Deadlock over killings of albinos in Malawi

Albinos being hunted in Malawi, photo supplied

Albinos being hunted in Malawi, photo supplied

from MAVHUTO BANDA in Lilongwe, Malawi
LILONGWE, (CAJ News) PEOPLE living with albinism (PWAs) are demanding the release of a report into the killings of these disadvantaged members of the community in Malawi.

The Commission of Inquiry on the Killings of PWAs conducted the probe since March last year but it is uncertain when the report will be published.

The commission missed an April 2019 deadline to give the report to President Peter Mutharika.

This comes amid frustration some influential politicians are allegedly involved in the spate of killings.

The Association for People living with albinism in Malawi (APAM) threatened unspecified action if the report was not released this week.

“The commission had ample time,” said APAM president, Ian Simbota.

Hetherwick Ntaba, the presidential adviser on local policies, has been quoted as saying the stance by APAM was unnecessary.

Human rights groups have documented 150 cases of albino killings, attacks and other human rights violations in the Southern African country over the past five years.

According to the 2018 Malawi Population and Housing Census (MPHC) report, there are 134 000 persons with albinism in Malawi, a country of over 18 million people. The figure of 134 636 is way higher than estimates of between 70 000 and 80 000.

Albinism is a congenital disorder characterized in humans by the complete or partial absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes.

In Malawi, the highest number of people with albinism (31 962) is on the age group 0-4 years.

– CAJ News

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