Members of Parliament (MPs) want people found guilty of killing persons with albinism to be slapped with life imprisonment or face the death penalty.
Barely a day after the High Court in Mzuzu imposed a maximum sentence of life in prison on Samuel Kaumba for being found guilty of attempting to murder an 11-year-old boy with albinism, Dowa East MP Richard Chimwendo Banda (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) yesterday moved a motion to amend the Anatomy Act to attract stiffer penalties for perpetrators of abduction and killing of people with albinism.
Moved the legislator: “That in view of the continued killing of people with albinism and cognisance of the fact that the current penal provisions aimed at deterring would-be offenders are not having the desired effect.”
Mulanje Bale MP Vitcor Musowa (Democratic Progressive Party-DPP) seconded the motion, saying the review would help deter all would-be offenders from committing such offences.
In response, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu said the Anatomy Act is part of the larger Bill whose drafting has been concluded.
The minister added that the Disability Act, Human Trafficking, Child Justice Act and the Anatomy Act would also be amended in the Penal Code.
Said Tembenu: “We have a stakeholders meeting next week where we will deliberate on these issues for a conclusive position. Before the end of this meeting [of Parliament], this Bill will be brought to Parliament.”
Two weeks ago, the faculty of law at the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College also faulted the Anatomy Act for the seemingly lighter sentences meted to perpetrators of crimes against people with albinism.