With Lorraine Lusinje:
I don’t know if I would say I believe there is witchcraft in the world or not; what I know is I care less about it. My caring less about it means I do not condemn any inhuman acts done towards other human beings in the name of witchcraft. I care less whether the charms made from body parts of people living with albinism work or not; the killings are simply barbaric and wrong!
What I don’t understand is who gives the people conducting these barbaric acts a “right” to live while depriving others the right to live because they are born a little different from the rest of us. People with albinism already have enough to worry about when it comes to their general wellbeing and adding agony to that by raping, hacking and killing them in the name of some dark ambitions of a prosperous life is nothing but evil.
Cases of albino killings have been on the rise in Malawi and other neighbouring countries. I was deeply saddened when I read about some men who had been arrested in Tanzania for killing a woman with albinism. What really shocked me was that one of the suspects was her own husband. The husband had connived with other men to kill the woman for perceived benefits from her body parts.
In a national address, president of the country that time, Jakaya Kikwete, vowed to end the wave of killings of albinos, saying the witchcraft-related murders were shaming his nation.
He said his government would not allow the situation to escalate as they did in previous years. He added: “I believe that with close cooperation between the government and society, we will succeed in ending these killings of persons with albinism and rid our nation of this shame.”
I have highlighted that part because I agree strongly with those words; it is close cooperation between the government and society that can bring these barbaric killings to an end and that is the same mentality we need to adopt at this point as Malawians.
These people are abducted in our own communities and some are at tacked by people they know or people who have connived with people they know. Every individual needs to take the responsibility to make sure that these barbaric killings do not go on.
We all need to come together and fight these barbaric acts. It is selfish to leave the matter in the hands of the government and the police alone, just as it is selfish for someone to murder another human being to use their body parts for charms. People caught engaging in such acts should be given swift and stiff punishment so that others are not encouraged to engage in such heinous acts.
People with albinism have rights and freedoms, just like everyone else, including the right to get an education and the right to be protected. It is sad that these killings have made people with albinism prisoners of fear in their own communities.
Let us all add our voices in condemning these killings and where we can add our “actions” in fighting these cruel acts as well as in advocating the rights of people living with albinism in our communities and in the country at large. People living with albinism can contribute to the development of the country just like everyone else and should be given the opportunity to realise their full potential without fear.
I rest my case.