The Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (Apam) has said it expects the new government to move with speed to conclude investigations into several stalled cases relating to the abduction of its members in the country.
Apam National Coordinator Overstone Kondowe said the election of Lazarus Chakwera as President of Malawi has presented them with an opportunity to know the truth behind the various human rights abuses targeting people with albinism in the country.
“We have high expectations from the new government considering that the Tonse Alliance consulted us when it was formulating its manifesto. So we are eager to see how the new government will implement its manifesto,” Kondowe said.
Kondowe further said within the first 100 days of Chakwera’s presidency, Apam is hoping that the Ministry of Homeland Security will make sure to conclude investigations into the death of Buleya Lule who was a key witness in a case involving the killing of a boy with albinism in Dedza.
Buleya died in police custody and a post-mortem conducted on his body showed that he was murdered. But despite the conclusion of investigations, there has been no progress in terms of identifying people behind the killing of Lule.
“The death of Lule proved to us that the attacks on our members were being orchestrated by some senior government officials. We want to know who is behind the attacks. In addition, there are several cases which are not progressing and we want to have a separate court to try all these cases for justice to prevail,” he said.
He added that Apam members are expecting the government to increase funding that directly goes towards the wellbeing of people with albinism.
Kondowe also appealed for equal employment opportunities for Apam members within security agencies like the Malawi Police Service, the Malawi Defense Force and Malawi Prison service.
In his remarks, newly appointed Minister of Homeland Security Richard Chimwendo Banda said the current government will prioritise the safety and security of persons with albinism in the country.
“There are investigations into the attacks on people with albinism on top our all priorities. Within the first 100 days, our President wants to demonstrate that his administration is interested in the safety and security of everyone in this country,” Chimwendo Banda said.
Chimwendo Banda said relevant agencies under his ministry will not be investigating attacks targeting people with albinism to punish or please somebody.
“But it should be known that it is the constitutional obligation of the government to ensure that the country is secure for all citizens regardless of their social status,” he said.
Over 25 persons with albinism have been brutally murdered in Malawi since 2014 while hundreds others have been subjected for various forms of physical and mental attacks.