By Patricia Kapulula MANA
The Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM) has expressed concern that the administration of justice in cases involving persons with albinism (PWA) is marred by numerous challenges despite efforts to expedite conclusion of such cases.
APAM President, Young Muhamba, made the remarks in Lilongwe on Tuesday during a press briefing on the observance of International Albinism Awareness Day (IAAD).
Muhamba cited victims and relations withdrawing cases, poor investigation in some cases, cases taking longer to be concluded, lack of witness protection and limited judicial officers who are faced with other competing issues as some of the challenges.
He said that since 2014, there have been 211 cumulative cases registered, with 80 completed and 20 closed and/or undetected.
Muhamba warned that if these challenges are left unchecked, it can create doom for access to justice for PWA in Malawi, adding that this year’s IAAD should mark the new chapter for PWAs in as far as access to justice is concerned.
Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Jean Sendeza, said that her Ministry has engaged the Ministry of Justice and the Chief Justice to take special attention to court cases regarding PWA so that all cases are concluded on time.
IAAD, which is celebrated on June 13, is a global annual event set aside by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2014 to celebrate human rights of persons with albinism globally.
Malawi will commemorate the day with a symposium to be held in Lilongwe on June 30 under the theme ‘An Inclusive Justice System’, which is built from the global theme of ‘Inclusion is Strength.’