from MAVHUTO BANDA in Lilongwe, Malawi
LILONGWE, (CAJ News) – THE death sentences meted out on four people in as many months is anticipated to deter criminals from killing people with albinism in Malawi.
Malawi is feared as one of the most hostile countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region for albinos globally as waves of attacks spiral out of control.
False myth that body parts of people with albinism bring luck and wealth fuel the attacks.
A court in the western town of Mchinji has sentenced to death two men and a woman for the murder of an albino man in 2015.
Douglas Mwale, Fontino Folosani and Sophie Jere were found guilty of killing Priscott Pepuzani. The trio chopped off his limbs and buried the rest of the body in a garden.
They were also guilty of possessing human body parts.
Delivering the capital punishment, Judge Esmey Chombo, said “The sentence will act as a strong deterrent to others and help bring an end to the crime.”
In May, a man was sentenced to death for killing a teenager with albinism in the southern town of Thyolo in 2017.
Willard Mikaele, aged 28 at the time of the murder, was convicted for killing Mphatso Pensulo (19). The Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM) welcomed the death sentences.
“The stiff punishments surely will deter all would-be offenders. In doing so, cases of albino killings in the country will be a history,” Overstone Kondowe, the APAM director, said.
At least 22 albinos have been killed in 163 attacks over the past five years in Malawi.
– CAJ News