APAM elects new Leadership
Community of Persons with Albinism in Malawi has new leadership that is committed to empowering its 134,636 persons with albinism, writes Owen Nyaka.
Community of Persons with Albinism in Malawi has new leadership that is committed to empowering its 134,636 persons with albinism according to National Statistics Office in order to achieve sustainable livelihoods towards their well-being Majority fall under the population that is below the poverty line with 117,480 living in rural areas.
Association of Persons with albinism in Malawi (APAM) newly elected President Young Muhamba told journalists after the Annual General Meeting held at Blue Waters in Salima that as he would make sure that National Action on Persons with Albinism (PWA) for the year 2018/2022 plans are achieved.
The Government of Malawi through Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare developed and started funding the National Action Plan (NAP) on persons with albinism in an effort to address the gross human rights violations on persons with albinism and Treasury has been funding the plan with a yearly allocation of 400 million kwacha.
“I am deeply honored that I have been trusted to lead them. It is not a small position because I have been trusted to look at all the affairs which affect people with albinism and my first task in office would be to make sure that Sunscreen Factory is set in place in the country. We have been promised that there shall be a Sunscreen Factory and because of the scarcity of sunscreen people have been deeply affected with the sunburns,” says Muhamba adding that as a pharmacist he will make sure to use his expertise which he has to make sure that sunscreen is set in place and start working.
Muhamba, however, says apart from the highly required sunscreen, the Government promised a number of things including building houses of poor and vulnerable people and under his leadership, he will make follow-ups on NAP funding so that many houses should be constructed.
The APAM election results at Blue Waters tally centre on Presidency was 40votes for Young Muhamba against Ian Desmond Simbota 35votes and Godfrey Phunyanya 25votes. Vice President Position has gone to Emmie Chiumia with 64 votes against Elisa Harrison 35votes.
General Secretary Position has gone to Menard Zacharia with 66votes against Bertha Malaya 17votes and Sylvester Mhone 5votes while the Position of vice General Secretary has gone to Virginia Chimodzi with 56votes against Ronnex Bondo 26votes and Wisdom Banda 16votes.
Charles Maillosi wins the position of Treasurer General with 56votes against Thokozani Malungo 43votes.
The delegates to the AGM were three with majority districts sending one man and two female representatives.
For gender equality, elections on National Executive Committee (NEC) were conducted twice as follows; on male NEC members Richard Mithi 35votes, Mphatso Lemani 30votes, and Benard Makanga 29votes while female NEC members Mwayi Munyenyembe 34votes, Josephine Mtamila 24votes, Stella Chiwaka 14votes, Hilda Macheso 13votes, and Felisters Kaiya 12votes.
Commenting on the newly elected leadership, APAM Board Chairperson Mphatso Baluwa Jimu her expectation is that this leadership would be very passionate in advocating, eradicating killings and abductions of persons with albinism.
The Ministry through the office of Secretary to President and Cabinet presented the mid-term progress report to amnesty international on 25th March 2021, and Malawi was appreciated for the process made on ending the atrocities towards persons with albinism.
“The leadership has a diversity of skills and collectively as APAM together we can really civic educate, awareness-raising and training. Administration of justice and support of victims of attacks.
“Although courts are giving custodial sentences others being sentenced to life imprisonment but as APAM, we would like to know where is the market and the bones of persons with albinism what are they used for. While we would like to see a complete zero atrocities, we would like Government to make a commissioner of inquiry on where is the market,” says Jimu.
She, however, says while reports are indicating that we are doing well as a country but we are not where we really wanted to be because atrocities are still going on.
The trend towards these atrocities grows especially during elections and as APAM, we want also to start advocating now on 2025 elections because we do not want to see the repetition of 2016 elections where figures of atrocities were high.
Former Presidential Advisor on Persons with Albinism, Overstone Kondowe, who has been elected as Nkhotakota North East Parliamentarian says he will give support to the new leadership.
Kondowe says “I am where I am today because of APAM. I will continue advocating for persons with albinism welfare. I will bring, lobby, and support bills that would promote the safety and security of persons with albinism.
“The newly elected leadership needs capacity building and I will support this kind of training with five-hundred thousand kwacha,” says Kondowe adding that it is pleasing that persons with albinism are now penetrating in various jobs and that Malawi would for the first time shortly have Police Officers who have albinism.
APAM has strategic objectives of eradicating killings and abductions through enhanced professionalism and efficiency in the prevention of incidents detection investigation and ensuring killers are brought to book and punished.
Promote inclusive education for the benefit of persons with albinism, promote human rights education, and empower persons with albinism amongst others.