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Apam calls for investigative journalism skills

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As people with albinism continue facing multiple forms of abuse in the country, Association of People with Albinism in Malawi (Apam) has challenged journalists in the country to expose the malpractice.

The police reported that in 2015 alone, 45 incidents including killings and attempted killings, abductions and attempted abductions including exhuming dead bodies, reportedly for their bones to be used for rituals.

According to Apam executive member, Alex Machira, the media has only been reacting to incidents, instead of going deep on the matter.

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Machira made the remarks on Wednesday in Blantyre during a panel discussion on violence against people with albinism where 30 media students were in attendance.

This is part of the media and information literacy training programme of the Malawi Polytechnic in partnership with Gender links for equality and justice in South Africa.

“Journalists are just reacting on an issue, but would have loved if they went further into rural areas trying to find out, because these are myth-connected rituals. “Therefore, we would have appreciated if journalists went in depth and investigated these things and come up with the reasons why these things are happening and expose the culprits, in order to end the Vice completely,” challenged Machira adding that people with albinism continue living in fear.

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Meanwhile, Misa- Malawi Chairperson, Thom Khanje feels the media has created a lot of awareness but blamed authorities for not acting aggressively to address the vice.

“The media has done its part and there is always a room for improvement. For example, in terms of awareness the media has done a very good job and that’s why we have seen action from the United Nations Resident representative, the President [Peter Mutharika] making the statement and the police coming up with the measures.

“However, action has not been there because the idea of raising awareness is to call for action. So we would like to appeal to the police, government, community and families because the matter at hand demands collaborative efforts to combat it,” appealed Khanje.

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