About twenty murder cases involving persons with albinism are hanging in court as the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs is failing to raise K14 million to help the court speed up the process.
The Association of People with Albinism in Malawi (Apam) President Overstone Kondowe has since expressed disappointment over the delay saying it signifies lack of seriousness on the welfare of people with albinism.
Kondowe said the matter was brought before the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs but the ministry said that it had no money.
“To us the explanations are not satisfying. I cannot believe that the whole government can fail to raise K14 million. This only shows that our issues are not being taken as priority,” he said. Kondowe said financial constraints are also hindering efforts to re-appeal all albino cases that were given lenient sentences.
“On our part we have taken up the issue with the International Bar Association and they have promised to give us financial assistance probably by October this year,” he added.
The Ministry of Justice and Constitution Affairs was not immediately available to comment on the matter as both the minister Samuel Tembenu and spokesperson Apoche Itimu did not respond to our questionnaires.
Apam national coordinator Boniface Massah concurred with Kondowe saying the delay is likely contributing to continued cases of attacks on persons with albinism as perpetrators are made to believe that there are no stiffer penalties for the offence.
“Justice delayed is justice denied, we are dealing with a criminal matter which is a threat to our nation, hence the criminal justice system in Malawi must also respond in an urgent manner to send a strong message to the attackers,” he said.
Apam has recorded 115 cases involving persons with albinism since 2014 but only about 38 percent of the cases have been handled by the courts.