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Nicholas Dausi blames donors on death penalty

Government is failing to enforce capital punishment in cases of murder of persons with albinism because of donors and their conditions tied to aid, Minister of Information, Nicholas Dausi, said on Monday.

Dausi said government could have dealt with the killings of persons with albinism long time ago, but has failed to do so because of the conditions the international human rights organisations and developing partners attach to aid.

“They are stopping us from enforcing capital punishment (death sentence) on masterminds and/or killers of people with albinism, yet, in their countries, they execute murderers. Is this fair?” he said.

Dausi made the sentiments at Makawa Village in Traditional Authority Nkoola in Machinga where he represented President Peter Mutharika at the burial of McDonald Masambuka, a person with albinism who was brutally murdered.

Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Cecilia Chazama, and Chairperson of the National Technical Committee on Abuse of Persons with Albinism in Malawi Dr Hetherwick Ntaba and Member of Parliament (MP) for Machinga East, Esther Jolobala, were some of the notable figures that attended the burial that was characterised by emotions and tearful cries.

Masambuka was abducted on March 9, 2018, and some of this body parts were recovered on Saturday morning.

And, in his eulogy, Association of People with Albinism (PAW) in Malawi president Overstone Kondowe questioned government’s commitment on the elimination of attacks, abductions and killings of PAWs.

“In Kenya and Tanzania, determined political will resulted in an end to violence, attacks, abductions and killings of PWMs. Authorities in these two countries ensured that anyone convicted of killing a person with albinism should be executed,” said Kondowe.

“And in a short of period of time, all murderers of PWAs were executed. Yet in Malawi, we are doing much of the talking instead of applying the deterrent laws,” he said.

Kondwe said life sentences for killers of PWAs are adequate to deter would-be offenders.

But Dausi pushed the blame back to the local human rights organisations whom he accused of working with donors to frustrate government efforts to “deal with the vice once and for good in the pretext of promoting human rights”.

“Tell your donors and the Amnesty International to allow us to execute killers of PWAs. That’s the only way we can end this vice],” he said.

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