People with albinism to hold vigil at State House in protest against continued ritual killings 

Association of People with Albinism (Apam) on Friday announced that the organisation is mobilised its members and those in support for them to stage a vigil  at Kamuzu Palace  in the capital city Lilongwe to force  President Peter Mutharika to  act swiftly on their concerns.

APAM president Kondowe speaking to reporters: We will hold vigil at State House
APM officials addressed a news conference

President Mutharika said during the launch of Chiwanja Cha Ayao in Balaka on January 6 2019 that  he is concerned with the continued abductions and killings of people with albinism and  he has been assured by MPS Inspector General Rodney Jose that perpetrators will be brought to book.

He charged “there  will be stiff penalties from now on, life sentences.”

Apam chairperson Overstone Kondowe told a news conference on Friday that s Capital Hill’s continued podium rants are doing nothing to protect persons with albinism.

He said  they will take to Plot number 1 for a vigil at a date yet to be announced.

Kondowe said the situation is  a crisis and urged the President  Mutharika to commit to ending it with action and not “recycled assurances”.

“We will hold vigils at the State House because we believe it is where there is maximum security,” he said.

He said that there are 13 000 albinos in Malawi and it is sad that government is not able to provide protection  for such small population.

In his statement World Vision Malawi Associate Director for Advocacy, Communications and Justice for Children, Charles Gwengwe said “enough is enough” the  government should  act now to protect people with albinism.

Gwengwe said World Vision Malawi, and other development partners, is alarmed by the continued abduction and attacks on persons living with albinism in Malawi.

He said the recent  merciless killing of Yasin Phiri, a man with albinism in Nkhata Bay,  and abduction of an 18-month-old baby with albinism at Khwawa in Karonga, Eunice, while she slept with her mother Lonness Nkhonjera, 28 is of great public concern.

“Living in fear, failing to access education and other social amenities by individuals living with albinism questions the very commitment Malawi made on safeguarding rights of its citizen especially those that are vulnerable,” he said.

He said WVI  is concerned that out of 165 cases related to people living with albinism that were reported, only 61 have been completed, while 16 are closed and undetected according to the Ministry of Justice APAM meeting Jan 2019.

“We therefore call upon authorities to  ensure a swift and impartial investigation into the abduction of the baby and also killing of people living with albinism, and bring the alleged perpetrators to justice as soon as possible,” Gwengwe said.

Minister of Homeland Security Nicholas Dausi  speaking during the official opening of the ministry’s senior management meeting at Victoria Hotel in Blantyre expressed shock over the continued abduction and killing of people with albinism, saying the act is inhuman.

He observed that there is need for collective effort from communities and police to enhance security to protect people with albinism.

“We need to decisively deal with the killing of people with albinism, illegal and irregular migration, management of refugees and corruption. Of late, the media has been awash with stories of alleged corrupt practices in our departments by some officers.  Given the nature of our work, most officers are prone to corrupt practices,” said the minister.

He expressed worry over reports that people with albinism are sometimes betrayed by their own relations, saying his ministry will coordinate with the Judiciary to ensure perpetrators get stiffer penalties.

Last year, government launched a four-year National Action Plan on Persons With Albinism aimed at ending atrocities against persons with albinism, and improving their social welfare.

In the same year, a report by Amnesty International states that the rate at which cases are concluded in Malawi is slow compared to other crime investigations.

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1 year ago

Well said Chikoti, I support you. Other than courts imposing stiffer penalties I honestly at a loss as to what else can be done because, honestly, there is no way police can monitor every move of our albino brothers and sisters. I feel communities where potential victims live have a bigger role to play. They know who strangers are and can, therefore, monitor their movements, reporting to authorities where suspicious movements are noted.

We should also not rule out relatives of the victims as some abductions and murders are very suspicious.

1 year ago

Please Malawians letsall go and support them. Its no good just talking. Action is required. This barbaric behaviour needs to be stopped NOW!

1 year ago

I think this issue is now becoming emotional,finger pointing .my view is that the security of our brethren and sisters is guaranteed if our community setting is checked properly.just look into the circumstances in which many of the abductions have taken place..police is not capable enough to provide security for each and every individual of the 13000 if the families,traditional leader and all other local people make an effort to engage and provide the necessary community security measures,it will work..lets look at it from a community setting.

Ntengo wa Kesia
Ntengo wa Kesia
1 year ago

I, for one, will support this stance: the vigil. It is overdue.
No one, including the media, should politicize the existential fate of our countrywomen(men).
This is a sad state of affairs, when individuals sense and feel insecure and their lives threatened just for looking different!
When are the law enforcers and the judiciary going to wake up?

Shaft Sachapandimadzi
Shaft Sachapandimadzi
1 year ago

Brethren don’t turn this issue into politics and let us think that u hv bn sent by Arafat Hamdan. We r very saddened by continued killings of people with Albinism but State house is not the market for the bones. One Bishop was implicated why dint u hold a vigil at the church he was ministering?? This country needs prayer to end these inhuman acts not these politically motivated and sponsored vigils.

1 year ago

There is no politicisation here.The State President is the Commander in-chief of both the MDF and the Police meaning that he is supposed to be the Chief security officer of all Malawians and therefore the vilgil is not misplaced

1 year ago
Reply to  Kachimanga

We have to work together as Malawians to end this big problem.Lets join hands to protect our friends.It should not be a blame game then we are not going to be successful.In additional to that Hon.Kalindo said that he knows the people involved so he can be forced to assist us.No time to waste here.Police do your job.

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