By Robert Nayeja and Patrick Ndawala
Machinga, August 9, Mana: Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati has warned that government will take to task people involved in attacks, abductions and killing of people with albinism in the country.
Kaliati sounded the warning on Saturday after she visited a woman with albinism, Dorothy Jefule who was attacked by unknown people in her house early August this year.
The Minister said Tonse government will take all necessary measures so that people with albinism should enjoy their rights and freedoms just as any person.
She therefore advised people in the district to work hand in hand with the Tonse administration to end the malpractice.
“It is a pity to note that Machinga has recorded high number of attacks, abductions and killings of people with albinism. It is time for all of us to work in collaboration so that we should put to an end the malpractice and our colleagues with albinism should live their normal lives just as everyone,” said the minister.
She added: “The people who are attacking people with albinism are not coming from neighboring countries or somewhere they are with us within the communities and some of them are our relatives.
The Tonse alliance government will not condone such malpractice at any level. The attack on Dorothy should be the last and those who attacked her will be traced.”
The minister has directed that Machinga district council and traditional leaders and all political leaders including religious leaders should form a task force that will come up with a plan to arrest the malpractice in the district.
“My ministry is ready to give the task force all the necessary support so that people with albinism in the district should be protected,” she added.
The minister also commended paramount chief Kawinga for his effort in making sure that people with albinism in the district are living freely.
She therefore said her ministry is looking into an issue of building clusters for the people with albinism so that they collectively should be given maximum security.
“We have witnessed here that Dorothy stays 200 meters away from neighbors which is another factor that is putting her at high risk,” said the minister.
Speaking during the visit paramount chief Kawinga said all traditional leaders in the district are committed to ending the malpractice.
He therefore, commended the Minister for her quick response once she head that Dorothy had been attacked in her area.
Speaking in an interview with Mana Dorothy said she was taken away from her home around 9 pm after the unknown thugs entered into the house through the window.
“They beat up my mother, whom I stay with, and they never said where they were dragging me to and I shouted for help. By the grace of the lord people started coming out of houses and the perpetrators were compromised which gave me an opportunity to run away,” narrated Dorothy.
She confirmed with Mana that she is feeling well as she was treated well by medical personnel.
Machinga is one of the districts in Malawi which has been hit hard with the attacks on people with albinism.