President Peter Mutharika has advised Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM) to go back to its original mission of fighting for the rights of persons with albinism and not be paid by politicians who he said were “manipulating” their leader Overstone Khondowe to provoke government to arrest them so that they could trigger public anti-government demonstrations.
Mutharika was speaking during the swearing in ceremony of a commission of inquiry on the attacks, killings and abductions of persons with albinism at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.
He said the current anti government protests by APAM are only worsening the situation, and not helping in resolving the issue of the attacks on persons with albinism.
“The civil society groups that are working with APAM are not helping them, because they helped them to organize protests only to abandon them without food and shelter.
“Government had to come in and assist them with shelter at Malawi Institute of Management,” he said.
He said APAM was behaving irrationally and suspiciously because it was provoking government to respond so that they should react and therefore, cause national protests.
He warned civil society organizations and political parties from exploiting and dehumanizing the suffering of persons with albinism to gain political mileage.
“We need to unite and confront the root problem [of attacks, abductions and killing of people with albinism] and refrain from this myopic and idiotic behaviour of fault finding.
“We should not always try to find someone to blame for problems that the country is facing,” he said.
Speaking on the commission of inquiry on killings and abductions of people with albinism, Mutharika said the nine-member commission of inquiry has been appointed to establish causes and circumstances leading to the attacks, killings and abductions of persons with albinism.
The commission comprises the clergy, chiefs, persons living with albinism, experts in human rights issues and investigative experts.
The President said instituting the commission of inquiry was one of the measures put in place to end the barbaric practice of attacking persons with albinism.
However, he warned the commission against people who would want to manipulate them into doctoring information.
“This commission of inquiry is our last hope and I expect it to start functioning as soon as possible so that by April 1, it should submit a report on the causes and circumstances leading to the attacks on persons with albinism,” he said.
The commission, whose appointment is effective March 5, 2019, is expected to finalize its work and submit a written report to the President by April 30, 2019.
Chairperson for the commission, Justice Robert Chinangwa, invited members of the public who may have any relevant information and knowledge pertaining to the attacks, abductions and killings of persons with albinism to volunteer and give such information to the commission.
He pledged that the commission would discharge its duties impartially and faithfully and to the best of their abilities.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :