By Faith Kamtambe:
Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (Apam) has again turned down an invitation to meet President Peter Mutharika to strategise on issues surrounding the abduction and killing of people with albinism in the country.
On Monday, Apam refused to meet Mutharika at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe before the association holds its March 6 to 8 scheduled vigils at the State House.
However, a statement from the Office of the President and Cabinet released Tuesday, signed by Chief Secretary to the Government Lloyd Muhara, indicates that Mutharika was expecting to meet Apam leaders Thursday.
“It has pleased the President of the Republic of Malawi, His Excellency Professor Peter Mutharika, to meet the leadership of Apam as well as other key stakeholders that are working to address challenges faced by persons with albinism,” reads part of the statement.
But Apam President Overstone Kondowe has refused to entertain the invitation, arguing that what the association needs is action other than dialogue.
“Apam does not need press releases calling for further dialogue but positive answers. My take is Apam will not go,” said Kondowe said.
A press statement which Apam released Tuesday, signed by Kondowe, also indicates that while appreciating the gesture by Mutharika, the association wants the government to respond to core issues pertaining to the plight of persons with albinism in the country.
Kondowe says Apam will proceed with vigils at the State House.
“If there will be any press releases, persons with albinism expect publicity of positive responses to the submitted petitions not calls for further dialogue. Through this communication, we hope the government recognises the urgency of activating this national response without further delay.
“We wish to maintain our position as regards the vigils to be held at Kamuzu Palace from March 6 to 8 2019,” reads part of the statement.
The statement has also demanded the immediate implementation of the National Action Plan which sets clear parameters on how challenges faced by people with albinism can be addressed.
Tuesday, Apam also refused to accept an apology from Minister of Homeland Security Nicholas Dausi over remarks he made earlier, pertaining to the abduction and killing of people with albinism.
At least 24 people with albinism have been abducted or killed since 2014.
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