Chairperson for the Association of People with Albinism (APAM) – Kasungu Chapter, Caroline Zinkomola has pleaded with chiefs in Traditional Authority (TA) Chulu to help stop the killings of persons with albinism.
Speaking during a community and stakeholders awareness meeting on albinism, organised by Kasungu District Peace and Unity Committee (DPUC), Zinkomola said it is disheartening that several persons with albinism have been killed in the country on reasons related to rituals.
The brutal murder case of a person with albinism was a three-year old Talandira Chirwa at Mawawa Village, TA Chulu in the district in November 2022 and accused persons are answering murder charges in the High Court.
Said Zinkomola: “It is here at Chulu where one of us was murdered because of someone’s greed for quick money. There is no way you will find money through killing people with albinism. We will not stop these awareness meetings until you realise that we are the same like you.
“You give us names under the guise of killing us or excluding us from benefitting from various socio-economic initiatives. This must stop.”
Zinkomola, who was accompanied by her vice chairperson, Silvester Mhone, also took a swipe at the courts saying cases about people with albinism take long to be tried.
“The courts must ensure that cases involving people with albinism are expedited. It is not fair that such cases take forever to be concluded. We want to see timely conclusion of these matters if we are to appreciate that there has been justice,” she said.
According to her, Kasungu has over 165 persons with albinism most whom face exclusion in different sectors of life including education, finance, agriculture and social protection programmes.
Group Village Headman Kapatuka said it was suspicious that in these cases, sellers of human tissues are easily arrested while the buyers are not.
He said: “We wonder, suspected sellers of human tissues are easily arrested here in the villages but we have never heard about a suspected buyer being arrested. Are we saying these buyers are hard to locate?”
Coordinator for community policing in Kasungu, Malifa Kapindira, warned the communities against landing themselves in unnecessary trouble saying there is no market for human bones in the country or elsewhere.
She said communities must be alert and tip the police on suspicious individuals and activities in the villages so as to avert further killings.
Other people who attended the meeting were officials from the Department of Peace and National Unity, district council, chiefs and local peace committee structures.
At least 170 cases of attacks against people with albinism have been reported in the country including more than 20 murders since 2014.