Police assures persons with albinism of protection

The Malawi Police Service (MPS) has assured the general public that police will work vigorously to get to the bottom of the abductions and killings of people with albinism in the country.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police responsible for administration Duncan Mwapasa made the remarks on Thursday when he received a petition from the Stakeholders Action Group (SAG) concerning the increased cases of brutal killings, abductions and exhumations of graves of persons with albinism.

“Let me assure the public that the Malawi Police Service will work tirelessly to stop these barbaric killings of persons with albinism, this is an issue of human life and as the Police we cannot just sit down and look at our fellow human beings being killed. We will work hard and get to the bottom of all this,” said Mwapasa.

He urged all citizens, including the faith community, the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), government, the media, chiefs and relatives of persons with albinism to help fight the crime.

Mwapasa however condemned family members of persons with albinism who are facilitating this inhumane practice.

On the alleged black market trading in body parts of persons with albinism, the DIG of Police said it is not yet established because some reports say that the market is in Zambia, some say Tanzania while others say it is in Mozambique while the people in these countries claim that the market is in Malawi.

Among others the petition calls on police to re-arrest suspects on bail and speed up the investigations of crimes against people with albinism.

Speaking on behalf of the Stakeholders Action Group (SAG), Edward Chileka Banda said the petition marks a new chapter of anger, disappointment, despair and frustrations as persons with albinism continue to come under attacks.

“The case of Fletcher Masina of Ntcheu who was murdered on May 24, 2016 is a fresh blow to the country’s efforts to stop the killings. Eighteen people have so far been killed since 2015 and many more missing, six have been murdered in cold blood, 14 have been abducted, three are missing and about 14 graveyards exhumed for ritual and witchcraft purposes,” Banda summarized.

He however commended the Malawi Police Service for arresting and prosecuting the culprits. He also hailed awareness activities carried out across the country, but pleaded with the Police to do more.

The SAG comprises CSO’s and Citizen Groups including Citizen Alliance, Association of Persons with Albinism, National Advocacy Platform, Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) and the Youth Consultative Forum among others.

Source: Malawi News Agency