Mulanje South Member Elias Bon Kalindo (Democratic Progressive Party –DPP) yesterday dramatically epitomised the anger felt by most parliamentarians against criminals who are killing people with albinism. He threatened that he will walk out of the Chamber if a bill to retain the controversial death sentence will not be brought in the House today to target such murderers.
His speech turned out to be the liveliest contribution to the Budget Statement motion on President Peter Mutharika’s State of the Nation address and the opening of the Budget Session in the National Assembly last Friday.
Kalindo, a renowned comedian himself known as ‘Winiko’, also saluted Malawians for having given fellow fallen thespian John ‘Izeki’ Nyanga a historic funeral ceremony in Blantyre on Tuesday.
“If the death penalty is not coming up (for debate and passing in the House) tomorrow, I will walk out of this place because it … will tell that we are all abductors and killers of albinos by keeping quiet,” he declared, attracting a hand-clapping and cheering din.
Kalindo fumed further: “This is no time for holding meetings; no time to form associations. It is time to act!
“Our friends (people with albinisms) are dying like chickens, and yet we are here drinking tea when they are suffering? It is time we retained the death sentence, whether we like it or not. …Albinos should live safely in Malawi, otherwise I will not tolerate any nonsense.”
He further threatened that many people would support his walking out of parliament, adding that the subsequent pro-death sentence movement would be massive and daunting.
On Nyanga’s death, Kalindo noted that the funeral greatly honoured by people from all walks of life.
“It was an indication that Malawians have started appreciating the works of art in this country. This is very good.
“Our friend was given a befitting send-off –what we can describe now as almost a state funeral, even if the guns were not there,” he noted, the latter addition sending most Members into stitches.
Kalindo complimented Members on both sides of the House for engaging in a lively motion debate, saying that this indicates that Mutharika’s speech was full of substance. The latter comment is a glib rejoinder to the opposition Members’ declarations that the President’s speech had been empty of substantive issues.
He expressed joy that the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldiers would be deployed to protect natural resources in Mulanje Mountain in the Southern Region, where some people have plundered the resources.
“(This now means) people will no longer play on Mulanje Mountain. The mountain will now be a no-go area. Peope athibulidwa koopsa kumenekoko (will be battered there now),” he added, attracting an inevitable reminder from Second Deputy Speaker Esther-Mcheka Chilenje that he should speak only in Enlglish, the official language in the Chamber.
In a lively afternoon session yesterday, several other Members also spoke on the need to track down and severely punish those perpetrating gruesome killings and abductions against people with albinism.