Malawi: Persons With Albinism Takes a Swipe At Malawi Govt Over 'Hypocrisy'

Malawi President Peter Mutharika (file photo).

Association for Persons with Albinism in Malawi (Apam) has taken a swipe at the government for playing "double standards" when President Peter Mutharika declared a state of disaster on coronavirus before any case yet his administration refused to declare Malawi a dangerous place for persons with albinism when dozens of deaths were recorded.

The association has also faulted government for its failure to construct 100 houses for people with albinism to enhance their protection.

Apam president Ian Simbota said the construction of the houses was supposed to be completed by June this year.

The government budgeted for K600 million for the houses.

"We are now concerned that the failure by the government to construct the houses would now enhance attacks on the people with albinism. We are supposed to live in fortified houses to prevent these attacks," he said.

He said it was disappointing that people with albinism will now continue to live in fear.

But the ministry of lands assistant spokesperson Thom Ali said the construct of the houses would start soon.

"We have already visited the sites and made the assessments. The procurement of the construction materials is to start very soon,' he said.

Simbota, further, said he was stunned that the President declared a State of Disaster for COVID-19 at a time there was no patient and death and refused to declare the same in 2019 despite all the attacks and killings of persons with albinism occurred in the country.

"I would like exopress to my big disappointment with the DPP government for their double standards looking how they are responding to an equally important matter that needs protection to its citizens like coronavirus but failed to do so in 2019 when 26 people with albinism were brutally murdered and 13 bodies are still missing," said Simbota.

"We expected the DPP government to respond positively on issues of people with albinism in the same measures they are doing with coronavirus.

"This to us sounds hypocrisy of the highest order," Simbota lamented.

Since November 2014, the number of reported crimes against people with albinism in Malawi has risen to more 150 cases, including at least 27 murders, according to public records.

There is a myth that PWAs are targeted for their body parts for rituals some people believe bring magical powers, including those that can make one rich.

But the Society of Medical Doctors dismissed such beliefs, stating that PWAs are no different from any other person apart from the skin, hair and eye colour.

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