President Peter Mutharika on Monday attacked Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera, suggesting that he is a “liar” and an “opportunist” for using the killing of people with albinism to score political points.
Mutharika said this at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe when a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the spate of attacks, abductions and killings of persons with albinism (PWAs) was taking an oath to commence their duties.
In his speech to the commissioners led by y retired judge Robert Chinangwa, President Mutharika said there are politicians who are interested in making gains out of the plight of the persons with albinism.
“This explains the irrational pattern of events we have seen in the past few weeks,” he said.
“First, Reverend Lazarus Chakwera suggested to Malawians that he knows who is abducting and killing persons with albinism. This statement is on record for history to remember,” said Mutharika.
Chakwera said that once elected he would end the abductions and killings within a month.
The President, a professor of international law, wondered why Chakwera wants to be voted into power first in order to end the suffering of PWAs.
“Why not give the information now so that we can stop the suffering of our brothers and sisters with albinism? Obviously, this man Chakwera is a liar and an opportunist. He has no solution to the suffering of people living with albinism,” charged President Mutharika.
This is not the first time for Mutharika to publicly attack Chakwera in harsh way. In November 2017, the President attacked Chakwera, suggesting the MCP president is mentally unstable and should undergo psychiatric evaluation.
Mutharika and Chakwera have emerged as bitter rivals since the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections in which Chakwera trailed Mutharika in the presidential race.
During the Monday speech, Mutharika condemned some political leaders who he said have chosen to use the attacks and murders of people with albinism to score cheap political gains.
“Let me use this opportunity to appeal to all Malawians. Let us stop politicizing the unfortunate, painful and gruesome situation of the persons with albinism. Let us stop criminal civil societies from exploiting the pain and suffering of people with albinism to gain political scores,” said Mutharika.
“People with albinism are humans and they must be treated as humans. Let us not allow anyone to dehumanise them into objects of political propaganda,” he continued.
“What we need is to stop the gruesome murders and abductions once and for all. People living with albinism should not live in fear in their own country and communities.
“What we need is to unite and confront the barbaric acts against albinism and not encouraging the abductions and killings for political mileage. And I repeat, no politician should encourage the murders and abductions in order to make albinism a campaign agenda,” said Mutharika.
The Malawi leader said the institution of the Commission of Inquiry is “a decisive step” towards defending the lives and rights of people with albinism.
Malawi is experiencing a resurgence of attacks against persons with albinism, with two fatalities and three abductions since 31 December 2018. Two of those who were abducted were later rescued by community members, one remains missing.
Since November 2014, the number of reported crimes against people with albinism in Malawi has risen to 152 cases, including 25 murders and more than 10 people missing, according to Apam.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :