Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) has joined Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) in endorsing the Association of People with Albinism in Malawi (Apam) march and vigils at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe from March 6 to 8 to petition President Peter Mutharika and demand a commitment to the safety of people with albinism.
In a statement seen by Nyasa Times signed by its national coordinator Boniface Chibwana, CCJP said persons with albinism have Malawi as their home; hence, no excuse for failure by duty-bearers to holistically deal with attacks, abductions and killings of the vulnerable group.
And the NGO Gender Coordination Network (GCN) a grouping of 54 local Non-Governmental Organization (NGOs) says it is supporting for the vigil at Kamuzu Palace in, saying it is high time action was taken.
Chairperson of NGO-GCN Barbara Banda said the umbrella body will do all these to show solidarity with all concerned Malawians in reaction to continuous killing of people with albinism in the country.
She was speaking in Blantyre on Monday to reporters.
“The most profound response of government to the widespread attacks has been the public condemnation of the acts by government officials including the President himself. Some arrests have been made yes but our understanding is that the response has been more rhetoric than action oriented.
“This explains why attacks on albinos continue to rise in the country. Even the remarks made by Minister of Homeland Security Nicholas Dausi [that atrocities facing them were yet to reach levels warranting State House vigils or seeking asylum abroad] could tell lack of seriousness on the part of government,” said Banda.
During the news conference where he jointly addressed with Minister of Information and Communications Technology Henry Mussa and Inspector General of Police Rodney Jose in Lilongwe last Tuesday, Dausi said: “When they say they want to seek asylum elsewhere, do they want to insult government? Seriously? If they are listening to us, will they insult government?
“These are things coming from homes where parents are selling their biological kids and they say we are facing challenges here?”
Dausi has since apologised amid pressure from Amnesty International, Association of People with Albinism in Malawi (Apam), civil society organisations (CSOs) and opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP), among others, for him to withdraw his remarks.
Reading from a prepared statement, he said: “I have decided to unconditionally apologise for the remarks and; hence, withdraw them.
“I truly regret that the meaning which I had intended at that briefing did not come out as it was. I sincerely regret. I personally want to assure all the persons with albinism that I am equally concerned.
“My ministry and I, personally, fully appreciate the pain, anguish and fear the abductions and killings of PWA have caused among Malawians.”
But Apam president Overstone Kondowe has described Dausi’s apology as cosmetic, saying he should proceed to resign because he has failed to demonstrate the right attitude for a political head of a ministry that is supposed to protect people with albinism.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :