Former president Peter Mutharika Wednesday denied allegations linking him to the killing of people with albinism in Malawi, accusing the Tonse Alliance administration of attempting to divert people’s attention from economic woes rocking Malawi.
But government spokesperson Gospel Kazako has brushed aside the accusations, saying the issue of killings of people with albinism has nothing to do with the Executive arm of the government.
Mutharika’s sentiments follow media reports that Director of Public Prosecutions Steven Kayuni has directed the Malawi Police Service to investigate him and his former chief adviser on domestic affairs Hetherwick Ntaba for their alleged involvement in the killing of people with albinism.
According to Mutharika, during his reign, he set up a taskforce and, later, a commission of inquiry to investigate, make findings and recommendations on any matter incidental to and connected with the attacks, abduction and killings of persons with albinism.
He said the commission, chaired by Justice Robert Reidson Chinangwa, Senior Counsel, was also mandated to interrogate the root causes of rights violations, including beliefs and superstitions surrounding the body parts of persons with albinism.
Mutharika observed that the commission of inquiry completed its work just before he left office and that his successor, President Lazarus Chakwera, was presented with the full report of the inquiry but that, for some reason, he has been unwilling to release the report.
“It, therefore, serves no public interest for the President to hide the contents of that report from the public, whose right it is to know its contents. But it seems characteristic of the current presidency to keep the masses guessing and in the dark regarding matters of public interest. I, therefore, urge him to release the report of the commission of inquiry.
“I have a copy of the report but, out of respect for the presidency, I leave it to him to release it. But if he does not, then I will be compelled to make it available to the public,” Mutharika said.
He observed that the report of the commission of inquiry contains the truth of the matter and would also form a basis for an investigation that the DPP has called for.
“I totally reject these allegations and challenge the government to release the report and proceed with its investigations. It is purely false, malicious and evil propaganda.
“I want to challenge Dr Chakwera and his government to focus on decisively acting on their corruption scandals, the current economic crisis and begin to provide leadership to save Malawians, who are suffering from the rising cost of living, instead of wasting time labouring to destroy my name and reputation,” Mutharika said.
Responding to the outbursts, Kazako said the Tonse Alliance administration believes in the notion of separation of powers, adding that the issue of killing people with albinism is being handled by independent courts.
“It has nothing to do with the presidency. This is an issue whose competency lies in the courts. To start blaming certain quarters that have nothing to do with the issue is wrong-parking by our former head of State,” Kazako said.
Kayuni was not immediately available for a comment Wednesday.