By Desire Mtawali
Malawi Police in Lilongwe blocked Association of people with albinism (Apam) protests from getting anywhere near the Kamuzu Palace as the members demanded President Peter Mutharika to take action of their demands contained in the petition.
Police asked demonstrators to meet Chief Secretary to Government Mr Lloyd Muhara at Capitol Hill but they have refused.
Lilongwe City Council had warned members of the association on Monday aagainst holding vigils at the palace citing Section 103 of the Police Act which restricts demonstrations or assembly within State residences.
However, on Wednesday Apam members with help by some civil society organisations (CSOs) led by Human Rights Defenders Coalition chairperson Timothy Mtambo, started the protest march from Lilongwe Community Centre Ground to an area 100 metres far from the State House where they are expected to hold vigils.
“We will not leave State House until all that President Peter Mutharika promised, including allocating money to the national action plan and giving each one of us a security alarm, has been done”, says APAM president, Overstone Kondowe.
When Apam members marched near the place, police mounted a human wall blocking them from holding their vigils there.
Police blocked demonstrators marching to “force President Peter Mutharika to act against killings and abductions of persons with albinism” at a place near Big Garden, an events garden in Lilongwe, which is about 2 kilometres from State House.
Mutharika is not available at the palace in Lilongwe as he has travelled to Mzuzu in the Northern Region to undertake a number of engagements, including commissioning of the Mzimba Integrated Urban Water and Sanitation Project.
But Mutharika last week met about 50 persons with albinism mostly drawn from the Southern Region under the banner of Poor and Concerned People with Albinism (Pacpwa) – a breakaway grop of Apam.
Malawi continue experiencing a resurgence of attacks against persons with albinism, with two fatalities and three abductions since December 31 2018.