LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Malawi Interfaith Aids Association (MIAA) on Tuesday joined other country’s civil society organisation by condemning the abduction and killings of people living with albinism arguing that they have a right to live.
The association therefore demands Malawi government through the law enforcers to take a decisive action that will put an end to these killings in the shortest possible time.
In press statement made available to Maravi Post signed by the Reverend Dr. Gilford Matonga and Pirira Catherine Ndaferankhande MIAA Board Chair Person and Acting Executive Director respectively reminded the nation that both the Bible and the Quran speak of love and forbids any killing of human life.
This comes a day after Association of People with Albinism (APAM) turned down President Peter Mutharika’s invitation for a dialogue amid planed vigil at State House gate..
However, MIAA’s member Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) has endorsed APAM’s vigil.
Below is the full MIAA statement;
MALAWI INTERFAITH AIDS ASSOCIATION (MIAA) AGAINST THE ABHORENT, INHUMANE ATTACKS ON PERSONS WITH ALBINISM
Malawi Interfaith Aids Association (MIAA), a secretariat of Faith Based Institutions comprising of Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM), Malawi Council of Churches (MCC), Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM), Qadria Muslim Association of Malawi (QMAM), Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM), Association of Christian Educators in Malawi (ACEM), Pentecostal and Charismatic Network of Malawi (PECHANOMA) is issuing a statement on the plight of persons with albinism.
We are greatly saddened by the ongoing abductions, dismembering, mutilations and barbaric murdering of our dear brothers and sisters in the community whose only crime was to be born with this condition.
MIAA has been informed by APAM that the country has a population of about 13 thousand albinos and has registered 159 alarming cases in total related to abductions and killings of persons with albinism. Of the 159 cases, 23 are murder cases and 14 are the nowhere to be seen cases.
One of the core values of MIAA acknowledges that human life is sacred and needs to be protected and dignified.
The constitution of Malawi, a supreme law of the land provides a non-negotiable right to life to all people.
MIAA also wants to remind all duty bearers that their core duty is to protect and serve the interests of all Malawians, including persons with albinism (Sec 12:1 of the Constitution of Malawi).
This also goes to all other community leaders, religious leaders, parents and guardians. MIAA is concerned that the current situation is affecting accessibility of basic health services by persons with albinism.
As victims of these diabolic acts, they are not moving freely in fear of their lives; hence, many of them who are living with HIV cannot go to clinics and health facilities to access ART treatment.
In the same manner, this is also affecting their guardians who are living with the virus, as their movements are restricted because they have to keep guard of their relatives for almost every time.
This inadvertent skipping of medication or access to medication is further endangering their dear lives and hence impacting negatively on the 90:90:90 UNAIDS adopted targets.
It is now difficult for people living with albinism in the faith community to even trust institutions and providers of ART and other related services.
It is even a challenge for children with albinism to access their right to education.
Even if it means a guardian escorting to and from school, he or she no longer feels safe to accompany a child with albinism to school.
In this regard, we the faith community ,stand firm with persons with albinism and pledge to do everything possible to accord them the dignity and worth inherent in every human being regardless of any affliction
An empowered interfaith community that is productive in HIV and AIDS management affecting any group of mankind.
We also join all concerned parties to condemn this horrendous act against the persons with albinism and admonish the Government of Malawi through the law enforcers, to take a decisive action that will put an end to these killings in the shortest possible time.
Both the Bible and the Quran speak of love and forbids any killing of human life.
Let everyone amongst us be a brother’s keeper, by reporting all clandestine activities related to this matter whenever we hear or see anything or anyone suspicious and worthy investigating to the nearest police unit.
Signed by Reverend Dr. Gilford Matonga (MIAA Board Chair) and Pirira Catherine Ndaferankhande (MIAA Acting Executive Director )