The Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare has asked security and investigating agencies to deepen investigations into the abductions and killings of people with albinism, which continue to traumatise communities in the country.
Minister responsible, Jean Kalilani, yesterday said there is need to go beyond prosecution and find markets where body parts of people with albinism are sold.
“Let me ask the investigating units to do something about it. If there was a fake market, it [the killing] would have stopped long time ago but we continue to experience these cases,” Kalilani said.
The world was yesterday commemorating International Albinism Awareness Day, emphasising the need to respect the rights of persons with albinism.
Kalilani said people should ensure that persons with albinism are able to access social services.
Police reports indicate that the country has registered 148 cases of killings and abductions of people with albinism and the security agency is still investigating 67 cases.
United Nations Women Resident Representative, Clara Anyangwe, expressed concern over delays to prosecute those connected with the murder of people with albinism.
“It is a concern that there have been no convictions over the murder of people with albinism until today. But it is our firm hope that, with the breakthrough [made in] the McDonald Masambuka case, there will be more links to lead prosecutors,” she said.
Masambuka, a 22-year-old man with albinism from Machinga District, went missing mysteriously, only for his body parts to be discovered weeks later.
Association of People with Albinism in Malawi National Coordinator, Boniface Massa, highlighted the need to empower people with albinism in various areas of development.
“We are aware of the failure of the criminal justice system. We need to build momentum, in terms of awareness campaigns and self-representation of people with albinism, in various areas of development to challenge myths surrounding our lives,” Massa said.
This year, the day was commemorated under the theme ‘Shining Our Light To The World’.