Mzimba, January 16, 2019. The Malawi Police Service has said the fight against killings of people with albinism will only be a success if members of the community take an active role in tracking down perpetrators of the vice.
The remarks were made recently by Commissioner of Police in the North, Hannings Mlotha during awareness campaign meeting on violence perpetrated on people with Albinism, held at Manyamula Community Ground, in Mzimba District.
Mlotha said police alone cannot successfully crack down on criminals who target people with albinism because the number of police officers is smaller than communities.
The commissioner observed that members of the community were better placed to know perpetrators of crime because they live in same neighborhoods.
“Members of the community have the potential to identify criminals in their locations. They are also better placed to quickly know suspicious faces,” said Mlotha.
On fears that informants can be implicated, Mlotha said people that tip police on crimes are safe as the information remains confidential.
He urged communities and relatives of people with Albinism to promote love and strong relationships in their homes, saying that can help uncover plots to kill albinos thereby saving lives.
He dismissed rumour propagated by witch doctors that body parts of people with albinism can induce charms for wealth.
“What people must know is that up to now, there is no known market for body parts of people with albinism,” said Mlotha.
He warned police officers against conniving with criminals to commit crimes.
“Let me warn my police officers who team up with criminals to accomplish criminal missions that they will be punished accordingly,” he said.
District Commissioner for Mzimba, Thomas Chirwa commended the Malawi Police Service for the awareness campaign.
He said the district is not spared of cases of violence, murder and rampant suicide.
Chirwa asked people of Mzimba to work with the police in stamping out all forms of crime, including killings of people with albinism to ensure peace and unity which are key for development to flourish.
“Time is gone when police officers were looked at as enemies. At the moment, police officers are our brothers and sisters in pursuit of peace, unity and tranquility for development enhancement,” said Chirwa.
The function was spiced by a football match between Manyamula United and Blue Eagles and it ended 2-0, in favour of Eagles.
On December 31, 2018, thugs broke into the house of a 54 year old Yasin Kwenda Phiri with albinism, at Kande Trading Centre in Nkhata Bay District and murdered him in the watch of his grandson.