Plan is being implemented.
However, MCP representative said there is no evidence money has been released to implement the Action Plan.
“And the question is why it has taken all this time to release the funds. Will the money not go to campaign,” he queried.
Belief in witchcraft is widespread in rural Malawi, one of the world’s poorest countries, fuelling ritual killings particularly targeting people with albinism because of the belief that their body parts can increase wealth.
The renewed focus on albino murders comes after the New Year’s Day killing of Yasin Phiri in front of his young son. The man’s arms were hacked off, his teeth pulled and his private parts removed, prompting calls by local and international civil society groups for government action.
President Peter Mutharika has since disloced that government will offer cash rewards of up K5 million ($7,000) for information that is proven to be credible relating to any conspiracy to abduct or kill persons with albinism.
The presidency will also form a judicial inquiry into the killings and abductions, which have reached 150 since 2014 according to the UN.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :