Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu says police, prosecuting authorities and courts have not demonstrated seriousness in handling cases of people with albinism.
He said this on Monday in Zomba during a five-day police prosecutors workshop aimed at enhancing skills in handling cases involving abductions and killings of people with albinism.
“The outcome of these cases has often left many of us wondering if the lives of people with albinism have value as most of the sentences slapped on the perpetrators are lenient,” said Tembenu.
He cited an example of people who were found with bones of albinos and were charged with being found with property unlawfully obtained contrary to Section 329 of the Penal Code. They pleaded guilty and were fined K20 000 ($31.92) which they paid.
“This was an incorrect charge as the conviction and the sentence were wrong. They ought to have been charged under Section 16 of the Anatomy’s Act, Cap 34:03 of the Laws of Malawi which attracts a maximum of 10 years imprisonment with hard labour [IHL] as bones cannot be interpreted as a property,” he said.
Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (Apam) executive director Boniface Massah described the workshop as a landmark towards the security of people with albinism. n