29 September 2020
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Tuesday, 24 March 2020 06:51

APAM calls for protection of PWA a head of election

Written by  Ireen Kayira
Simbota and  second from left pose with a woman who was attacked Simbota and second from left pose with a woman who was attacked Pic. by MANA

Mzimba, March 23, 2020:Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM) has said there was need to strengthen the protection of persons with albinism as the country is approaching the election period.

This was said in Mzimba on Sunday when the Association conducted awareness campaign at Jenda Trading Centre in the district to the business persons, churches and paid a visit to a woman with albinism Tafwauli Ngoma, who was attacked in the district last month.

In an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA), APAM President, Ian Simbota said attacks of persons with albinism are rampant when the country is heading to the polls as evident with last year’s elections; as such it was important that communities are aware of this so that they could be protected.

“As we are heading towards election, there are some politicians who believe that they can use body tissues of persons with albinism to win elections which is just an evil way of thinking,” he said.

Simbota said because of such kinds of beliefs, persons with albinism are being murdered, losing their body parts for example the case of Mzimba whereby an old woman toes were chopped off because of the same beliefs.

He added that this was directly connected to the United Nations report which says that persons with albinism face an increase in attacks especially in the times when countries are having elections.

“We are going to vote again and Zambia is having elections and in the case of Mama Tafwauli Ngoma the suspects were arrested along the Malawi-Zambia border that was directly connected to the same.

“Additionally her case happened after the court ruled that we will have fresh elections which only show the vulnerability of persons with albinism during this period,” he said.

APAM President called upon government and other institutions to come in quickly in intensifying the protection of persons with albinism as early as possible during this period.

Simbota said the awareness that they conducted would go in other districts as well across the country.

Vice Vestry Chair for Jenda Church of Central African Presbyterian (CCAP), Harry Phiri said the information came at the right time and he knows that the information would go far as the members would take it to other community members.

“Persons with Albinism face challenges here in rural areas due to the colour of their skin which makes them venerable to attacks so with the information things will be better,” he said.

Phiri appealed to Malawians to refrain from beliefs that put persons with albinism at risk of being attacked because they are just like anyone else.

“They have a right to live just like anyone else and attacking them for their body parts is not fair as such everyone should take part in protecting them in our communities,” he said.

Phiri cited that these acts are still happening because punishments given to the offenders are not stiff enough and appealed to the courts that the issue of punishments should be put into consideration.