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.
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.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :