The State President Professor Arthur Mutharika joined Malawians in commemorating the International Albinism Awareness Day with declaration of war of the law on those killing and abusing people with albinism.
The International Albinism Awareness Day which falls on 13th June was set aside by United Nations General Assembly after the World acknowledged that the rights of persons with albinism have been under threat in many parts of the World.
Malawi joined the commemoration at a time when many innocent Malawians with albinism are being persecuted.
Speaking at Kasungu Community Ground where the commemoration took place Professor Mutharika said as a country we have to say no to this darkest evil of our times and promised to deal with those perpetrating the wicked practice.
“You have taken away enough lives of my people. You have taken away enough peace of our people with albinism. Now you will face the war of the law,” said Professor Mutharika.
The President highlighted what has been put in place in as far as the law catching up with those who are killing, abusing and exhuming bones of people with albinism.
“We have appointed a special prosecutor on crimes against persons with albinism because we want to prosecute the murderous criminals in courts that exact tough and merciless penalties and also the Chief Justice has directed that all cases to do with albinism will be handled by professional magistrates,
“We will prosecute anyone harboring or sharing murderous thoughts against people with albinism in a right court with the right powers to exact the right punishment,” he promised.
Professor Mutharika added that the wave of terrorism against people with albinism has shown us that for many years the laws and justice system have been unjust and now the legal preparation for the war on those terrorizing people with albinism is done.
“For the last few months we have been reviewing our laws to deal with this evil act decisively. And let the World know that we are a law abiding democracy that we can only legally fight even the darkest evil when we have the right laws,” he said.
Association of People with Albinism in Malawi ( APAM) Chairperson Boniface Masa commended the President for his commitment by setting up a committee which is looking at fighting against the killings however, he said they want a Commission of inquiry to be set up to dig deep into the killings.
“We thank the President for showing commitment to deal with the killings and abuses as there are some laws that are being looked at and also there is a committee that is in place however, as already stated in our petition to parliament a week ago, we want a commission of inquiry, and we want it urgently. As you can see we still don't know the root cause,” said Masa.
Masa, while calling on chiefs to discredit some of the myths that perpetrate the killings and abuses, called for individuals, organisations and companies to help with resources to help the victims who he said most of them live in extreme poverty and also need psychosocial support.
UN resident representative Miaa Seppo concurred with Masa on the role of chiefs to help defuse some of the myths that are helping in fueling the killings however, she added that court sentences should also reflect magnitude of a crime.
Said Seppo, “Chiefs should be champions of demystifying the myths the people have. There is no way human body parts can bring wealth to a person. Our courts must also give sentences that reflect the gravity of a crime to avoid cases where people take the law in their own hands and apply mob justice.”
The Day was commemorated under a theme “Together we can end human rights violations against persons with albinism”.