Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera has vowed to end killings of persons with albinism within one month if he becomes president after the May 21 elections.
Speaking at a press briefing on Thursday, the MCP presidential candidate accused the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) government of failing to protect persons with albinism in the country saying he will manage to end the kills in a short period.
“I will work with the Police, the Army, the Civil Society Organizations, National Intelligence Services, as well as all Malawians to completely deal with the issues of albinism,” said Chakwera.
He added that the President Peter Mutharika administration is not willing to provide K3 billion funding for the implementation of the National Action Plan against killings and abduction of people with albinism saying there is little or no urgency in their protection and response.
Chakwera then called on Mutharika to commission investigations on the matter and law enforcers to extract information from suspects.
Meanwhile, the Association of People with Albinism (Apam) plans to hold a vigil at State House to force the Mutharika administration to take action on attacks on persons with albinism.
On Wednesday, thugs abducted a 14-year-old boy with albinism, Goodson Makanjira, in the area of chief Chilikumwendo’s area in Dedza.
His relatives said six masked men took away the boy after breaking into the house where Goodson, his parents and his sister were sleeping.
“They were very violent, they even hacked one of the relations who wanted to rescue Goodson,” said the relation.
Reacting to the attacks, President of Association of People with Albinism in Malawi (Apam) Overstone Kondowe said government should declare Malawi unsafe for people with albinism
“We can go elsewhere where we can be safe,” said Kondowe.
Ian Simbota who is a person with albinism concurred with Kondowe saying seeking asylum is so far the only best option for persons with albinism since Malawi is no longer a safe place.
This year, at least five cases of attacks against persons with albinism have been recorded in the country.
On Wednesday, Minister of Information and Communications Technology Henry Mussa described the situation as regrettable but assured the public that Police are working hard to stamp out the barbaric practice.
Mussa pleaded to all Malawians, well-wishers and all those people who love Malawi to raise the alarm to end the killings, saying that would be a way of complementing government efforts.
He said one of such ways is government’s decision to initiate a program to build houses for those with albinism to protect them.
“We have constructed two solid houses in Chitakale, but we are planning to construct more in all parts of the country for people with albinism,” he said.