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Parents, guardians of missing albinos risk arrest

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Commissioner of Police for the Southern Region, Dempster Chigwenembe, has ordered his officers to arrest parents and guardians of albinos who go missing.

Addressing the officers during a familiarisation tour of Mulanje Police Station over the weekend, Chigwenembe said parents and guardians are responsible in ensuring the safety of their children and wards.

“The albinos have their parents and guardians. They are the first people we should be questioning each time an albino goes missing. They are the ones who keep them day and night in their homes. So if anything happens, let us take them to task for negligence,” explained Chigwenembe.

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He condemned the practice of abducting and killing albinos for body parts as being barbaric and uncivilized

“It is just a belief. As a police, we are condemning it in the strongest terms. It is not worth taking the lives of our fellow human beings. America and Europe have numerous multi-billionaires but no one kills albinos for their body parts,” Chigwenembe observed.

He reminded the officers that protection of albinos is one of their most important tasks as they go out to provide security to all Malawians.

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Chairperson for albinos in Mulanje District, Bertha Malaya, commended the police for providing them security through traditional leaders and community policing forums.

She said the district has not been spared from the abduction and killing of albinos which leaves them fearing for their lives.

“We have had cases of graves being exhumed and our members being injured or killed here in Mulanje. This leaves most of us unable to lead normal lives like any other human being. But the police and traditional leaders are doing their best to protect us,” Malaya remarked.

The abduction and killing of albinos in the country have reached crisis levels forcing President Peter Mutharika to describe the incidents as a challenge facing the nation.

Mutharika said the cases are on a steady rise with over 66 cases of abductions, trespassing of graveyards, being found with human bones, suicide, assault of bodily harm, conduct likely to cause breach of peace and killings of people with albinism.

Malawi Police Service Inspector General Lexten Kachama is reported to have vowed to “fight against this criminality aggressively and professionally.”

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