Association of People with Albinism (APAM) president Overstone Kondowe is in hospital after he was brutally assaulted by police as the law enforcers were removing people with albinism from M1 road at MIM in Lilongwe.
Police tear-gased and dispersed rioting people with albinism who blocked the MI road at MIM demanding to see President Peter Mutharika who is on his way from Mzuzu.
Charles Kajoloweka, a civil society activist who was among a group of civil rights activists who visited Apam leader in hospital, said Kondowe is not feeling well.
He said the police needed to explain why they used excess force on an armed protester.
The police have also arrested eight other people with albinism and a journalist from private broadcaster Zodiak over the protests.
The rioters said they are angered by a decision by Mutharika to cancel the intended meeting in order to hurriedly go to the south to visit victims of heavy rains and floods which has killed 23 people so far.
In an earlier interview, Kondowe accused the president of favouring one section of society.
“Our issue has been on his table for long. What people with albinism want is to meet him to discuss their protection. This issue of the floods has just come. He should meet us first,” said Kondowe.
The heavily armed police with a riot van battled with the people with albinism who had blocked the road.
The armed police officers literally picked each one of the persons with albinism one by one and bundling them in police riot vans.
The road has since been cleared and vehicles are now passing.
Presidential advisor on non-governmental organisations Mavuto Bamusi said it was imperative for Mutharika to attend to an emergency issue in the south.
“The meeting has been called off because the president has to visit the flood victims first but he is very committed to meeting the persons with albinism, he will meet them,” said Bamusi.
Minister of Gender and Disabilities Cecelia Chazama told parliament on Friday that the persons with albinism were on their way to Mzuzu to meet the president in buses under police escort.
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