Malawian Government has offered cash rewards of 7,000 dollars for information about abductions and killing of people with albinism as anger over government inaction grew ahead of national elections.

Belief in witchcraft is widespread in rural Malawi, one of the world’s poorest countries, fuelling ritual killings particularly targeting people with albinism because of the belief that their body parts can increase wealth.

The renewed focus on albino murders comes after the New Year’s Day killing of Yasin Phiri in the presence of his young son.

Local media said the man’s arms were hacked off, his teeth pulled and his private parts removed, prompting calls by local and international civil society groups for government action.

President Peter Mutharika’s office said in a statement that the government will reward five million kwacha to anyone providing information that is proven to be credible relating to any conspiracy to abduct or kill persons with albinism.