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Apam calls for speed on Anatomy Act

The Association of People Living with Albinism (Apam) has expressed concern over the delay in gazetting the just amended Anatomy Act.

Apam President, Overstone Khondowe, said in a telephone interview on Friday that people who offend members of the association continue to be charged with wrong counts since the new legislation is taking long to be effected.

He said the old law is a mockery to the people with albinism community, bearing in mind that a new law which calls for stiffer penalties is available but yet to operational.

Khondowe was reacting to an incident in Nkhata Bay where police charged 36-year-old Elijah Thawe who verbally harassed a nine year-old boy with albinism with conduct likely to cause breach of peace.

“We need government to use the revised Penal and Anatomy Act. The old law is unfortunate and calls for lenient penalties which are not amusing. We wish the amended law was gazetted as soon as it was passed in Parliament,” Khondowe said.

In the revised law, the least punishment stipulated for offences against people with albinism is 21 years in jail term.

This is opposed to the current law which attracts a maximum penalty of three months imprisonment or a K3, 000 fine in default if found guilty of conduct likely to cause breach of peace for instance.

When asked on the status of the amended legislation on Sunday, special prosecutor for all cases related to people with albinism, Neverson Chisiza, corroborated Khondowe’s concerns.

He, however, disclosed that by mid-November, it should be effective.

“The President just assented to the Act, and what remains is the gazetting. Be mindful that there are several other amended acts within the Penal and Anatomy Act which also need to go through all the processes of law,” Chisiza said.

He added that, at the meantime, government is in the process of printing all related laws.

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