Troubled with what he calls government’s uninspiring approach in handling abductions and killings of people with albinism, Mulanje South member of Parliament (MP) Elias Bon Kalindo has threatened to march naked to push for the death sentence.
His warning comes barely a week after he also threatened to storm out of the National Assembly if the bill was not brought in the House for endorsement before the end of the current sitting for debate.
Kalindo, legislator for the governing DPP, has called authorities to bring back death sentence where, among others, he is lobbying fellow MPs to support his cause to retain the controversial law specifically targeting killers of people with albinism.
Although the country’s Constitution provides for a death penalty, all presidents in democratic Malawi have declined to sign execution orders to send those on death row to the gallows.
Kalindo, who is also deputy spokesperson for DPP, said in an interview yesterday he was set to walk naked if the House fails to provide the required attention to the matter.
“If it does not happen I will walk naked from Old Town [Lilongwe] to Parliament Building to show my fury and force it to happen with speed because we are not doing enough,” he said in an interview after earlier proclaiming the same on privately-owned Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS).
However, the MP said he was consulting his lawyers on whether his planned naked march would not infringe on the ethics and rules of Parliament.
Said Kalindo: “I am even ready to be kicked out of Parliament because I feel it is high time we buried this issue once and for all. The law is there and we just need to put it into effect.”
He said he was not convinced as a legislator with the approach government has taken to stop the barbaric killings of people with albinism.
Said the MP: “I am a sorrowful legislator because of the manner in which we are handling the issue of killings and abductions of people with albinism. We have so far lost 18 people and this is not a joke.”
Since violence against people with albinism emerged in the country, there has been low self-esteem and exclusion from society among people with albinism while scores of children have withdrawn from school.
Currently, statistics indicate that Malawi has recorded 67 cases of albino victimization, including seven killings, 14 kidnappings, three missing persons and 29 tampering with graves.
“This is a critical and sensitive matter requiring due priority,” lamented Kalindo.
While appreciating the support he has so far garnered from fellow MPs, Kalindo still expressed anger over other legislators reluctance to support the cause.
The MP also condemned government for planning to dispatch government officials to learn from Tanzania and Rwanda on how they dealt with the matter.
Last week, President Peter Mutharika announced he would send Inspector General of Police Lexten Kachama and his team to the two countries to learn how they contained the situation.
But Kalindo described the idea as “missing the point” and waste of resources.
Human rights activists and some major donors have been calling on government to abolish the death penalty saying it infringes on human rights. But in 2014, Malawi told the United Nations Human Rights Committee in Geneva, Switzerland it had no intention to abolish it.-The Nation