Story by David Smith of Guardian UK and Baraka Mfunguo's pre- editorial note. The Guardian UK story and its authenticity remains intact. The blogger wishes to acknowledge the efforts of the Guardian correspondents regarding Albino killings in Africa and continues to support the efforts towards eliminating these aggressions to human beings over decades.
-There is a graphic image, your discretion is highly adviced.
By Baraka Mfunguo,
It is very unfortunate as a country we have reached at this stage. It is shocking, where most of the security apparatus put their concentration to politicians and their families leave the most vulnerable in need. Time has come for that to come to an end. This is a conspiracy as they are trying to put it to the world. The blame is within your shoulders, our shoulders, my shoulder because I am also ashamed.
We can not tolerate to build a society where a leader and his/her followers believes in witchcraft to be successful. We know for good those who are involved in this business are at the high hierarchy in whether politics, business or technocrats in the government machinery. The perpetrators are doing it at the expense of their foolishness. Time has come.
I urge all and international human rights practitioners to support and protect people with Albinisms against these Tanzanian politician savages and their counterparts who are the most recipients and beneficiary in this God forbid dirty business of killing their fellow human beings. Because Tanzanian system has failed us and has failed like many important issues in the country, to do so.
IT WAS A KID . AN INNOCENT CHILD! MY GOD . CAN'T YOU SEE! LOOK AT YOUR SHAME THAT YOU HAVE CAUSED.
Albino children studying at the Mitindo primary school for the blind in Tanzania. At least 74 people with albinism have been murdered in the country since 2000. Photograph: Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images
By David Smith,
A one-year-old boy with albinism has been found dead in Tanzania with his arms and legs hacked off, the latest such murder for body parts used by witch doctors.
Yohana Bahati was kidnapped by men who broke into his home and slashed his mother with machetes in the northern district of Chato late on Saturday. Police found his mutilated body on Tuesday afternoon in a forest area near his home.
“His arms and legs were hacked off,” Joseph Konyo, the regional police chief, told Agence France-Presse on Wednesday.
The baby’s mother, Ester Jonas, 30, is in a serious condition in hospital with machete cuts to her face and arms after she tried to protect her son. The father, who was nearby during the attack, is being questioned by police.
The killing follows the snatching in December of Pendo Emmanuelle Nundi, a four-year-old girl with albinism, by an armed gang, also in northern Tanzania. Several arrests were made but the child is still missing.
Body parts from people with albinism are removed to make charms and spells that witch doctors claim bring good luck and wealth. The body parts sell for around $600 (£389) in Tanzania, with an entire corpse fetching $75,000 (£48,619), according to the UN.
Alvaro Rodriguez, the UN’s country chief, was quoted by AFP as saying he was “deeply concerned by the abductions of these two young children”, adding that at least 74 people with albinism have been murdered in Tanzania since 2000.
“These attacks are accompanied by a high degree of impunity, and while Tanzania has made efforts to combat the problem, much more must be done to put an end to these heinous crimes and to protect this vulnerable segment of the population.”
The UN has warned that such attacks are increasing ahead of elections in Tanzania in October, with politicians turning to witch doctors to improve their luck.
Rodriguez added: “This is the year of elections in Tanzania and, as some analysts have suggested, it could be a dangerous year for people living with albinism.”
The country banned witchcraft in December in an attempt to prevent attacks and kidnappings. But Vicky Ntetema, executive director of Under The Same Sun, a Canadian nonprofit organisation working to defend people with albinism, criticised political leaders for failing to intensify the effort.
“There’s absolutely no political will among leaders to end these macabre killings ... what is so special with these (traditional) healers to the extent that our leaders ignore albino killings?
“Albinism is not a disease. People must understand albinos are normal people like everyone else and the government has a role to play to ensure this education reaches many people since most of the killings involve members of the family.”
Albinism is a hereditary genetic condition which causes a total absence of pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes. A 2006 report by BMC Public Health said albinism affects one Tanzanian in 1,400 - around 33,000 people – a far higher rate than in the west, where it affects just one in 20,000. The cause is thought to be inbreeding.
A US survey in 2010 found that while most people in Tanzania are Christian or Muslim, 93% said they believed in witchcraft.