Malawi urged to investigate horrific killing of three year old girl

Mary's Meals outlines the work they provide in Malawi

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Malawi has been urged to investigate the “horrific” and “shocking” killing of three year old Tadala Chirwa who had albinism by a human rights organisation. Amensty International are also urging the Malawian authorities to improve the protection of people in the east African country following the death of the infant.

Shortly before midnight on Wednesday, an unidentified man broke into Tadala Chirwa’s grandmother’s house where she was sleeping.

The intruder killed the child before cutting off her leg and then taking it away.

It comes just weeks after the attempted abduction of a two-year old boy with albinism in Phalombe district in southern Malawi on 19 November.

Vongai Chikwanda, Amnesty International’s Campaigner for Southern Africa, said an investigation was needed.

She said: “The horrific nature of the death of Tadala Chirwa is deeply shocking and a cause of great concern.

“This killing and the removal of a limb is consistent with past patterns on attacks on persons with albinism, which are driven by the false belief that their body parts bring wealth and good luck.

“Authorities must promptly and thoroughly investigate the killing of Tadala Chirwa and ensure that those suspected of responsibility are brought to justice in fair trials.

“The authorities must also take urgent steps to guarantee the safety and security of persons with albinism in Malawi, including by investigating all past attacks and delivering justice for victims and their families.”

According to reports, Tadala Chirwa was sleeping in the same bed as her grandmother in the village of Mawawa near the town of Kasungu, in central Malawi.

The incident on 19 November involved three masked assailants attempting to break into a home where a toddler was asleep with his mother and a sibling.

However, the mother managed to get her family to safety.

Another incident in October involved the illegal exhumation of a person with Albinism who had died and their legs and arms were removed.

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In June, five people convicted of murdering a man whose body parts they planned to sell were sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labour.

Macdonald Masumbuka who had albinism was murdered in 2018.

One of those sentenced was Masumbuka’s own brother.

According to official statistics, more than 170 people living with albinism have been killed or maimed in such attacks since 2014.

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