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Man ‘attempts’ to sell stepson

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By Emmanuel Chirwa:

Mangochi police have arrested a 38-year-old man for allegedly forcing his wife to sell his 14-year-old stepson with albinism.

National Police spokesperson, James Kadadzera, said Nicks Adam, who is from Nomari Village, Traditional Authority Jalasi in the district, allegedly forced wife Vanessa Manyowa to sell the boy but she refused.

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He said, after continued pestering from the husband, Manyowa left with the child to stay with some relations, in Lilongwe, who reported the matter to police.

“The elder sister to the wife (Vanessa Manyowa) reported the matter to us and we apprehended the suspect,” he said.

Kadadzera said the police are worried with increased involvement of relations in the abduction and killing of people with albinism (pwa).

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He said organisations, especially those for pwa, accuse the police of not doing enough to protect people with albinism.

“We are worried that cases of relations being involved in abduction and killing are on the increase. The Malawi Police Service is doing all it can to ensure security of people with albinism but our efforts are being frustrated by relatives of these people who, research shows, are the masterminders. This case is just part of the evidence to our claims,” he said.

Kadadzera’s remarks coincide with the case of Goodson Makanjira, a 14-year-old boy with albinism who was abducted in Dedza and his stepfather allegedly took part in the heinous crime.

Bodies such as Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi and Human Rights Defenders Coalition have been criticising the police for not being vigilant enough in exposing the market for body parts of pwa.

But Kadadzera said the police are investigating the matter and Adam, who is in custody, will be questioned to disclose where he wanted to sell the boy.

A few days ago, Kadadzera implored pwa to put safety first in their daily lives. His remarks came after 21-year-old Elisa Muyaya left his home, Phalula in Balaka, without notifying anyone and visited his relations in Zomba, sparking fears that he had been abducted, only to be found in Zomba.

About 24 Pwa have so far been killed since 2014 and scores are missing, a development that has forced President Peter Mutharika to establish a commission of inquiry an the issue.

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