People with albinism who were assaulted by the Malawi Police on Saturday in Lilongwe have denied claims that they blocked the M1 road.
Reports indicate that the grouping under Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM) on Saturday blocked the M1 road at MIM demanding to see President Peter Mutharika who was on his way from Mzuzu.
Police teargased, dispersed and assaulted several persons with albinism including APAM president, Overstone Kondowe, who was hospitalized and treated as an outpatient.
This is said to be as a result of conduct by APAM members who wanted to stop President Mutharika for a discussion over their safety due to the continued killing of persons with albinism.
However, APAM vice secretary, Ian Simbota has vehemently rebuffed the claims by the police that they blocked the M1 road at MIM in Lilongwe saying the police attacked the group.
Simbota said they were directed to check out from MIM where they had been staying for some days and as they wanted to leave the campus, police blocked them at the gate.
“As we woke up on Saturday morning, we were told by MIM authorities to check out and as we were leaving the campus for sake of shelter and food at APAM offices, police blocked us at the gate and we clashed with them and several other friends got injured and we later got out of MIM campus.
“Just after getting out of the campus, we found a large group of police along the M1 road blocking us too and the question was why blocking us yet we have been chased at MIM? Then they started beating us including our president who was rushed to hospital but he is now at least okay and is out,” Simbota said.
He further said apart from being assaulted, they were also insulted by these men in uniform who told the persons with albinism that they are fools and that’s why they are being killed.
According to Simbota, APAM is now planning to approach several embassies so that they can be helped claiming government through Mutharika has denied to meet and help them accordingly.
“So far our conclusion is that I think we are too dirt to meet the president of which our next step is just to date and look for the possibility of embassies such that we can at least be saved through the embassies but the challenge is it takes long to be finalized,” Simbota said.
During the clashes, police arrested eight people with albinism and a journalist from private broadcaster Zodiak but both are now out of police custody.