JUSTICE FOR ALBINO KILLERS

Vicky Ntetema has written to TA from Dar es Salaam to describe the continuing persecution of Albinos in various parts of Tanzania and the punishment being doled out it the courts for those found guilty. Among the recent cases she mentions are the following:

– Kenyan Nathan Mutei was sentenced to 17 years in prison with hard labour after admitting in a Mwanza court that he wanted to sell a fellow Kenyan Albino, Robinson Mkwama, for $260,000. Mutei pleaded guilty on 18th August. Almost 50% of the murders of persons with albinism between 2006 and 2010 were committed in Mwanza region. Mutei will serve the jail term in Kenya. In his plea of mitigation Mutei explained to the court that he arrived in Tanzania in June this year with the intention of seeking a witchdoctor for his personal problems. But the witchdoctor told him that he had to bring albino organs. On August 10th he left to find a person with albinism in Kenya. Two days later he was back in Mwanza and ready to sell Mkwama but walked into a police trap.

– Three men are on death row after the Kahama High Court found them guilty of brutally killing a 13-year-old boy in Shinyanga region in December 2008. The men, including a witchdoctor, severed the legs and took them to the home of the sangoma.

– Also in Kahama, in April 2010, a thirteen year old girl narrowly escaped death after three men severed her right arm. The men broke into her home where she was sleeping with her mother, terrorised the occupiers of the compound using hand grenades and shooting in the air and ordered the family to pour kerosene on the girl’s severed arm ‘to stop the bleeding’. When they could not find kerosene, they broke into a shop nearby, stole the liquid and handed it to the family members before speeding off.

– In April 2010 a four-year-old child in Kigoma Region had her left leg and left arm chopped off and was left to die just 200 metres from her home compound.

– Four men including village leaders are to hang for the brutal slaughter of 54-year-old Lyaku Willy in November 2009 in Shinyanga Region. Lyaku’s headless body was fished out from the River Kidamlida. His head and legs were recovered from the home of one of the killers.

– Kazamiri Mashauri is facing the hangman’s noose for the ferocious slaughter of five-year-old Mariamu Emmanuel on 21st January 2008 in Misungwi District, Mwanza region. The fifty-year-old man was convicted by the Mwanza High Court in July. Kazimiri and three others entered the house, slashing Mariamu’s throat open, drinking her blood before severing her legs and vanishing in the darkness.

The Tanzania Red Cross Society, UNICEF and local authorities in the Shinyanga region have received $25,000 to help set up camps for ‘Internally Displaced Persons with Albinism.’

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