Dozens of people – both the working class and businesspersons – joined the “naked demonstration” today to make a poignant point against the hunting, abductions and killing of persons with albinism.
Hundreds of learners accompanied with teachers from Chimutu Full Primary School and Chimutu Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) suspended their morning lessons to render their support to calls by Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Mulanje South Member of Parliament (MP) Bon Kalindo who is calling for a decisive action against people perpetrating these crimes.
The pupils formed a barricade across the street from Area 18 Roundabout to Capital Hotel Roundabout, forcing motorists to give way to the demonstrators.
The protesting learners carried branches in their hands, and sang all the way to Parliament.
“Zivute zitani ife ana Amalawi, tili pambuyo pa Winiko/Alubino,” they sang.
A female primary school pupil, who did not want to be named, said she took part in the demonstration to send across her indignation towards the persecution of innocent people based on their skin condition.
“If police had allowed us, I was ready to demonstrate whilst naked. Probably, that is the best way to drive home message to our leaders. Otherwise, how do they choose to keep quiet while people are being butchered like animals?” she asked.
Seventeen-year old student at Chimutu CDSS, who only identified himself as John, said it was unfortunate that government had chosen to shield criminals in the name of human rights.
At one point, an unidentified tearful woman let out her anger and motherly feelings when she declared: “Zimatiwawa kuti anthu omwe akutiphera ana athu akutchinjirizidwa ndi mabungwe ndi boma. Death penalty must be implemented now to stop this injustice! [It hurts that the people killing our children are being shield by human rights bodies]”
Motorists came out of their vehicles and took pictures using their phones. They waved in honour of demonstrators.
“We’re behind you. Keep it up!” said one motorist.
Private-practice photographer Ras Peter Kansengwa, who spent better part of the demonstration dancing and singing with pupils, described the demonstration as justified and timely.
Kansengwa condemned the silence by authorities on calls for the enforcement of the death penalty is sending wrong signals to the public.
“Their silence is sending wrong signals as it would be construed to mean they are in support of the persecutions targeting persons with albinism. I hail Hon Kalindo for organising this protest so that we can tell leaders of our disappointment,” he said.