08:52 am - Thursday 27 July 2017

Tackling the Albino Crisis in Malawi

By Analytical Rose - Fri Jun 24, 2:07 am

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Hello fellow Malawians. The albino crisis is a real problem in Malawi. I have felt compelled to comment on it because aspects of it make me feel very so strongly that I realized, we need to be holding an honest conversation amongst ourselves as to how to deal with this problem. This is how I see it.

Albinos in Malawi

Understanding the problem:

Listening to elders, I understand that this problem has been there for a long time. I was recently told by an elder Malawian man that it is a standing non verbal acceptance that ‘albinos don’t die but they disappear’. I was told that this has been the case even before my young days and I am not young at all. I have also gathered that many African countries have this misconception about Albninos in particular Tanzania. When one talks to different individuals about the source of this misconception that Africans appear to hold about albinos, one is left in no doubt that these perpetrators do not really understand  the whole albino story.

The albino explanation:

An albino is a person who because his father and his mother have a defective gene ( this is a unit in the body which determines what you are going to be like when you are fully formed as a baby, so see you this happens even before you are bone.), if both your parents have this gene you are going to have a very high chance of being born Albino . This leaves you unable to form the pigment which renders other black skinned people dark. Albinism has problems of it own: for example the person will find it difficult to cope with direct sun rays: their eyes will have problems etc… That is why they look different from all of us.This format of gene formation is called recessive genes. There are a lot of diseases which are passed onto generations this way.

You can therefore see from this explanation that the notion that using albino parts will make one rich are total lies! Misconceptions! Superstitions! in fact I have tried hard to find one single person who can tell me eyes open that he/she got rich because of using  Albino  bones or part of the body! So I stand here to totally condemn this notion. You do not get rich in any other way than to work yourself hard and think smartly!. I believe from personal experience that formal education helps to develop smartness of mind! exposure helps to develop smartness of mind!But no matter how many albinos you kill you will never get rich you are simply committing a destructive crime which results in losses all round.

How do we resolve this problem:

I watched in the last few hours the demonstrations by naked men and women in Malawi whose stand is that we should kill anybody who is convicted of killing an albino. I fully understand how strongly these people feel. I however would just like to invite them to think with me for a minute: If we kill albino killers we will end up a nation which is killing itself because the albino killers are not being educated and the government killings, to punish them – if you call them legal killings are not going to be enough or thorough enough to clean all the illegal killers! What I suggest is that any albino killing conviction should have no less that life imprisonment with no parole. More importantly the whole nation should be educated in the facts about albinism, how it does not affect your wealth at all! The education should not stop there it should involve educating people on how they can make their lives better! formal education, open mindedness, a desire to make oneself better as contrasted to an attitude that accepts poverty and expect the world to donate to us! I am a Malawian! I have worked really hard in my life and I can’t complain. So I know that if any Malawian wants to get better socially they need education all round.

Quite a lot of the albino problem is coming into Malawi from outside countries like Mozambique, Tanzania where the government has got very tight control over this situation and so this is where we need our immigration policies to make it impossible for these foreigners to come into our country and commit these atrocities.

A word to  the international community in particular Amnesty International. I watched with fury when I saw an Amnesty International representative on CNN saying freely that “Malawi is not doing anything about this problem”. I understand that you have actually been to Malawi and you met the Malawi president who told you plainly what he was doing about the problem. Now bear in mind that this is a country with very limited resources and your suggestion of “visible policing” can only be achieved with money! Malawi is a poor country but I want to tell you Amnesty International that Malawi is doing everything they can, allowing for their limitations to get a handle on the problem. The best you can do if you really want to help is avoid misinforming the world but rather tell the wold that if there is a way in which they can help they should do so because we are trying as nation.

Finally to my fellow Malawians , and I am fully aware that an Albino killer is not likely to be reading this article but rather that the one who does read it discusses with someone else and that the war against destroying albinos becomes every single Malawians concern. This is a national problem which has no party affiliations and so all parties- political parties should work together on this. I know Malawians can do that because I have seen how united they can get when they mean business.

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