NGO warns against human trafficking

A local human rights organisation, Rights Advice Centre (RAC) has warned people in the country to desist from taking part in human trafficking saying the law shall take its course on them.

The organisation’s manager in the district, Stella Mpaso, issued the warning on Tuesday during a sensitization campaign on human trafficking which was held at Lobi trading centre in the area of Traditional Authority Kachere in Dedza.

“To everyone out there, our warning is that people should know that laws of our country are now stiff on human trafficking, all those involved in the malpractice will be charged according to our country’s laws,” she said.

Human trafficking attracts a minimum sentence of 21 years imprisonment with hard labour when trafficking children and minimum sentence of 14 years when trafficking adults, according to trafficking in persons act of 2015.

Mpaso said her organisation has noted that in many cases of human trafficking, relatives of victims play a huge role in assisting traffickers.

In Dedza, children women and people with albinism are some of the groups that have been victims of human trafficking.

According to Mpaso, children and women are trafficked from Lobi to areas such as Lilongwe, Mchinji and Mozambique at a fee amounting to K80,000 in order for them to be working in farms and to be used in sexual acts like prostitution.

Mpaso said the organisation is working with a number of stakeholders curb the malpractice.

Said Mpaso: “We are with the district social welfare office who are responsible for child protection, the courts and the police who are there to ensure that there is justice. We have also agreed to work with the herbalists who are accused of providing charms for killing albinos and people with bald heads. We want them to be telling people their side on the issue.”

Commenting on the issue, chairperson of the Herbalists Association of Malawi Dedza chapter Doctor Mwasiyambuyo Njolomole denied allegations that herbalists are behind the killings and abductions of people with albinism and bald people.

Njolomole said a fellow human being does not possess gold on his or her body as others think hence the killings are just human rights violations.

“There is no charm that can help an individual to get rich because of a fellow human beings’ body parts, what is happening now is just human rights violations,” Njolomole said.

He added that currently the association is registering herbalists so that once an issue of a misconduct arises, the herbalist involved should be traced easily and brought to book.

RAC with funding from The Norwegian Church Aid is holding the sensitization campaigns in various markets in the district.

The sensitisation campaigns have already been conducted at msika wanjala which is the district’s main market and at Kanyenda in the district. Similar ones are expected to be conducted in other parts of Dedza including Chiluzi trading centre in the area of Traditional Authority Kasumbu.