Albinos hunted for body parts in Malawi

Albinos hunted for body parts in Malawi

MACHINGA (Malawi NewsNow) –Malawi Police in Machinga have accused magistrates of thwarting efforts to stop abductions, attacks and killings of people with albinism through lenient sentences of culprits.

The police said this in the district when Women Judges Association of Malawi members accompanied by the UN special envoy, who is in the country to have first hand information on the killings met the police, magistrates, chiefs and other stakeholders.

The police representatives took turns to express disappointment that those found digging graves are only given a fine as low as K15, 000 and so far no one has been jailed for the murder of people with albinism despite the police effort to track them down.

“The lenient tendencies are increasing the attacks on people with albinism, something should be done,” said one of the police officers.

However some of the magistrates said the problem is not the judiciary but the law.

“We cannot change the law. We give sentences based on what the law says,” said one of the magistrates.

Member of parliament in Machinga Esther Jolobala said President Peter Mutharika has powers to end the attacks.

“The President can do more than mere condemnations on radio, he has powers to order the police protect the people with albinism,” she said.

Government has since set up a special committee that is looking into reviewing the laws so that they protect people with albinism by meting out stiffer penalties to attackers.

There were at least 120 people with albinism at the meeting.