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MPs to probe albino killings

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The Parliamentary Committee on Social Welfare has disclosed plans to hold a public inquiry on the continued killings of people with albinism.

Chairperson of the committee Richard Chimwendo Banda yesterday confirmed writing the Office of Speaker of National Assembly on the matter.

Chimwendo Banda said the committee has observed with regret that people with albinism continue to lose their lives despite putting in place legal instruments to arrest the situation.

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“We have noted that we are not making progress in the fight against these attacks. For sometime, we have called for individual stakeholders to come and appear before the committee, but still there is no progress. So far we have lost 22 people,” he said.

He referred the development to the recent death of Macdonald Masambuka in Machinga where a police officer, a medical worker, a Catholic Priest and others have been implicated.

Chimwendo Banda said it is also worrisome that people entrusted with the responsibility to protect other people’s lives are being involved in the gruesome attacks.

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“We really want everyone to be on the same page and understand what is happening. We cannot just fold our hands and see this happening. We have passed laws that could support the judiciary and the police but we are not seeing any progress,” he said.

The committee has involved stakeholders such the Police, Judiciary, Association of People with Albinism (Apam) including the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare.

Apam president Overstone Kondowe has described the proposal as timely saying their proposal to have the commission in place was shot down last year.

“Last year around March we made a call to the State President through the technical committee against attacks on people with albinism to conduct the commission of inquiry. It is unfortunate that, there was no political commitment to have this commission instituted. So this is timely,” he said.

Kondowe said lack of action is what is contributing to the continued attacks on the people with albinism in the country.

“These attacks are not new in the country as well as in other African countries. In Kenya and Tanzania they had these cases but they have been resolved. The commitment which was there was translated into action. We have come up with the National Action Plan but government has not committed even a single tambala to move some of the activities,” he said.

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