LILONGWE (Papious Liwonde) – President Peter Mutharika has rejected an assessment by world human rights group Amnesty International that Malawi government is failing to protect the right to life and personal security of people with albinism.
He says his government is working tirelessly to ensure that people with albinism are protected from any attacks.
Mutharika made the remarks Tuesday at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe when he had an audience with the Regional Director for Southern Africa human rights board Amnesty International Deprose Muchena and a 11-member delegation and officials of the Association of People with Albinism in Malawi (Apam), who presented him with a report on results of a research on some atrocities being perpetrated against people living with albinism.
The exclusive 80-page report is titled ‘We Are Not Animals to be Hunted or Sold: Violence and Discrimination Against People with Albinism in Malawi.’
He assured the board that his government is working tirelessly to ensure that the killings, abductions and intimidations of people with albinism are stopped in this country to ensure that those with albinism are living happily like anybody else does.
Mutharika pointed out that he had been shocked and greatly concerned by media reports that quotes AI saying Malawian authorities should show more action than merely burying their heads in the sand and hoping that the problem would go away on its own.
“Now, this is a very serious condemnation. As head of this country, I have the responsibility to respond to the world—because the picture you are allegedly giving to the world is not accurate.
“We are doing all we can and, believe me, we are doing more than just talking,” he stated.
“Stop, abductions, intimidations, killings and harassment of people with albinism, I ensure you that my government is doing everything possible to end these barbaric acts, I have met with various stakeholders and agreed on a number of actions.
“I have met with Association of Persons with Albinism, religious leaders and we have empowered armed enforcement agencies. We have technical meetings that are formed to come up with various strategies and we are implementing them,” said Mutharika.
He said the ministry of justice has identified a special prosecutor to handle matters of abusing harassment of persons with albinism to ensure speed completion of cases.
Amnesty International Regional Director Muchena assured the president that his organization is working with Malawi government and members of Association of People with Albinism in Malawi (IPAM) as one way of ensuring that the work the organisation is doing is a partnership.
“We are very committed working accurately, our organizations also uses facts, we don’t believe that government of Malawi is not providing leadership, we acknowledge the leadership you are providing and we would like to encourage you to continue doing that,” said Muchena.