The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has pledged support for the March 3 2019 vigil at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe by Association of People With Albinism (Apam), saying it is high time action was taken.
Persons with albinism have organised the vigil in a bid to request President Peter Mutharika to institute a commission of inquiry on the recent attacks, abductions and killings of people with albinism to uncover alleged markets of their body parts and bring culprits to book.
Addressing journalists at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe yesterday on their planned March 27 demonstrations against poor governance, rise in corruption and the abduction and killings of persons with albinism, HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo said the nation seemed clueless on how to decisively deal with the problem which, he said, was escalating everyday.
He said: “While every citizen has a duty in protecting persons with albinism, we place the blame on government because it has failed to provide the needed security to our brothers and sisters.”
Mtambo alleged that government had failed to move beyond rhetoric and podium promises.
HRDC has since pledged to carry out an independent investigation into this issue as an alternative policy mechanism to get to the bottom of it.
Meanwhile, Apam president Overstone Kondowe said in an interview that they need a commission of inquiry set up to investigate the issue.
Last week, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera asked Mutharika to bring to an end the killings and abductions of persons with albinism using his Executive power.
But another grouping under the banner of Joint Civil Society Platform on Governance has differed with HRDC and MCP proposals that the President uses his Executive powers.
While acknowledging the problem of lack of security for people with albinism at a press conference in Lilongwe yesterday afternoon, spokesperson for the grouping, Phillip Kamangira, said it was sad that MCP said the proposed approach was out of order.
Since November 2014, the number of reported crimes against people with albinism in Malawi has risen to 152 cases, including 25 murders and more than10 people missing, according to Apam. n