Workable solution to end albino killings in Malawi

The news that about 17 people of albinism have so far been abducted killed and some mutilated in Malawi is heartbreaking, tear-jerking, very shocking and sad. With these brutal killings one wonders if at all the once warm heart of Africa is the best and safe place for Albinos to live. That each week we read and see glue-some pictures of brutally murdered and mutilated Albinos is not a joke.

Albino  attacked for  body parts

Albino attacked for body parts

That Albinos are hunted even when they are dead and buried in their graves is one such thing that baffles all imagination, the most satanic, barbaric and horrible actions that has no definition. That our society has become the most dangerous place to live is all true since these horrifying brutal killings have inflicted fear in the lives of all Malawians.

As a way of putting an end to this wickedness, Government through the State President has called on the police to be vigilant, arrest and bring to book all perpetrators of this inhuman act in Malawi. On a national Television, the President has called on Malawians to be more patriotic and report such people to police. On the same Government is sending officials to Tanzania to study and learn from our counterparts on how to put an end to this mayhem.

Civil society and faith community have also condemned this wickedness. We applaud government other stakeholders for taking a strong stand against this violence. However I have put together six approaches that would help effectively address this challenge in Malawi:

 A need for a Presidential Decree over the matter

In times of deep moral decay and social disaster, evoking the powers of the constitution through Presidential decrees is the best way to go. The constitution has invested some powers in the Presidency to protect the people of Malawi. These powers are used on special occasions to bring sanity in a nation.

The current abduction, brutal killings and mutilation of Albinos in Malawi calls for such presidential decree where perpetrators of this wickedness must not only face death sentence or locked up in jail for ever or have their right to life removed from them.  these cruel and heartless people are a danger to society and must face the arm of the law.

I want to categorically point out that effort by government and other stakeholders on the matter is appreciated. However the depth of this brutality and social moral decay is beyond measure. Threatening and warning such heartless, brutal and conscious less people who even mutilate dead bodies is wastage of time. The only language such people can hear is to have them locked up forever, face death or have their right to life removed from them so that the rest of heartless people learn some lessons.

MPs constituency Advocacy

Members of Parliament must be involved in the fight in support of Albinos’ rights to life. It is a fact that all albinos belong to a certain political constituencies under a certain Member of Parliament. The death of Albinos tend to also reduce the number of registered voters in an area hence a call upon all MPs to carry out a nationwide campaign in support of Albinos right to life and security.

MPs in their constituencies must sensitive the people because even the murderers and killers belong to a certain constituency’. Now reaching out to MPs would increase the level of awareness and security of Albinos in Malawi.

Reviews of the laws

Many Malawians continue to question the verdict and judgments that are coming from the court of laws on those involved in the massacre and death of Albinos in Malawi. Many of us are wondering if at all the law really cares about the plight of Albinos in Malawi. How can someone who murder and kill Albino get some years in jail and not life or death sentence? What is the difference between those in jail because of murder and these Albino killers who are only given number of years in jail? What law is this? Is there any seriousness in the law? The law is design to protect the people and not to cause more harm. Kidnapping, killing and mutilating of Albinos is the type of brutality and wickedness that has no definition. This confusion in the punishment given to these killers forces many to call for a review in the application of these laws.

Empowering the traditional leaders

Traditional leaders play a crucial role in maintaining peace and harmony in Malawi. These leaders are the protector and custodian of our culture and tradition. As Malawians we all belong to specific Traditional Authority. Even  Albinos come from specific Traditional Authority within Malawi. Thus empowering Traditional leaders  provide protection for Albinos from within the village and traditional system. In this regard, traditional leaders would create village vigilantes who would protect Albinos and help police in this process. The absence of community based approach to caring and protecting albinos has led to a situation where Albinos are alone in communities with no security.

NGO’s joint advocacy

NGO’s joint advocacy against Albinos killings is what is needed in Malawi at the moment. Amazingly not all Human Right NGOs are condemning the killing of Albinos in Malawi. Those NGOs that used to leading in demonstrations are this time silent when Albinos are brutally butchered. Albinos have been left alone to fight for their survival while human rights organizations with huge funding are not doing anything. This is an irony and a surprise in human rights activism in Malawi today.

Some have argued that Human Rights Organizations’ have found themselves at crossroad because they seem not to know whose right to defend; whether that of an Albino or the Albino killer. Now we don’t have to be Harvard Graduate to understand that Albinos who are human beings have the right to life the very right that must be protected by law. Also we don’t have to be Oxford Graduate to understand that whether Albino or not we all have equal rights to life and must be treated the same.

 Faith Community involvement

Faith communities in Malawi are part of the daily social, economic, political and spiritual life of the nation. We as a nation cannot do without them. The Faith Community has been part of problem solving process in Malawi since pre-colonialism. In this predicament today Malawi need the faith community to play the leading role in the fight against the killing of Albinos.

Thus through the Malawi Council of Churches, Episcopal Conference of Malawi, Evangelical Association of Malawi, Public Affairs Committee and all religious bodies, this fight must intensify so as to bring in light and help transform and reform people and systems. It is the faith community which has the God given mandate to deal with issues of the heart. These killers have wicked and rotten heart that need urgent attention.  Thus faith community must carry out a nationwide campaign to civic educate Malawians that we are all equal and that every one’s life is precious before God.

  • Dr Qeko Jele is Systematic Theologian, Educationist and a Social Development scientist and an Alumni of the University of Fort Hare and he writes this in his personal capacity as a specialist in Democracy, Religion, State and Development[email protected]


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Chilungamo Chimawawa

also the government should quickly introduce IDs to every citizen for easy identification. this will also help police in their investigations.


All the convicts on albino killings MUST DIE. Yes MUST DIE BY FIRING SQUAD.

patric chimasulah

am wonderful because killings of people albino

Saj Sajiwa
i entirely agree with the sentiments and proposals contained in this write-up. The major problem with the Malawi of today is that we are pre-occupied and outdoing each other on ‘talk’. There are no implementation strategies, and thus as expected – No Action. The faith community is busy with prosperity. MPs are eagerly looking forward to allowances at the coming budget session, and most of them have re-located away from their constituencies. I also disagree with the idea of involving traditional leaders. All the Trad. Authorities (TAs) now are political stooges. They are just parroting what their political matters are… Read more »
Thitherward 'wendo

Witchdoctors are part of an alternative power structure that caters to the needs of those who feel excluded from our political power structure. Only when our political system is all-inclusive will witchdoctoring lose its attractiveness to those who are ambitious but lack schooling.


These are indeed workable solutions. I disagree with the second comment that the author also needed to address the issue of witch doctors. He might be thinking about what President Magufuli did. Malawians get most of these ill ideas of killing people with albinism for money from neighbouring countries most especially, Mozambique. Let the church do its work of preaching good news to all peoples, and not only to those living in town.

It breaks my heart
I agree to some extent to what the the article is saying and most of the points mentioned seemed to be workable solutions, but this has not been the case so far. Nobody chooses to be an albino and do not deserve to be killed because of this disease that they are suffering and we both know the kind of medical treatment that people with albinism get in this country. Its time to see the deaths of albinism people in a different perspective; these are people getting killed not just numbers. Honestly, jail terms for albino murderers have not work.… Read more »

I am sorry to say but the things you write about are already happening and they can’t address the situation. you talk nothing on witchdoctors who are number 1 perpetrators of this evil. You do not talk of poverty and hunger which are driving people to commit this heinous attacks. you do not speak of the role of rumor, myth and superstition. please presidential decrees are not answers to anything if behind them their is no real action plan. pepani but I see nothing workable here

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