President Peter Mutharika has appointed an eight-member commission of inquiry to thoroughly investigate vital information on the attacks to protect persons with albinism (PWAs) which will be chaired by retired Supreme Court judge Robert Chinangw, SC.
Association of People with Albinism (Apam) petitioned Mutharika to appoint a commission of inquiry and conduct a comprehensive research to trace and identify the alleged source of demand and supply for body parts of PWAs.
The commission is expected to investigate the truth about assumed markets for the targeted body parts of people with albinism, driving factors influencing people to engage in the malpractice, people’s awareness levels on the issue and delays by the justice system to conclude cases involving the victims.
According to a statement by Chief Secretary in the Office of President and Cabinet (OPC) Lloyd Muhara seen by Nyasa Times, the commission will “finalise its work and submit a written report to His Excellency the President bybthe 30th April, 2019.”
President Mutharika has appointed other commissioners who include Bishop Joseph Bvumbwe, Abigail Dzimadzi, Grace Massah, Paramount Chief Kawinga, George Jobe, Hilda Soko and commission secretary Brenda Vokhiwa Kapenda.
The statement said the commission is, therefore, inviting members of the public who have knowledge on the attacks with PWAs should contact the inquiry team.
Albinos in Malawi are targeted over false beliefs that their body parts, when used in so-called magic potions, bring wealth and good luck.
Police statistics show that 26 albinos have been killed since 2013, including three in the past two months.
Commentators believe the commission will unveil answers to questions Malawians have on why government is failing to decisively act on the attacks and killings as well as on delays by the courts to conclude cases involving killings of people with albinism.
President Mutharika has also committed K3.1 billion towards the implementation of the Nation Action Plan (NAP) aimed at ending atrocities against persons with albinism, and improving their social welfare for a period of four years, and has since ordered an immediate release of the money towards the cause.
Mutharika, who has of late been talking tough on atrocities against PWAs, has been blamed for simply making podium rants, with little being done on the ground to stop the vice.
Apam president Overstone Kondowe also wants Mutharika to seek, as a matter of urgency, international support to conduct investigations, including specialist support for forensic testing and combating human trafficking, to bring perpetrators of these gross human rights abuses to justice.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :