Malawi: Community in Fear Over Missing Boy With Albinism - Minister Promises Safer Homes for Pwas

People with albinism protest (file photo).
5 August 2019

People with albinism in Mitundu, the home area for a boy with albinism Goodson Fanizo, who was abducted in Dedza early this year, say they are still living in fear over the missing of the boy and have reiterated their call for protection.

Mary Navicha, addressing people with albinism A performance by people with albinism during Navicha's visit

Goodson's suspected abductors are appearing before the High Court which is expected to make a ruling this week on whether they have a case to answer or not.

According to Vice Chairperson of the Lilongwe Chapter for the Association of People with Albinism in Malawi (APAM) Jammtain Frenandoh, there are about 180 people with albinism in Traditional Authority (T/A) Changala alone, one of the T/As in Mitundu.

He said these are equally capable people requiring a secure, inclusive and enabling environment to contribute to the development of the country.

"Government promised us good and secure houses. We need the houses so that those who attack us can be restrained and in the process encounter the vigilance of the awakened communities," said Frenandoh.

He also asked for financial bail out for people with albinism [PWAs] in Mitundu who are not employed, saying they need to indulge in some businesses to keep their lives going.

Frenandoh spoke when Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Mary Navicha, visited people with albinism in Mitundu to "update" herself on their life experiences and she donated Sun Cream Lotion.

PWAs in Malawi are being attacked, abducted and killed in unprecedented barbaric acts fueled by myths that body parts for albinos bring luck and make someone rich.

To end the attacks, government and other stakeholders have come up with a National Action Plan on protection of people with albinism which has not rolled out fully because APAM and other agencies are delaying to submit requests for funds from treasury to implement their activities in the plan.

Speaking during her visit in Mitundu, Navicha promised she would ensure that all the necessary measures in protecting people with albinism are implemented.

"We need to stop these barbaric acts against our dear friends with albinism. We need to respect their rights because they are human beings just like ourselves," said the minister.

She added: "My ministry is discussing with the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development so that we can soon start constructing safer houses for these people through the Decent and Affordable Housing Programme".

Since November 2014, the number of reported crimes against people with albinism in Malawi has risen to 152 cases, including 25 murders and more than 10 people missing, according to Apam.

More From: Nyasa Times

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