People of Kachewere Village in Sub-Traditional Authority (ST/A) Masache in Chikwawa District will always remember March 3 2017 when unknown assailants attacked two brothers with albinism, Alfred and Yohane Misoya.
Alfred, 24, recounts that in the wee hours of that fateful day, unknown thugs broke into their house carrying pangas and knives to harm them.
“Memories of the incident still haunt us. My brother and I were fast asleep when four men broke into our house in the early hours of that day. We were sleeping in different rooms then when the men wielding pangas and knives stormed into our respective rooms and hacked us,” he recounts.
The brothers, in panic, shouted to alert their neighbours who rushed to their rescue. When the thugs noticed people coming to rescue the two brothers, they escaped and disappeared.
“Our lives have not been the same since that incident. We feel like we are no longer in a free world,” explains Yohane Misoya.
However, the two brothers thank the police and the community for providing protection to them from the time they were discharged from Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (Qech).
Looking back, the other brother, Yohane attributes their attack to the house they were living in, saying it had made it easier for the thugs to attack them as it was poorly constructed.
“If we lived in a well constructed house, the situation would be different. The house had no door protectors,” says Yohane.
Alfred concurs with his brother that most people with albinism in the country are going through such experiences for what he regards as lack of proper care and protection.
“Proper housing with well protected doors, windows, well-reinforced walls and, possibly, a fence, would likely save us from the attacks,” says Alfred.
Interestingly, Alfred, a Form Four student at Migoti Community Day Secondary School (CDSS), aspires to become a lawyer and contribute to the fight for the rights of persons with albinism in the country.
Soon after the attack in March 2017, President Peter Mutharika directed that two houses for the two brothers be constructed to ensure they have proper care and protection. The houses were constructed through government’s Decent and Affordable Housing Subsidy Programme (Dahsp) under the grant component. Government spent close to K8 million for the construction of the two houses, each with two bedrooms, a kitchen, toilet and bathroom.
On October 28, 2018 Alfred and Yohane realised their dream of living in a decent house when the former Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Anna Kachikho handed over the two houses to them.
Visibly elated, ST/A Kachewere expressed gratitude for the construction of the two houses.
“It is quite pleasing that today we are receiving the two houses for the two brothers which will likely enhance their security. These two houses have brought joy not only to the beneficiaries but also to the entire community,” Masache said.
He hailed the police and communities for working together to enhance security of people with albinism. Chikwawa District has 54 registered persons with albinism.
Alfred and Yohane could not hide their excitement as they walked with their shoulders high side by side with Kachikho and scores of other community members behind them to receive the keys for their decent houses.
“I wish the houses had solar power to help light up the place in case thugs come again to attack us in the middle of the night when we are out, probably, to answer nature’s call,” he said.
On her part, Kachikho said the two young men had received a lifetime protection gift from government and it was quite pleasing to note that what many people thought was only lip-service had been fulfilled.
“Government is ensuring that vulnerable groups are not left out within the Dahsp Consideration goes to the poor, the elderly, people with disabilities and children, that is what we are seeing today,” Kachikho said.
However, the former minister said government cannot do this alone. “So there is need for other players to come in with support for the vulnerable groups to enjoy their rights and have access to basic necessities.” n