Police have said that they have taken to court all people suspected of being involved in the killing of albinos and the subsequent sale of parts of their bodies to be used by witchdoctors. However a Police spokesperson said it was near impossible to control elements bent on perpetrating the killing of albinos “if the communities continue harbouring these murderers and their accomplices.”
Mwanza Regional Police Commander Jamal Rwambow said that 11 albinos – five men, a woman and five children – had been murdered in his region. He added that 28 suspects had been arrested and charged in court.
Six suspects were arraigned in Mara, two in Mbeya and one in Shinyanga.
Tanzania has more than 8,000 registered albinos. Addressing a rally organised by the Tanzania Albino Society, President Kikwete said the government would stand firm in its efforts to ensure the safety of albinos and would not tolerate anyone bent on harming them – Guardian.
More incidents reported
In November however a more sinister development was reported in the Guardian. There were two attempts to catch albino children. In Kibondo District attackers forced a woman to take them to her home, to look for her nine-year-old daughter. The girl was not in the house and so the men attacked the mother. In the second attack, a gang of four men broke into a house at the Lugufu camp in Kigoma, which hosts refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo, looking for a child with albinism. The child, aged two, escaped kidnap after falling under the bed unnoticed.
Police in south-western Tanzania then arrested a man who was attempting to sell his albino wife to Congolese traders.
The BBC’s Vicky Ntetema in Dar es Salaam said that the attacks appeared to have spread from north-western Tanzania, where they were first reported.
On November 22 the Shinyanga Regional Police Commander was reported to have said that a clandestine albino killing network had been discovered but some traditional healers in Kahama alleged that some members of the police force had taken over TShs 30m/- from them in return for not arresting them. Healers were allegedly being forced to pay between TShs 500,000/- and 1m/- or risk arrest. Bullying was said to be involved as those without money were taken for questioning.