Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (Apam) has said it has lost trust in the government’s promises to end attacks and abductions of people with albinism in the country.
Apam National Coordinator, Overstone Kondowe, said the government’s failure to conclude various investigations that are key to establishing the truth behind the attacks, is an indication that some government officials or agents might have had a hand in the vice.
For instance, Kondowe said Apam has been making follow ups with the Acting Inspector General of Police (IG) about the ongoing investigations into the death of Buleya Lule who was allegedly murdered while in police custody.
Lule was a key witness in the case involving the death of a boy with albinism from Dedza District.
“We have no any headway regarding the investigations into the death of Buleya Lule. We have asked the IG to update us, but there is nothing coming from his office. We have no options left because we believe there is a deliberate obstacle blocking investigations involving duty bearers who are suspects,” he said.
Kondowe further expressed concern that instead of protecting citizens, the government institutions are allegedly in the forefront shielding suspects.
“We believe the attacks are sponsored by the government and that is why there is no movement in various cases, including the Commission of Inquiry, which was established by the President [Peter Mutharika] in April last year. It is now becoming increasingly difficult to deal with attacks on people with albinism with the current government in power,” he said.
National Police Public Relations Officer, James Kadadzera, asked for more time to inquire from police investigators regarding the status of the Buleya investigations.
Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) is among the organisations involved in the investigations into the death of Buleya.
But MHRC Chairperson, Reverend Patrick Semphere, could not immediately comment on the matter, promising to revert back.
According to a report by a private pathologist which Apam hired, Buleya died of electrocution. His body had multiple wounds showing that he was tortured before his death.