18 February 2019

Malawi: Rights Coalition Back Persons With Albinism State House Vigil On March 3

The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has thrown its weight behind Association of People with Albinism (Apam) plans to stage vigil at State House to force authorities to look into their security demands.

The association will hold the vigil at State House on March 3 2019 in a bid to persuade President Peter Mutharika to address their concerns.

But during a news conference on Sunday at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe, HRDC Chairperson Timothy Mtambo said: "While every citizen has a duty in protecting persons with albinism, we place the blame on government because it has failed to provide the needed security to our brothers and sisters."

Mtambo said the Mutharika administration has failed to move beyond podium and promises, saying the CSOs will carry out "independent investigations" to uncover alleged markets of the body parts.

Apam president Overtone Kondowe said the association is tired of government's insignificant efforts in fighting attacks on people with albinism, adding it is high time government addressed their security concerns.

Said Kondowe: "It is greatly unsettling that those in position of authority who are in a position to make an immediate difference, continue to pay lip service to the issues."

He said though the National Action Plan, which government instituted in June last year, puts in place a framework of actions and measures, it is meaningless without visible political will.

"As a people, as a nation, we should be ashamed. We should each take a moment to examine ourselves and critically search our souls if the status quo is really acceptable to us all and if indeed it is something we can continue to cast a momentary glance at and ignore," charged Kondowe.

The association has also urged Malawians to vote wisely in the coming elections to make a difference, saying the polls present an opportunity for the people to make the country a better place for everyone.

Kondowe said if the vigils do not yield results, Apam will demand that Malawi be declared an unsafe zone and they will seek help so that people with albinism seek asylum in other countries.


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