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Government promises to act on albino issues

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By Richard Chirombo:

CHAZAMA— I strongly believe that we can end
these inhumane acts

The government has said it is doing its best to halt attacks on people with albinism, adding that it has been counselling relations of victims as one way of reintegrating them into society.

Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Minister, Cecilia Chazama, said this during a press briefing at the ministry’s headquarters in Lilongwe on Friday.

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Ministry statistics indicate that, so far, six cases have been registered in Karonga, Nkhotakota, Lilongwe, Dedza and Machinga districts since the beginning of 2019.

“The president of the country, his excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, is very committed to bring an end [to cases of] attacks and killings. He has always called us all to join him in this noble fight. I strongly believe that we can end these inhumane acts if we all work together,” Chazama said.

She said the government was putting in place mechanisms to ensure that rights of people with albinism are not violated, citing the development of a four-year National Plan of Action on Persons with Albinism, saying the plan requires K3.1 billion to be implemented.

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Chazama also said the ministry was working with district councils that have registered cases to establish facts on the ground for proper interventions.

“Councils have further been requested to collaborate and establish population sizes of persons with albinism. This exercise will help councils and government as a whole to know where persons with albinism live in order to arrange for proper security measures.

“[We have also] engaged the National Statistical Office for inclusion of issues of disability in the 2018 Population and Housing Census as it is expected that the final report will have disaggregated data of persons with disabilities. Through this initiative, the population of persons with albinism will be known,” Chazama said.

She said the ministry is also following up with district councils, Malawi Police Service and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions on all registered cases to ensure that justice prevails.

Meanwhile, Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi President, Overstone Kondowe, has reiterated that the government is not doing enough to evert cases of attacks on persons with albinism.

Kondowe said the government must show its commitment by ensuring that the National Plan of Action on Persons with Albinism is funded, accusing the government of paying lip service when lives of people with albinism are being lost.

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