Stakeholders bang heads over attacks against people with albinism in Malawi


Machinga Police and Association of People with Albinism (Apam) on Wednesday conducted awareness campaign and discussions at Nayuchi Boarder which is believed to be inlet and outlet of suspects involved in attacks on people with albinism.

During the launch on March 22, 2017, Sub Traditional Authority Mchinguza asked police to post more officers at Nayuchi Police Post and allocate resources at the police formation.

He also asked police to orient community police forum members. The chief then thanked police for the meetings which he said have helped in reducing cases involving persons with albinism in Machinga.

Albinos MalawiJoshua Mpwehiwa, the representative from ministry of gender said the ministry will support victims of the attacks and he hailed government for amending punishment to people convicted of abducting, killing or tampering with graves of people with albinism. .

UN Women representative Habiba Osman said it is the wish of the organisation to work hand in hand with the stakeholders in reducing such cases and asked other NGOs to take part in the initiative.
Speaking to the gathering, Apam chairperson Overstone Khondowe thanked UN Women for funding the meeting saying that Machinga had the highest number of cases involving people with albinism among all the districts and he thanked stakeholders including police for the reduction in cases.

Dorothy Kawale who is Officer In-Charge of Machinga police thanked community police forum members for working hand in hand with police saying the coordination has helped to reduce the attacks.

She promised communities at Nayuchi boarder that police will post more police officers at Nayuchi Police to intensify security in the area.

Honourable Esther Jolobala, Member of Parliament for Machinga East, commended the police for managing and reducing the cases in Machinga and asked the law enforcers to investigate more about the exact markets for human tissues.

She begged UN Women to support the victims financially and promote their education and she also mentioned that some cases involving people with albinism were not properly handled by police and courts.

Jolobala gave an example of the case of a two-year-old Ibrahim Pillo of Chindamba village in Paramount Chief Kawinga who was kidnapped on January 8, 2015 but up to now the child has not been found.

During the campaigns, the Good Vision Glasses were testing eyes of people for free and persons with albinism were receiving sight glasses for free.

According to police statistics, in 2015 from January to March they registered 7 cases involving people with albinism, during the same period in 2016 they registered 4 cases of the same nature which represent 42% decrease while this year they are yet to register a case.