Police attempts to block state house vigil

Police in Lilongwe on Wednesday attempted to prevent protesters from proceeding to State House for a vigil against abductions and killings of persons with albinism.

A group of people including leaders of civil society organizations who joined the Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM) in a solidarity march as part of the vigil, were blocked by police at Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC).

A misunderstanding broke out when police asked protesters to meet Chief Secretary to the Government Lloyd Muhara at Capitol Hill instead of conducting the vigil at State House but the demonstrators refused the offer.

The marchers were later given a go ahead to proceed to State House for their vigil.

President Peter Mutharika is currently away in the northern region for official engagements.

But the Association of Persons with Albinism (APAM) president Overstone Kondowe told YFM on Wednesday that they will wait patiently for Mutharika to return and receive their petition.

Kondowe told the press in Lilongwe on Tuesday that the association will ensure that vigil is conducted peacefully.

“We are going to be law abiding Malawians, the law states that we need to be 100 meters radius away from the premises i.e. the Parliament, the courts or the state residences so police and us we will agree on the site which has more security for persons with albinism to stay until when Mutharika returns.”

Kondowe appealed for more support from well-wishers during the vigil.

“Let me also extend my word of thanks to all Malawians of good will, companies and organizations that are supporting this cause.

Let me further extend a request that they give us more support,” he said.

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