Originally published in Nyassa Times
The Church said it is sickened with reports that people living with albinism are still living in fear because some segments in the society continue hunting for their lives or body parts.
Chairman of the Anglican Council in Malawi, the Right Reverend Vita Brighton Malasa, who disclosed that the Anglican Communion is monitoring the events and constantly engaging relevant sectors, observed that it is high time the nation joined hands in “uprooting this evil” so that sanity returns in the country.
“This is strange (trade in albino body parts) and as Malawians we need a concerted effort to curb this immorality otherwise the police alone cannot crack down the movement.
“As such I call upon every person beginning with relatives and the community that stay with our brothers and sisters living with albinism, law enforcers, the courts, to the executive arm of government to step up efforts and resources in combating this evil,” appealed the Rt. Rev Malasa.
Bishop Malasa’s reaction comes amid repots that there are some business persons in Machinga who are paymasters of gangs specifically formed to hunt down albinos.
Recent reports show that the situation is more worrisome in Machinga especially in the areas of Chief Kawinga, Mkowola, Mchinguza, Ntaja and Ngokwe, and that many albino children have dropped out of school for fear of being abducted or killed.
Machinga district has the highest reports of attacks on people living with albinism, where the Police Officer In-charge, Gideon Nahumu, said 16 cases have been committed to the Zomba High Court.
There have been cases of abduction and killing of people living with albinism across the country, with some exhuming bones of the same for sale, rituals and charms within and outside the country, which has shaken the country as some people with albinism are now living in hiding for fear of their lives.
The Church has condemned the any persons involved in such inhumane syndicates and reminds the nation that every person is an image of God hence needs a dignified life otherwise no one has the right to take away anybody’s life whatever the case.
The Anglican Church has Christians across the country but in Machinga they fall under the jurisdiction of the Anglican Diocese of Upper Shire, whose Bishop is Lordship Brighton Vita Malasa, who on March 24, 2015 made a public condemnation of the attack on albinos during a joint tree planting exercise with Beautify Malawi (BEAM) at Chilema in Zomba.
Many other authorities in Malawi have spoken against this evil that has taken nation by surprise.
Recently the Inspector General of Police Lextern Kachama ordered police to shoot at criminals who resist arrest when found abducting people living with albinism, all in a bid to reduce the merciless attacks on albinos.
CCJP, an arm of the Catholic Church also recently condemned the same, saying that it is worrisome that even closer relatives and communities of albinos are also abusing the albinos by not providing proper care, and in some cases are accomplices in the abduction cases.
The Church also pointed out that it is not a responsibility of one person or institution but rather need a collective and national action to completely root out this problem in our midst.
Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Patricia Kaliati has since promised that all cases of abduction of people living with albinism would be reviewed to ensure that stiff punishment is administered.
Kaliati made the assurance at Nayuchi in Machinga East during a community meeting on albinism earlier this week.