Association of Persons with Albinism (APA) has pleaded with government to give them satisfactory protection amid a rising wave of abductions and killings of albinos around the country.
APA executive director Boniface Massa said during the Albinism Awareness Day at Blantyre Youth Centre (BYC) yesterday that they will continue living in fear unless attackers are given stiffer penalties and the country’s laws are enhanced.
The call comes after Machinga Second Grade Magistrate’s Court on Monday sentenced a 30-year-old man, Sinoya Wyson, to two years imprisonment with hard labour for abducting an 11-year-old girl with albinism.
Said Massa: “We are not satisfied with the sentences metted out to offenders and we fear the lenient sentences will not deter evil-minded people.”
According to lawyer Mandala Mambulasa, who represented Malawi Law Society (MLS) president at the function themed ‘Living Without Fear in Malawi, Birthright of persons with Albinism,’ the problem is that Malawi uses obsolete laws.
Machinga East member of Parliament Esther Jailosi Jolobala said she has drafted a constituency statement and she will ask the Speaker to debate the issue in the august House so that the country’s laws should be reviewed to give more protection to albinos.
Edith Mkawa, principal secretary II in the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, said they have formed a task force to create awareness on the need to protect albinos from attacks.
One of the albinos, Femiya Tchulani from Nkolokoti in Traditional Authority (T/A) Machinjiri in Blantyre, said she has quit her vegetable selling business in fear for her life after alleged abductors targeted her recently.
In a related development, President Peter Mutharika yesterday vowed to crack down on the recent spate of attacks on people with albinism in the country following reports of killings and abductions.
In a televised address, Mutharika said he has ordered the security apparatus to do everything possible to hunt down the attackers.