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Chakwera challenges persons with albinism

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By Yohane Symon & Rebecca Chimjeka

President Lazarus Chakwera has challenged persons with albinism (PAWs) in Malawi to pursue their dreams and become whatever they want to be in life without looking at their skin conditions.

Chakwera made the remarks yesterday at Chikoko Bay in Mangochi when he held a Christmas luncheon for children with albinism who are kept at Good Samaritan Children’s Home in Blantyre.

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Chakwera said his government has put in place inclusive policies which accommodate all citizens without looking at their social status.

“But what is important is to have a dream and we will help you to actualise it. We have a member of Parliament who is living with albinism. We will have the first police officer with albinism. This means that everything is possible in Malawi,” the President said.

He said Tonse government is doing everything possible to ensure all people in the country regardless if their social status are enjoying available opportunities.

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The President said the new Malawi which his government is building will not leave anybody behind; hence, PAWs should be in the forefront to help government in achieving Agenda2063 which is an inclusive-driven policy for Malawi.

“Malawi has the potential to achieve everything if people work together in pursuing national development. Let us not leave the duty to develop Malawi in the hands of a few or more individuals. Let us do this together because Malawi belongs to all of us,” Chakwera said.

Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi vice-president Emmie Chakwawa thanked Chakwera for hosting children with albinism to the luncheon.

Chakwawa said the gesture by the President has shown that he has the interest to protect and support PAWs in Malawi.

“Children with albinism who are being supported at Good Samaritan are well taken care of, which is an example of how people with albinism in Malawi can be supported. We would like all people with albinism in Malawi to look like these, that is why we are appealing for your continued support towards people with albinism in Malawi,” she said.

Chakwawa said children with albinism in the country have challenges in accessing sun skin lotion, good shelter and clothes among others.

Good Samaritan Children’s Home was established in 2002 to support disadvantaged children in Malawi.

With the surge of attacks on PAWs in the country, Good Samaritan started accommodating children with albinism to help then live in a secure environment which can help them concentrate on their education.

Meanwhile, 105 prisoners have celebrated Christmas outside prison after being pardoned by Chakwera.

It is a common practice for heads of State in Malawi just like other countries to pardon some convicts during Christmas and independence celebrations.

Minister of Homeland Security Richard Chimwendo Banda confirmed the pardoning of the 105 prisoners, saying good behaviour, seriousness of the crime committed and time served are some of the factors considered when pardoning the convicts.

“Most of the pardoned prisoners are those whose sentences were coming to an end,” Chimwendo Banda said.

Last year, Chakwera pardoned other inmates during Christmas and decongested prisons in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Malawi prisons hold up to 14,000 inmates, which is almost triple the recommended capacity of 5,000 prisoners.

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