Tragically, in parts of Africa, albinos (people or animals that lack normal pigmentation in their skin, hair and eyes) are mercilessly targeted by witch doctors and others who make money off of these innocent people. Apparently, there are those who believe that potions containing the blood and/or body parts of albinos brings good health and fortune to those who drink the potion, so these witch doctors capitalize on those foolish notions by killing albinos for their body parts. And they don’t seem to care about the age of their victims.
Kazimiri Mashauri, 50, chopped the limbs off a 5-year-old girl in Tanzania then drank her blood, leaving the little one to die. For that, he has received a much deserved death sentence.
Then there’s the 28-year-old Kenyan, Nathan Mutei, who was just arrested in Tanzania after supposedly trying to sell his albino friend, 20-year-old Robinson Mkwama, to a buyer for a whopping $260,000. Mkwama had no clue what was in store for him, since his “friend” Nathan tricked him into traveling to Tanzania (illegally, I might add) for a job non-existent job opportunity, unless you consider that he was the job. With friends like that, who needs enemies. He was sentenced to 17 years in prison for his actions.
And now word from Swaziland – an 11-year-old albino girl, Banele Nxumalo, was found dead in what appears to be a ritual murder. She had been shot and then beheaded while on her way home from a day at the river bathing and washing some clothes with her friends. The man who grabbed the girl was wearing a balaclava (ski mask) to ensure, I would assume, that he was not identifiable by the young friends who witnessed the attack. The spineless reprobate shot the little girl in the back and then dragged her off. Banele’s father, whose Uncle was also an albino had this to say: “What happened to my child is very painful. I wonder why albinos are targeted because they are just humans like us and a gift from God.”
The increase in trafficking and targeting albino body parts started in 2007, since it has become a profitable venture for many.
The Tanzanian police estimates at £50,000 “the value to witch doctors of a complete set of albino body parts, including all four limbs, genitals, ears, nose and tongue.”
That’s a lot of money, so attempting to stop this hideous practice might be very challenging, but it’s up to the courts to ensure that with the practice comes severe punishment. Burundi also has a problem with albino killings, but unlike Tanzania, it has a better track record in convictions. As long as they feel they can get away with it, they will continue to harvest limbs from albinos. And with some 150,000 albinos in Tanzania alone, that’s a lot of potential targets. There have already been a slew of killings in the past 2 years, alone.
According to a Canadian-based NGO,
“This brings the total in Tanzania to 57 murders and six attempted murders, where victims lost limbs. In Burundi the total is 14 murders. These are only the documented cases. The numbers are likely much higher – estimates suggesting well over a hundred in the last two years,” the NGO said.
“Sadly justice has been far too slow in coming. Of the 63 reported cases in Tanzania, a mere two have been brought to conviction in the last two years. In sharp contrast, 12 of Burundi’s 14 cases have led to convictions,” the group said.
Something has to be done to protect these people who are only different because they lack normal pigmentation.