Three suspects have been arrested in Ntechu, Malawi, in connection with the latest murder of a 38-year-old albino man.
“I received a tip from the public that the three were involved in the murder so we are investigating them. As of now they remain suspects,” Ntechu police spokesman Gift Matewere told Nyasa Times.
Albino Killings in Malawi
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Over the last two years, the government of Malawi has been grappling with frequent suspected ritual killings of people with albinism. Malawian authorities accuse foreign witch doctors, mostly from Tanzania, of fueling albino killings in the country as people have been made to believe albino parts can be used with other charms to bring luck and wealth.
At least 18 people living with albinism have been killed in Malawi over the last two years, a situation that has prompted authorities to take several preventive measures, including issuing a shoot-to-kill order and banning all foreign witch doctors from visiting Malawi.
Issuing a statement on Friday, Dr. Hetherwick Ntaba, chief political adviser to President Peter Mutharika, said only traditional herbalists who adhere to codes of conduct will be allowed to practice in Malawi.
“Foreign witch doctors should immediately stop plying their trade in Malawi. We have just learnt that some witch doctors who were banned in Tanzania and others from Mozambique fled to Malawi and are fueling attacks on people with albinism. They must be deported,” Dr. Ntaba said.
Cry of the Helpless
In the wake of the latest killing of 38-year-old Fletcher Masina, albinos and human rights activists stormed the Malawian parliament on Tuesday, demanding the execution of criminals convicted of albino murders.
Several Malawian lawmakers are said to have supported the calls for execution of convicted killers, saying an eye for an eye is the only way to send a message to albino killers and traffickers, according to News24.
Top on Government’s Agenda
In the meantime, the government of Malawi plans to send all children living with albinism to boarding schools where they can be well protected and have an opportunity to their right to life and education.
The government also plans to expedite prosecution of those suspected to be behind the current albino killings and abductions in Malawi.
Other remedial measures include registration of all people with albinism, tough control of traditional herbalists, improved intelligence gathering and continued awareness.