Police in Ntchisi have launched a manhunt for criminals who have exhumed the body of a person with albinism, James Nyama, and have made away with his bones. Nyama was born in 1921 and died on December 6, 2018, in the area of Traditional Authority Vuso Jere in the district.

His grave was tampered with on the night of September 8, 2021. The resurgence of exhumation of body tissues for persons with albinism (PWA), either dead or alive, has created fear among the PWA community in the country.

Apparently, the exhumation of Nyama’s bones comes barely a few days after some people killed a man with albinism in Blantyre, Ian Muhama. Association for Persons with Albinism (APAM) president, Ian Simbota, said it is unfortunate that persons with albinism are being treated like second class citizens in Malawi.

Simbota said such an uncalled for behaviour must never be tolerated in Malawi. “It is worrisome that even in death persons with albinism have no rest for unknown criminal gangs go and hunt them,” he said. Simbota called upon the Government of Malawi to ensure that persons with albinism are protected at all levels.

He further reminded the State President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera and Tonse Alliance Partners to stick to their campaign promises and the memorandum of understanding (MoU) the parties signed with APAM in 2019 through Center for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) that they will see to it that the rights of persons with albinism are promoted, protected and defended at all levels.

Recently, the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) national coordinator and staunch human rights defender, Boniface Chibwana, said he is baffled and frustrated with the resurgence of attacks, abductions and killings of persons with albinism.

Chibwana said he is even worried that both the National Technical Committee on Abuse of Persons with Albinism in Malawi and the Commissions of Inquiry, which the immediate former President Peter Mutharika constituted to investigate the root cause of the vice, have not made their findings public three and two years after they were instituted, respectively.

“There have been several studies, yet up to now, there have never been study findings that have been submitted to the President. And yet we spend a lot of money on these studies. As CCJP, we believe if we can establish, through the studies we have been conducting, the market for body parts of persons with albinism,” he said.

Chibwana was reacting to the abduction and gruesome murder of a 26-year-old person with albinism, Dyton Mussa, in Mangochi last weekend and an attack on a girl with albinism in Traditional Authority (T/A) Kawinga in Machinga.

Mussa’s dismembered body was laid to rest in Kadewere Village in Traditional Authority (T/A) Chowe in Mangochi where he hailed. Chibwana said that the recent crimes perpetrated against PWAs in Mangochi and Machinga have demonstrated that Malawi is far from achieving full protection of PWAs’ right to life.

“CCJP believes in the sanctity of life and that every life matters and it doesn’t matter whose life it is, but every life in this country must matter. And when we have deliberate killing of people with albinism, it’s a matter of huge concern to CCJP,” he said.

Africa-press

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