File photo shows Malawi's President Arthur Peter Mutharika addresses the Sustainable Development Summit at the UN headquarters in New York, Sept. 25, 2015. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)
BALAKA, Malawi, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- Malawi President Peter Mutharika on Sunday called for a life sentence penalty for those convicted of killing people with albinism by a competent court of law.
Mutharika's call came barely 48 hours after the UN in Malawi urged Malawi government and relevant stakeholders to double their efforts to effect immediate measures to protect persons with albinism.
The UN appeal came in the wake of a latest brutal killing of a person with albinism that occurred on the eve of the New Year in the country's lakeshore district of Nkhata Bay.
Speaking at a local function held in the eastern district of Balaka where he officially launched a tribal grouping, Chiwanja Cha Ayao, the Malawi leader described the killing of people with albinism as "senseless, primitive, and foolish."
"I have made a directive that when the suspects are tried and convicted of murder, they should be given a life sentence so that they never come back but rot there in prison," said Mutharika.
The Malawi leader said he still did not understand why at this new time one could believe that body parts of a person with albinism could make one become rich.
Persons with albinism in Malawi continue to live in fear of being killed for their body parts despite the fact that in June 2018 Mutharika launched a four-year National Action Plan on Persons with Albinism to end the growing atrocities against them.
Four men aged between 19 and 37 have been arrested in connection with the killing of a 54-year-old man with albinism on the eve of the New Year.
To date, about 23 brutal killings of people with albinism, including women and children, have been recorded in Malawi since 2013.