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Ex APAM President Ovestone Kondowe hails police for arresting suspects who attacked albino woman in Mzimba

Former President of the Association of Persons with Albinism (APAM) Overstone Kondowe who is also Chairperson of the African Union for Persons with Albinism (AUPA) has hailed the Malawi Police Service for arresting three suspects in connection with attack of Tafwauli Ngoma, an albino woman in Mzimba.

On February 15, unknown thug chopped off the toes of Ngoma, a 92-year old woman with albinism in Mzimba.

The attack angered many Malawians and some even took the issue to social media asking the government and the law enforces to apprehend the suspects and on Thursday the police managed to apprehend the suspects namely; Fumu Nyirenda, Eliah Mwandila and Kaphaso Nyirenda.

Writing on his official facebook page, Kondowe hails the police and demanded justice on the matter.

“We are very grateful to Malawi Police Service for swift investigations on the case of Tafwauli Ngoma in Mzimba. News has it that the toes have been recovered in Zambia from a witchdoctor. In addition, two suspects from the victim’s village have been arrested in connection to the case.

“Our plea now is therefore on speedy trial and sentencing of these human hunters. We also urge Zambian government to have a close watch on the practice of traditional healers in the country during their election season. Measures have to be put in place to bring witchdoctors of such behaviours to justice,” wrote Kondowe.

He added: “In extension, the trafficking in person act needs to be revised to criminalise trafficking of body tissues inorder to allow our courts to met stiffer sentences on convicts to such crimes.”

Malawi has so far registered over 150 cases of Albino attacks but very few cases have been concluded.

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APAM to Release Report on Killings, Abductions of People With Albinism

The Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM) has revealed that it has made its own investigations into the killing and abductions of its members for the past years.

The revelations has been made by APAM president Ian Simbota.

However, Simbota has said the association’s independent report will not be released unless President Peter Mutharika releases the long waited report.

APAM’s independent report follows delays by the government to release a report on its findings on the commission of inquiry which was instituted by Mutharika.

It is however yet to be released despite numerous calls and ultimatums calling for its release.

APAM has since requested for an audience with the President once he returns from the UK.

Featured National News

APAM Demands an Audience With APM Over Delayed Report on Attacks on Albinos

Association of Person with Albinism in Malawi (APAM) has demanded an audience with President Peter Mutharika over delayed report of findings of a commission of inquiry instituted into attacks of Persons with Albinism (PWA) in the country.

APAM made the demand in a letter to Secretary to Government Lloyd Muhara.

In the letter, APAM president Ian Simbota said he is overwhelmed with requests from members for the meeting with Mutharika in light of “revelations from suspects undergoing trial and social media reports.

“This is a clear evidence that persons with albinism considers the report as urgent as it borders on their right to life and security,” writes Simbota to the Secretary to Government.

According to the terms of reference of the inquiry that was commissioned by President Mutharika last year, Mutharika was supposed to have received a report on the matter by the 30th of April last year.

Mutharika commissioned the inquiry after persons with albinism in Malawi requested the same in March of 2019 at the height of the savage attacks on persons with albinism in the country.

APAM says believes in dialogue and trusts that government would reciprocate the gesture “in our collective effort to finding lasting solutions to the problems facing persons with albinism in Malawi”.

Simbota has clearly indicated to the office of the President and cabinet that persons with albinism in Malawi have a feeling that some people in the corridors of party had a hand in the attacks.

“The delay in itself is being considered by our membership as a deliberate fishy ploy to hide the master minders (of the attacks) who are assumed by our constituents to be hiding in the corridors of power,” he said.

Crime Featured

APAM Calls for Justice for It’s Members

Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM) is calling for concerted efforts in expediting court cases involving crimes against its members.

APAM President Ian Simbota notes that though there is significant progress being made, there is a need to find why some cases have stalled.

Simbota’s remarks follow a recent court ruling which saw four people being sentenced to life imprisonment.

Four others were handed the death sentence for the murder of a woman with albinism in 2016.

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APAM National Coordinator Kondowe hails govt for allocating funds toward construction of albino houses

Association of Persons with Albinism (APAM) National Coordinator Overstone Kondowe has hailed the Democratic Progressive party (DPP) led government for allocating funds toward construction of houses for persons with albinism.

Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Joseph Mwanamvenkha on Monday afternoon tabled a MK1.7 trillion 2019/2020 national budget at the National Assembly.

In his announcement, Mwanamvekha said K600 million has been allocated toward the construction of houses for persons with albinism to ensure their safety.

Mwanamvekha also disclosed that K400 million has been allocated for the implementation of the action plan for the protection of persons with albinism.

Writing on his official facebook page, Kondowe hailed government for the gesture.

“Was today waiting patiently for our Finance Minister to address our concerns as he was presenting the 2019-2020 budget on the floor of Malawi Parliament. Here is a good news to the community of persons with Albinism in Malawi,” wrote Kondowe on his official facebook page.

Apart from that, education sector has got more funds with a budget of K172.8 Billion that represents 21.5 percent increase from previous year’s budget of K142.2 Billion. In agriculture, K167 Billion has been allocated to the sector with 11.3 percent increase from previous year’s budget of K150 Billion.

Meanwhile debate continues on the budget presented by Mwanamvekha.

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Newly crowned Miss Albinism promises to uplift lives of young persons

Newly crowned Miss Albinism, Chikondi Kanjadza has pledged to help to uplift lives of young persons with albinism in the country.

The first Mr and Miss Albinism and talent show 2019 which took place on Saturday and had 30 contestants and was organised by the Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM).

Among the contestant, Kanjadza emerged as the winner of Miss Albinism while Bennet Phunyanya emerged as winner of Mr Albinism.

In an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana) Kanjadza said as the new Miss Albinism she is going to engage Ministry of Finance to allocate funds for loans to young persons with albinism.

“Most young persons with albinism in our localities have nothing to do as such they fail to be independent, so the loans will help them start small business that will enable them be independent,” she pointed out.

Apart from engaging the Ministry of Finance, the Albinism beauty icon said would work with Non- Governmental Organisations and stakeholders so that that they provide entrepreneurship skills to the young persons with albinism.

“All this will be done so as to ensure that young people with albinism are independent and are not left behind,” Kanjadza added.

She would try to engage with the Head of State so that he should consider constructing a factory for making sun screen lotion for persons with albinism.

“There is a big problem in terms of accessing sunscreen lotion for persons with albinism more especially those that are in remote areas and this factory will help to make the lotion accessible easily for everyone,” Kanjadza added.

Miss Albinism said she was exited to win the crown as such she is going to use some of her money to the venerable.

She advised her fellow youth with albinism to believe in themselves and have confidence in such away they would do great things in life.

Mr Albinism, Phunyanya said with the money he has won he is going to boost his small firm which deals with graphic designing.

“I will come up with a team so that persons with albinism should be engaged in sporting activities,” Phunyanya added.

He advised persons with albinisms to work hard and believe in themselves because persons with albinism in Africa are looked down upon.

United Nations Representative, Maria Torres Jose commended the APAM for the event as it was human rights centred and was celebrating the difference.

“We have to acknowledge that before the census, we thought that they were 15,000 people with albinism but as of today we know that they are 150, 000 people and this is an amazing number of people with talent, brains and beauty,” she said.

Jose said through the contest they have learnt that beauty is not only in the skin but it is in the way that one sees oneself.

“It has been emotional to see all of you teaching us how you are bringing Malawi to the centre of human rights agenda and also projecting the country forward,” she said.

“This beauty contest reminds us that we come in many colours but at the end of the day there is one planet and one person,” Jose added.

Mr and Miss Albinism walked away with the grand prize of K 1 million and a laptop each.

Hilda Mcheso got the position of first Princess while Fergus Makawa won the position of first Prince and both walked away with K 500 000 each while Geoffrey Phunyanya won the talent show and walked away with K500,000 as well.

Entertainment Featured National News

Mr and  Miss Albinism beauty pageant go into camp Wednesday

Finalists for Mr and  Miss Albinism beauty pageant and talent show will enter camp on Wednesday in preparation for the show at Bingu Wa Mutharika International Convention Centre (BICC) on Saturday, 7th September, 2019. 

Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM) chairperson for the organising committee Lucy Nkhoma said Saturday that 30 finalists who passed regional auditions will go straight to BICC from the camp.

“The finalists will camp at Linde Motel in Dowa where they will have psychological preparation for the public appearance. There will also be coaching and training as well as makeup and grooming,” Nkhoma said.

She said camping is necessary because it is where the finalist will be supported and prepared so that they can give out the best out of them during the event.

However, she said APAM has a deficit in terms of the amount of money they planned to raise for the event.

“We have a deficit in our budget; we would like to request prospective partners and sponsors to partner us.

“So far, we have managed to raise about K35 million out of K72 million that we planned to raise for the event,” Nkhoma said.

Source: Mana


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Police withdraws security from APAM offices

The Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM) has expressed dismay over the action by Malawi police Service to stop guarding their offices in Lilongwe.

A site visit by journalists to the premises discovered that armed police stopped guarding the offices during month end of May this year.

Reacting to the development, APAM president Ian Simbota said the association was not informed about the decision by police.

“For so far we have just seen that the officers are not coming and no communication, they have just stopped, just like that, so we don’t have any communication so far,” said Simbota.

According to the APAM president, the move is jeopardizing security of staff at the office.

“We are already vulnerable so we thought maybe the coming of the police would be something of a relief and then we are having no police at a very critical time like this one when we have got demonstrations almost daily, it`s tough, I mean it’s very distressing,” wondered Simbota.

Meanwhile, Lilongwe Police Spokesperson, Kingsley Dandaula is yet to comment on matter citing that they are investigating the issue.

For the past year, the country has witnessed barbaric rise in cases of continued attacks, abductions, and killings of persons with albinism.

Entertainment Featured

APAM to Host Two Foreign Judges on Mr and Miss Albinism Beauty pageant

Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM) is not only concerned with hosting the inaugural Mr and Miss Albinism beauty pageant in Lilongwe this September, but also setting standards.

To prove this, Apam— which wants to use the pageant as a vehicle for fighting against attacks on persons with albinism— has enlisted the services of two judges from Botswana and Zimbabwe.

The two will join locals during the event scheduled for Bingu International Convention Centre on September 7.

APAM Programmes Lead and Event Organizing Committees Focal Person, Peter Kayenda, Monday said Brenda Mudzimu (Miss Albinism Zimbabwe Trust) and Lizzy Maila (Miss Albinism Botswana) will join locals Hazel Warren (former Big Brother housemate) and Tionge Munthali on the panel.

“The Organizing Committee is still holding discussions with three more to seek their input,” Kayenda said ahead of the event to run under the theme ‘We Are Just Like You’.

Some 50 participants are earmarked for the contest and the interest keeps growing.

The number of registered participants has jumped from 11 in the first week to 21 and now 32 this week, Kayenda said.

Out of these, 12 males are earmarked to compete in their category.

“Eventual winners will be Albinism Resilience Ambassadors and will also be work brand ambassadors. Their role will extend to fundraising and championing of disability rights, with special focus on albinism work in the pursuit to promote advancement of Persons with Albinism in Malawi and beyond,” he said.

The judges would, in the participants, look for education, self-confidence, altruism and passion when deciding the eventual winners.
APAM wants to turn the beauty pageant into an annual event.

The budget for the inaugural event is pegged at K72 million and, so far, the private and public sector have supported the initiative.
The country had recorded 146 attacks on persons with albinism, bringing the risk of existential extinction and severe trauma to victims and their families alike

Featured National News

Ian Simbota elected as new APAM President

Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) radio two presenter Ian Desmond Simbota has been elected as President of the Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM).

Simbota replaces Overstone Kondowe who resigned from the post earlier this year and is now Chairperson of the African Union for Persons with Albinism (AUPA).

Kondowe has confirmed of the development in a statement posted on his official facebook page seen by faceofmalawi reporter.

“Congratulations Mr Ian Desmond Simbota for being elected APAM President. Be courageous and remain strong. We are always there to support your leadership,” reads in part the statement.

Simboto also served as APAM Secretary General.