Govt given 30 days to address violence against PWAs

The Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM) has given government a 30-day ultimatum to address the human rights violations targeting persons with albinism (PWAs), failing which, the association will take unspecified action.

APAM sounded the warning through its press statement issued on Wednesday, February 10, which has been signed by its President Desmond Simbota.

Through the statement, APAM has expressed shock with the resurgence of severe human rights violations targeting persons with albinism as a result of harmful cultural practices and witchcraft beliefs.

The association has cited a number of devastating example of attacks of persons with albinism that have been taking place between November 2020 and February 2021 describing the development as an indication that People with albinism have a long way to go for them to enjoy their rights to the full.

According to the statement, APAM has cried foul over what they termed as empty campaign promises by the state President, Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, who promised to end all attacks and cases against the persons with albinism within a month after been ushered into office.

Reads part of the statement: “It is on record that the State President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera promised that all attacks and cases against PWAs will end within a month into his Office. He also promised to institute a Commission of Inquiry within first 100 days into power to discover the market for the bones of PWAs. APAM wonders if the promised one month and 100 days are not over.”

While APAM commends the Malawi Police Service for their quick response to the murder of Saidi Dyton, in Mangochi, but the association says it is dismayed with the Malawi Government’s abstention from effective interference in addressing their concerns.

The statement has therefore highlighted 11 points that need the State President to act with urgency within 30 days, or else unspecified action will be taken.

Among the points APAM has called for a completion of all cases against persons with albinism and the appointment of the Chairperson of National Technical Committee on Persons with Albinism in Malawi.

They have also called for the Provision of funding to complete investigative research into the illegal market driving violence against persons with albinism in Malawi

The association has also asked the president to make the Department of Disability to be a standalone Ministry and appoint a disability passionate Minister and construct houses for persons with albinism using K600 million which was allocated in 2019/2020 national budget.

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