“Money” at centre of attacks, killings of people living with albinism

Elizabeth Machinjiri

Attacks on people with albinism have surged in Malawi in recent years with reports revealing that those searching for body parts of persons with albinism hope they will benefit financially.

Widespread reports show that those involved in attacking and killing of people with albinism strive to break chains of poverty, when they have killed a person with albinism or exhumed a grave for traditional healers to prepare their fortune.

Participants at the event organised by Malawi24 raised such concerns.

While people are yet to identity which traditional healer is giving such instruction of killing people with albinism to give them a charm that is to be a source of financial freedom, people albinism in the country are still being hunted.

Dozens of people are reported to have been attacked, killed, their graves being exhumed as people are hungry of “money”.

Several stakeholders joined by President Peter Mutharika have strongly spoken against the acts of killing people with albinism.

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Ian Simbota
Simbota says the efforts are stalling.

But why are the attacks continuing?

With efforts to stop the attacks and killings, we expected to have had the barbaric acts ended but that has not been the case. Since 2014, cases of attacks and killings of persons with albinism are still being recorded in Malawi.

Months ago, a person with albinism in Machinga MacDonald Masambuka was brutally murdered by people suspected to have planned his death are in custody.

As people are attacking and killing persons with albinism for “money”, stakeholders pointed at money to be lacking to end the act.

Speaking during a roundtable discussion organized by Malawi24 on Friday, panelists disclosed that lack of funds is blocking efforts to end the barbaric acts.

Association of People with Albinism in Malawi (APAM) Executive Member Ian Simbota disclosed that lack of funds is a factor that is frustrating the efforts.

Simbota said the efforts to have the acts to come to an end are being neglected due to lack of funds for proper awareness.

Concurring with Simbota, Police Officer responsible for Community Policing Alexander Simenti said limited financial resources has been a challenge to end the attacks.