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Apam wants cement to seal graves of persons with albinism

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The Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (Apam) has asked government to support bereaved families with cement to seal graves of people with albinism to prevent exhumations.

Apam is an organisation that is fighting for the rights of persons with albinism in Malawi.

Apam President, Overtone Kondowe, said on Friday that they had recommended government to consider supporting the families to seal off graves while fighting against the belief that remains of people with albinism have magical powers.

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Kondowe said the exhumations were happening because of the mindset and suggested that a physical barrier would assist in reducing the incidents.

He cited recent incidents of graveyard exhumations in Ntcheu and Mchinji, saying they showed that there were still some people who believed that the body and bones of people with albinism have magical powers.

Kondowe said Apam was requesting government to assist with building materials like cement or alternatively take charge of the burials to make them secure.

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He suggested that, alternatively, government might consider burying the remains at heroes’ acre where there is tight security.

He also proposed that government should add more security personnel in all hotspots where the malpractice occurs.

Kondowe said the sight of security personnel moving around the area would scare people intending to conduct such malpractices.

“Those found abducting, kidnapping or found in the graveyard tampering with the remains of a person with albinism should also be treated as if they wanted to kill and should face the law by being given a life sentence,” Kondowe said.

He said there was need to conduct a census of people with albinism to establish their real number in Malawi.

“As an organisation that is trying to fight against the killings and abduction of people with albinism, our main challenge is that we don’t have actual figures of people with albinism when it comes to requesting donor aid,” Kondowe said.

Apam estimates that there are 10,000 persons with albinism nationwide.

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