Members of Parliament yesterday failed to debate a petition submitted to the House calling for legislations or motions to end the killings and abductions of people with albinism.
Instead, the House spent a considerable time discussing whether an opposition MP had brought to the House evidence of claims of rigging which might take place three years from now.
As the House learnt that a 45-year-old albino man had been killed in Ntcheu, the House did not waste time but went into general debate of the State of the Nation address which President Peter Mutharika delivered last Friday.
It was Dedza East MP (Malawi Congress Party) Juliana Lunguzi who reminded the House that human rights campaigners had petitioned Parliament to act on the killings and abductions of people with albinism, and the matter needed priority.
“Despite declarations from several corners, albino persons are still being killed. Just today we have heard of another killing in Ntcheu. Yesterday they were here seeking our help ,” shei said.
Lunguzi stressed that the Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security needed to make fresh assurances of the people with albinism’s safety, but Jappie Mhango was not in the House.
However, second deputy speaker Clement Chiwaya said the issue could not be discussed because Standing Orders guide when such issues can be brought to the House.
“The matter can be brought as an issue of public importance or as a motion but through the Business Committee. The secretariat has taken note of it,” he said.
However, Chiwaya later allowed Leader of House George Chaponda to make a statement in which he said government was in the forefront of a campaign to sensitise people and traditional leaders and Judiciary was responding accordingly
But People’s Party leader in Parliament Uladi Mussa stressed that as long as the government was not aware of the numbers of people with albinism and where they could be found, they would remain in danger.
“If the people with albinism are far from Police Stations, they should be registered and modalities put in place to protect them.” Mussa said.
Chiwaya closed the debate but later Lunguzi accused the government of lacking priorities when a member of Parliament on the government side commented on the issue of albinos in response to the opposition calls for debate and action in the House.
However, debate on the State of the Nation address continued. n