Apam gives govt 7-day ultimatum on report

Association of People with Albinism in Malawi (Apam) has given government up to March 30 to release findings of an inquiry into killings and abductions of persons with albinism (PWAs) that President Peter Mutharika instituted last year.

Following a series of the killings and abductions, Mutharika early last year instituted a commission of inquiry to probe the attacks and give recommendations to help address the issue.

Apam members march against killings and abductions in the files photo

The commission was supposed to issue a report by April 2019 but since then, there has been no communication on the matter despite such attacks resurfacing.

In a statement issued yesterday, the association said government needs to prove that it is working in the best interest of PWAs and should help address attacks on them.

Reads the statement in part signed by Apam president Ian Simbota: “Government is keeping under wraps a commission of inquiry report which the State President received in 2019.  Other stakeholders have also emulated the precedent set by government, keeping their studies’ dossiers locked up in office cabinets with keys kept in their loins.

“By default, government and those that call themselves ‘stakeholders and partners’ and yet they are engaged in such strange phenomena are playing the role of accomplices. We continue to wonder how they hold themselves accountable by not releasing the studies’ reports.”

Reacting to the matter, presidential spokesperson Mgeme Kalilani said there is no report because the commissioners asked for more time and money to carry out assignments in other countries where such attacks had been happening and were eradicated.

He said President Mutharika approved both additional funding and time so that the commissioners carry out the activities in other countries. He said the commissioners submitted the budget in January this year and by February funding had been allocated.

Said Kalilani: “As far as I know, the report that was there was about the activities that the commissioners wanted to undertake. They asked for additional time and resources to go to other countries in Africa and see how such issues were handled.”

Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communications Technology Mark Botomani, who four months ago indicated that the report was almost ready, asked for more time to check at what stage the issue is. Meanwhile, Livingstonia Synod Church and Society Programme executive director Moses Mkandawire has condemned the manner in which government is handling the issue.

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