Kenyan jailed for trying to sell albino
A court in Tanzania has sentenced a Kenyan accused of trying to sell an
albino to 17 years in jail and a fine of more than $50,000 (£41,200).
The court sentenced Nathan Mutei after he pleaded guilty to human
trafficking. Police said they arrested Mutei in a sting operation as he
tried to sell an albino fellow Kenyan for the equivalent of more than
Mutei, 28, was arrested just outside the town of Mwanza.
In Tanzania, the body parts of people living with albinism are used by
witch-doctors for potions which they tell clients will help make them
rich or healthy. Dozens of albinos have been killed, and the killings
have spread to neighbouring Burundi.
Tanzanian authorities have promised to crack down on albino
traffickers, and several people have been sentenced to death in
connection with killings.
August 18, 2010
Tanzanian Man Sentenced to Hang for Killing Albino
A Tanzanian man, Kazimiri Mashauri, 50, was sentenced to death by
hanging for murdering a 5-year-old albino child whose body was
discovered in 2008 with the legs cut off and drained of blood (...).
Dozens of albinos have been reported murdered in Tanzania where
witchdoctors spread the false belief that expensive concoctions made
from albinos’ limbs, genitals, hair and skin will bring good luck.
July 28, 2010
Impunity for ritual murderers of albinos continues
Summary in English:
Three albinos have been murdered between february and april 2010 whereas
in the same periode four attempts to kidnap and murder albinos failed.
The Canadian ngo 'Under the same sun' ('Sous le même soleil') reports
that ritual killers in Tanzania and in neighboring Burundi continue to
get away with their heinous crimes. The related witchcraft practices are
concentrated in the Lake Victoria region. Arms, legs, and parts of the
victim's head sell for as much as US$ 75,000 whereas 'just one leg'
costs US $ 3,000.
Last year about 40 albinos, most of them children, were murdered and
mutilated for witchcraft purposes.
Since 2007 out of 57 ritual murders only in two cases perpetrators were
brought to justice and condemned but the convicted manage to stay out of
prison because of the involvement of higher-ups in these crimes,
confirms Peter Ash, president of 'Under the same sun'.
May 10, 2010
Death for albino killers
A court in north-western Tanzania has sentenced three men to death by
hanging for killing a 14-year-old albino boy. They were found guilty of
attacking Matatizo Dunia and severing his legs in Bukombe district in
Shinyanga province. (...) this is the first conviction.
The three men attacked and killed the young boy last December - one
of a string of more than 50 albino murders that have taken place in
Tanzania over the past two years.
Witchdoctors in Tanzania and other parts of East Africa - especially
Burundi - have made tens of thousands of dollars from selling
potions and other items made from the bones, hair, skin and genitals
of dead albino people. Witchdoctors pay a lot of money for body
(...) BBC Africa analyst Mary Harper says in a country as poor as
Tanzania, it is likely that some murders will continue because so
much money can be made from selling the body parts.
September 23, 2009
Human Body Parts Don't Create Wealth
Human skin appears to be one of the most sought-after things by
ritual killers in Africa.
During the early 2000s, there were
widespread cases of people being killed and skinned in Mbeya
region of Tanzania and Mwiki outskirts of Nairobi.
Investigations by the media and police revealed there was a high
demand for human skin in Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, South
Africa where it fetched $2,400 (Sh180,000) to $9,600 (Sh180,000)
depending on the age of the victim.
"They are cutting us up like chickens. Our biggest fear now is
the fear of living. If you leave work at night as an albino you
are unsure of reaching home safely. When you sleep you are
unsure of waking up in one piece. In the streets you hear people
plotting how they can get you," lamented Zihada Msembo,
Tanzanian Albino Society secretary general.
The case of Elizabeth Hussein, a 13-year-old girl from
Shinyanga, is a testimony to the plight of albinos in Tanzania.
After leaving home alone to watch a film about Jesus in the
village centre, the girl had signed her own death warrant. On
her way back, she was waylaid and hacked to bits by a
Official reports in Tanzania indicate that 35 albinos were
murdered in 2008 (...) Reports also indicate that albino body
parts harvested in Tanzania are being exported to neighbouring
countries where they fetch higher prices. In one instance last
year, a Tanzanian trader was intercepted travelling to the
Democratic Republic of Congo with an albino baby head in his
September 17, 2009
Court told how albino was lured to his death
Four people appeared before the High Court in Shinyanga yesterday
charged with the murder of a 54-year-old albino man.
It was the first time that suspects had appeared in court in connection
with the wave of ritual killings targeting albinos that began two years
The four men, including two village leaders, were charged with murdering
mentally retarded Lyaku Willy albino by slitting his throat before
chopping off his legs, which they took away, and dumping the body in a
well. The offence allegedly took place last November at Nkindwabuye
Village in Bariadi District.
It is estimated that at least 45 people with albinism have been brutally
murdered in various regions since 2007.
The killings are most prevalent in mining and fishing communities in the
Lake Zone regions, especially Mwanza, Shinyanga and Mara.
Yesterday's trial opened a few weeks after 11 people appeared in court
in Burundi, charged with the ritual killings of a dozen albinos.
Albino trials begin
Seven people have gone on trial in Tanzania accused of murdering
albino people and selling their body parts for use in witchcraft.
More than 40 albinos have been killed there in the last 18 months.
Human rights organisations have expressed shock it has taken so
long for the trials, in Shinyanga and Kahama in the north of the
country, to begin.
In Shinyanga, in the north-west, four men pleaded not guilty to
carrying out a gruesome murder. They were accused of attacking a
young albino woman, cutting off her head and limbs which were
stuffed into a plastic bag and then dumping her torso in a well.
In nearby Kahama, three men also pleaded not guilty to killing a
13-year-old albino boy and severing his legs.
Last month, a similar trial began in neighbouring Burundi, with
11 men accused of attempting to killing albino people and
selling their body parts. Some were believed to have been traded
over the border to Tanzania.
June 9, 2009
Regional parliament decries albino killings
The East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) has decried the killing
of albinos in the region and urged "tougher measures" to stop the
ritual murders and protect albinos. (...) At the ongoing meeting of
the regional parliament in Bujumbura, Burundi, MPs from the five EAC
member states called for regional cooperation to protect albinos
victimised by superstitious fortune seekers.
More than 40 albinos have been murdered in Tanzania in the past year
alone by fortune seekers acting on recommendations from witchdoctors.
The killings are also rampant in some parts of Burundi and Kenya.
The Tanzania Albino Society in Arusha says the total number of
murdered albinos in the country is as high as 80.
The legislators said while "considerable progress" had been made on
human rights issues in the EA region, the current killings and
hostility portrayed towards the albino community showed there was
still a long way to go in achieving the full respect for human
May 30, 2009
Tanzanians urged to name albino killers
Tanzania is launching a nationwide exercise urging the public to
identify those behind dozens of murders of people with albinism.
Legal officials will gather the names and pass them to the police.
President Jakaya Kikwete said the public should not fear retribution
for naming the culprits.
The killers reportedly sell albino body parts - including limbs,
hair, skin and genitals - to witchdoctors who make potions
promising to make people wealthy.
In the past 15 months, 45 albinos have been slaughtered in
President Kikwete announced the nationwide exercise during his
end of the month speech on Saturday. It will start within the
next fortnight in the Lake Zone regions of Mwanza, Kagera, Mara
and Shinyanga - where 44 out of the 45 albino murders have taken
Our BBC reporter says more than 200 people - including
alleged witchdoctors, their clients, hired killers and some of
the victims' relatives - have been arrested in connection with
the killings in the last year. No-one has so far been convicted,
Last week, in neighbouring Burundi, assailants reportedly
dismembered a six-year-old albino boy in his home in front of
his parents, the eighth albino killing in that country.
Last month, a pastor was charged in Tanzania with being found in
possession of the body parts of an albino.
March 2, 2009
Tanzanians urged to name albino kilers in
"Even the officer in charge ... will not know who you named,"
President Jakaya Kikwete said in a speech seen by Reuters on
Wednesday. "I am urging you to help us in stopping these cruel acts
and this shame on our country."
The violence has also spread to neighbouring states, with at least
one albino murder each in Burundi and Kenya last year.
Police in those countries say Tanzanians ordered the killings.
The killing of albinos for witchcraft is not unique to east Africa.
It is a common problem in several west African nations and
one of the films at the pan-African film and television festival
this year is about an albino murdered in Mali.
During a visit to Tanzania last week, U.N. Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon demanded an end to what he called "superstitious behaviour"
and an "unacceptable violation of human rights."
March 4, 2009
Illegal healers arrested
Three traditional healers in northern Tanzania have been arrested
for defying a government ban (...).
It was meant to stop killings of people with albinism for ritual
medicine. Their arrest follows charges against a pastor - Cosmas
Mwasenga - who was allegedly found in south-western Tanzania in
possession of the body parts of an albino.
Their arrests come days after the murder of a 14-year-old albino
girl in the northern Mwanza region, bringing the national death toll
to 45 since mid-2007.
Our reporter says more than 200 people - including witchdoctors,
their clients, hired killers and some of the victims' relatives -
have been arrested in connection with the killings in the last year.
February 23, 2009
Shame of albino ritual murders - Editorial
Despite the Tanzanian prime minister shedding tears during the just
ended parliamentary sessions for people living with albinism, their
killing for ritual purposes shamelessly continues.
In one of the latest of such incidents, suspects — including a
clergyman — were arrested in Mbeya with parts alleged to have been
severed from the body of a murdered albino.
This absurd and barbaric practice must stop at once.
February 21, 2009
Albinos rally behind Premier on killings
Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda's increasingly candid and emotive
crusade against the ritual killings of albinos received a boost
yesterday, with the announcement of a demonstration in the lakeside
town of Mwanza in his support. (...) A group of albinos in the Lake
Zone, which has been the epicentre of numerous brutal attacks on
people suffering from the skin condition by crooks sent by
witchdoctors to harvest their body parts, said they would
demonstrate tomorrow to endorse Mr Pinda's stand against the
They said they agreed with the Prime Minister's controversial
statement that people caught red-handed, killing albinos should also
be killed on the spot.
February 1, 2009
Pinda sheds tears over albino killings
Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda was yesterday moved to tears on the
floor of Parliament in Dodoma, on being asked to explain his recent
remark that those responsible for the ongoing brutal ritual killings
of albinos in some parts of the country must also be killed.
In his clarification, Mr Pinda did not deny issuing such a
statement, but said that it had be misinterpreted. He said his only
intention was to show the seriousness with which the Government was
addressing the albino killing menace.
The Premier added: "Since such incidents were first reported in
2006, some 34 people have been killed, 28 of them in the past year
alone. We can't allow this to continue."
Mr Pinda also said that 2,866 elderly people had been murdered in 10
regions in the past five years, an average of 573 a year, accused of
"The Government is appalled at the rampant killings of albinos on
witchcraft beliefs. These are nothing but ruthless killings, which
have no justification at all," Mr Pinda told an attentive Parliament.
Mr Pinda sparked off the controversy in Tabora, where he addressed a
rally shortly after visiting an albino child who had survived an
attack by assailants who tried to chop off his hand.
More than 30 albinos have been killed since 2006 by criminals
commissioned to harvest their body parts, including genitals, limbs,
breasts, fingers and tongues.
These are reportedly in high demand from superstitious people
involved in mining and fishing in the Lake Victoria Zone, especially
Mwanza, Shinyanga and Mara regions.
(...) Last November, Shinyanga Regional Police Commander Shaibu
Ibrahim announced that 84 witchdoctors, eight suspected traffickers
of albino body parts, and 17 "middlemen" had been arrested in recent
January 30, 2009
PM: Yes, killers of albinos should die
People caught red-handed killing albinos should also be killed on
the spot, Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda has reiterated.
"It may be an unusual statement by a prime minister, and I wish to
confirm that I made the remarks to send a clear message to albino
killers: they should know that if they are caught, they will have to
face the fate they had hoped their victims would suffer," he said in
an exclusive interview with The Citizen.
The Citizen had sought clarification from the prime minister after
he was quoted as directing members of the ruling CCM's youth wing to
kill people caught in the act of killing albinos. The remarks drew
sharp criticism from human rights activists, legal experts and the
The opposition NCCR-Mageuzi said in a news conference on Sunday that
Mr Pinda's remarks were 'irresponsible and totally unacceptable',
and asked President Jakaya Kikwete to immediately sack him. The
party's secretary-general, Mr Samuel Ruhuza, said the remarks made a
mockery of the principles of the rule of law and encouraged mob
But Mr Pinda brushed aside the criticisms, saying
"A person who knows that he will be killed when caught in the act of
killing an albino will think twice before embarking on such an evil
More than 58 people have been arrested in Mwanza, Mara, Kagera,
Shinyanga, and Mbeya regions where the belief that albino body parts
can make one fabulously wealthy virtually overnight is rife among
January 28, 2009
Traditional doctors up in arms over ban by
Traditional doctors have criticised the Government's decision to
revoke their licences in a raft of measures announced Friday to stop
albino killings in the country.
At a rally in Shinyanga Region on Friday, prime Minister Mizengo
Pinda - during a tour of regions worst affected by albino killings -
announced that all traditional doctors' licences had been cancelled
with immediate effect. Shinyanga region has the largest number of
traditional healers and is one of the areas worst hit by albino
killings in the country.
The PM called witchdoctors "big liars" (...)
Police and albino rights groups in the country say albino killers
sell body parts including limbs, hair, skin and genitals to
witchdoctors for use in rituals with fortune seekers.
The national death toll of albinos in ritual related cases is now
reaching nearly 40 since June 2007.
More than 2,500 elderly people have also been killed countrywide
since 2003 on suspicion of bewitching other people. In both cases,
witch doctors are accused of playing the advisor role to the
About 172 suspects have been arrested in connection with albino
killings in the country. But albino rights groups and some members
of the public say the judiciary has not been forthcoming in
convicting the suspects. And the association of albinos in the
country alleges that some police officers are receiving bribes from
suspects of the killings.
President Jakaya Kikwete once promised that the Government would
provide special security arrangements for albinos in a bid to reduce
the risks of attacks.
January 26, 2009
The Tanzanian authorities have arrested more than 90 people in
recent months - including four police officers - on suspicion of
killing albinos or of trading in theor body parts. There are thought
to be more than 2000,000 albinos in the country, which has a total
population of 40 million. The killings have spread to neighbouring
states, with at least one albino murder each in Burundi and
Kenya last year.
January 26, 2009
Two suspects arrested
Police are holding two suspects in connection with the murder of a
48-year old albino, Jonas Maduka, at Sogoso village in Sengerema
disctirct on Wednesday.
Maduka's killing brings to
35 the number of albinos killed countrywide since December 2007.
Ritual murders have also killed 2,866 elderly women since 2003
mainly in Shinyanga, Tabora, Mwanza, Singida, Iringa, Kagera and
Jonas Maduka was killed at around
9:00pm when a group of people arrived at his house, asking him to
show them a house of (....) But suddenly the strangers grabbed him,
chopped off his right leg and fled with it. The body was found with
wounds on the head, hands and the remaining leg, which was also
about to be chopped off.
Upon getting information of
Maduka's killing, Mwanza regional commissioner James Msekela, police
special operations commissioner Peter Kivuyo and regional police
commander Jamal Rwambow went to Sengerema the same day to
investigate the murder.
Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda
declared 2009 the year of war against witchcraft-associated killings
of albinos in the country on Wednesday in a meeting with regional
commissioners in Mwanza City.
During the meeting, Mr Pinda warned Mwanza regional
commissioner James Mswekela that they risked punishment if they
failed to protect albinos.
January 24, 2009
Some members of the police and judiciary
allegedly collaborating with albino murderers
Mwanza regional commissioner James Msekela said (...) Some police
officers are discouraging informers and residents in the region who
are tipping them off on the murderers. Others are dubiously
releasing murder suspects from remand, said the regional
commissioner in a speech to officiate a workshop on the widespread
killings. Reading the speech on behalf of the RC, Magu district
commissioner Matthew Nasei said some members of the police and
judiciary were collaborating with albino murderers.
Mwanza and Shinyanga regions are some of the areas where albino
killings are rampant. The killers believe albino body parts function
as charm to bring wealth.
Four members of an albino family including an expectant mother were
recently killed on the same day in Magu District. The murderers, who
had at first killed only one albino from the family, took the lives
of the other three who had recognised them.
Secretary of the Sukumaland Traditional Leaders Association, Mr
Charles Dotto said many people, including the well-educated who "are
seeking promotions" and traders seeking overnight riches, were to
blame for the killings.
December 24, 2008
Ritual killings: albinos hunted
Every parent of an albino child has good reason to be frightened.
Attackers snatch albino babies from their parents’ arms or attack
them on the way to school. Others break into homes and grab them at
gun-point. (...) Up to last month, hardly a day would pass without
hearing of albinos being murdered and parts of their body missing.
(...) It is believed that these albino body parts, when mixed with a
special magic potion by witchdoctors, bring wealth.
The Tanzanian government has alerted authorities in the East African
Community to form a comprehensive plan for ending this menace.
(According to Reuters on Thursday, 25 albinos have fled village
homes near Burundi’s border with Tanzania to the small town of
Ruyigi in fear for their lives. They are under police protection.
Press reports show that at least 100 Albinos have been killed in
Tanzania in the past nine months. The killings have been rampant in
Mwanza, Mara, Shinyanga, Kigoma in the Lake Victoria zone
neighbouring Uganda and in Kagera near Burundi and the Democratic
Republic of Congo.
Police statistics show that Mwanza has the highest number of
witchdoctors with at least 3,000 registered.
According to a BBC report, last month, one albino, Nyerere
Rutahiro, was having supper in his home’s modest rural compound when
four strangers burst in. His wife could not restrain them from
hacking Rutahiro’s arms and legs with machetes. She said Rutahiro
bled to death while his hackers took off with his limbs. The
community mobilised to bury the father of two in a cement-sealed
grave to protect it against grave robbers who were expected to
return for the other body parts.
The BBC hired a sorcerer-turned-born again to do an undercover
story. Shilinde, 41, had confessed at Sengerema Evangelical Lutheran
Church that he had been a wizard since the age of three and had fled
his region for fear that his fellow sorcerers and witches would be
angered by his new faith. Undercover, he found witchdoctors who were
promising a magic concoction mixed with ground albino organs. The
starting price was $2,000 (sh3.9m) for the vital organs. Another
witch boasted that the police were also his customers and that he
could make a special potion mixed with ground male and female
private parts to enable people to commit armed robbery without being
Albinos have gone into hiding, while others have flocked urban
centres where they feel a little safer. In Dar es Salaam, the albino
community organised a rally to denounce the killings and called for
Tanzania Police say witchdoctors, middlemen and the clients who pay
for albino body parts are among the 173 people in custody so far.
None has been prosecuted. For a long time, albinos have been
marginalised as society deems them a curse.
December 5, 2008
Hunted Tanzanian albinos face 'non-future'
At least 30 albinos, including a seven-month-old baby, have been
killed in Tanzania since March.
They are targeted by killers because of the belief that their body
parts can make magic potions more effective.
As part of the initiative against the killings, a former airline
clerk called Al-Shymaa Kway-Geer was appointed to be Tanzania's
first albino MP.
Ms Kway-Geer says (...) "For two years the killings are continuing.
Before, many years back, when an albino was born, they were killed
instantly," she said. "But at the moment they're killing them; they
need their body parts. They say they'll get wealth through our body
parts, which is very, very rude - it's a rudeness."
She says she has been unable to find out who is responsible for the
killings. "This person must be very strong because whenever the
President speaks about these killings, they kill an albino," she
She says all albinos in Tanzania live with the stress of a "non-future".
"When I was young it was a little bit different. I was called names,
abused, discriminated, stigmatised. But there was no stress like the
moment. At the moment another enemy is around. Our enemy normally is
sun, but there is second enemy - the killers."
December 1, 2008
President Kikwete meeting with albinos
Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete has met albinos protesting
against the killing of members of their community for alleged ritual
Organisers of the demonstration in the commercial
capital, Dar es Salaam, urged the government to do more to protect
albinos following the murder of 30 albinos, some of them babies over
the past year. Several people have been arrested in connection
with the murders amid allegations that witchdoctors want their body
parts for potions which they say make people rich.
October 20, 2008
Albinos demonstrating to protest
Albinos in Tanzania are due to hold their first ever demonstration
later today to protest against the killing of members of their
community for ritual purposes.
October 19, 2008
Albinos go underground
Following a desperate manhunt for ritual purposes, all albinos have
gone into hiding for fear of their lives. These days, they are
hardly seen in the public. Where they are seen at all, they go with
October 11, 2008
Albinos issue threat to flee the country
Some albinos in Tanzania have said they would seek refuge in
other countries if the Tanzania Government fails to control ritual
killings frequently targeting them. Addressing a press conference in
Dar es Salaam yesterday, the chairman of the Albinos Association
Tanzania, Mr Ernest Kimaya, said presently 26 albinos have
reportedly been killed, most of them women and children. He said no
suspect had been jailed as a result of the ritual killings as most
October 15, 2008
Living in fear: Tanzania's albinos
with albinism have been murdered in Tanzania since march, a BBC
investigation has found. Albino's are targeted for body parts that
are used in witchcraft (...). The last victim was a seven-month-old
baby. The last adult albino to be murdered - just a few weeks ago -
was Nyerere Rutahiro. (...)
July 21, 2008
- Tanzania albinos targeted again
Tanzanian police say another albino man has been murdered - the 26th
victim in the country in under a year.
The attackers reportedly
severed the man's right foot and genitalia. His wife, also an
albino, was also injured.
July 27, 2008
- When mps believe in witchcraft!
were, in the past few days, dominated by a suspected witchcraft
incident which took place at Parliamentary premises, located in the
national capital of Dodoma.
The saga started with a rumour that on the eve of the 2008/2009
budget day, an alleged superstitious MP accompanied by a staff
member of the Speaker`s Office sneaked in the Parliament chamber
under cover of darkness and sprinkled some powdery concoction on
some legislators` seats, for reasons best known by the respective
(...) reaction to the rumour was fast and pronounced.
Some MPs were not only perplexed by the motive behind the alleged
night ritual, but also wondered aloud whether it was safe to occupy
their seats in the House.
Reports that one of the outspoken
MPs became seriously ill after attending a session in the chamber, a
day after the controversial incident, added fuel to the fire.
Thereafter, one development led to another. (...) the issue
surfaced even during the National Executive Committee meeting of the
ruling Party. It also featured in the introductory remarks of Mr.
Speaker while opening the debate on the 2008/09 Government budget.
With this kind of interventions, the drama turned into a national
It is on this basis that some observers wonder whether
most of our Honourable MPs can have guts to fight ritual albino
killers, human being skinners, ritual cannibalists, and all those
participating in anti-social witchcraft-related malpractices.
June 22, 2008
- Another albino woman murdered
Early this year, remains of another mutilated albino woman from the
same region were recovered in Tanzania missing some body organs.
Last week, a mob burnt to death 15 women accused of witchcraft in
the same region.
In April, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete
instructed police to step up the hunt for so-called witch-doctors
involved in murders and to make provisions available so that all
albinos in the country can be registered in order to increase
security for them. A Tanzanian albino group recently said it was
being targeted by witch-doctors, following a string of murders.
May 28, 2008
- Deadly harvest of body parts
albinos - some estimates put the number at over 50 - have been
killed in various parts of Tanzania in recent months for get-rich
The problem has reached such proportions that
Tanzania's President, Jakaya Kikwete, used his monthly television
address to announce a crackdown on the traditional healers as well
as plans to register albinos to improve their safety. "These
killings are shameful and distressing to our society," said Mr
Kikwete in his Wednesday night speech to the nation. "I am told that
people kill albinos and chop their body parts, including fingers,
believing they can get rich."
Kenya, Uganda, the DRC are alo mentioned in the article as well
as Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and South Africa.
May 5, 2008
- Tanzania in witchdoctor crackdown
Jakaya Kikwete has ordered a crackdown on witchdoctors who use body
parts from albinos in magic potions to bring people good luck or
"I am told that people kill albinos and chop their body
parts, including fingers, believing they can get rich when mining or
fishing," he said.
The order comes after the murder of 19
albinos in the last year.
In the past, Tanzania's Albino Society (TAS) has
accused the government of turning a blind eye to the killing of
albinos. There are more than 8,000 registered albinos in Tanzania,
although TAS believes there to be 150,000 among the country
population of some 35m.
April 3, 2008
- Tanzania fear over albino killing
Society has accused the government of turning a blind eye to the
killing of albinos, after four deaths in the past three months.
A teacher in the northern town of Arusha has been arrested for
killing his own child, who was albino.
Old women with
red eyes have been killed in parts of Tanzania in the past, after
being accused of witchcraft but our correspondent says this is the
first time that albinos have been targeted in ritual killings.
December 17, 2007
- Tanzanian 'with killers' charged
Some 20 people in Tanzania - near Makete in Iringa region -
have been charged with murdering seven men they suspected of
practising witchcraft. Among the accused are village leaders and
other local officials, who ordered the killings, according to the
Two months ago, villagers in a neighbouring
district used a secret ballot to make a list of people who they
claimed were responsible for killing old women and removing their
internal organs for witchcraft purposes.
Witchcraft-related murders seem to occur in this region during the
harvest season, when some people believe that if fresh human blood
or dried and powdered internal human organs are sprinkled over land
and buildings then business will be successful. In recent years, the
trade in human organs has been on the increase in this southern part
Human skinning, which hit the headlines two years ago, still
haunts neighbouring Mbeya region where six young people were thought
to have been killed and skinned.
August 4, 2004
Tanzania fights human skinning
Exhibits of skin are part of Tanzania's campaign to
discourage the trade in human skin at an international business
fair in the capital. Vistors to the the week-long fair in Dar es
Salaam will see a rather gruesome exhibit of human body parts in
an effort to raise awareness about the underground trade in
human skin which has hit southern Tanzania over the past two
(...) According to police the skins are in huge demand outside
Tanzania. They are transported to Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique,
South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo before
reaching their final destination in West Africa. "People are
skinned and the skin is used for their rituals." Ms Machube said.
In 2001 police broke a skin-smuggling ring and 13 people were
charged with murder.
A total of six young people are thought to have been killed
and skinned in the Mbeya region of south-western Tanzania.
Ezekiah Swila was 13-years-old when his body was found skinned
at Kisinga village. Three more cases followed in Ileje and Mbozi,
both districts in Mbeya, near the Zambian border.
July 4, 2003
Some of the following links lead to graphic pictures and description of
ritual practices including murders.
Under The Same Sun: A comprehensive site about Persons with
Albinism in Tanzania
Tanzanian albinos fight for survival: NBC Nightly News went to
Tanzania to examine the threat of death faced there by people with
1, 2009 video
Under The Same Sun founder Peter Ash estimates the total
number of deadly victims to be twice the official figure. December 3,
2008 interview with Peter Ash - CTV News Calgary.
click here for the shocking 5 minutes interview
BBC video on the horrifying spate of killings of albinos in
August 2008 video (9 minutes)
New York Times online edition airs news brief on albino
killings in Tanzania.
June 2008 video (3-4 minutes)
Al Jazeera on the killings of albinos.
July 2008 video (12 minutes)
UNICEF condemns ritual murders - Dec. 23, 2008 According to
the Tanzania Albino Society (TAS) more than 35 albinos have been killed
so far this year, with many other such cases unreported. (....) The
violence has also spread into Burundi, where a number of Albinos,
including children, have been murdered over the past few months.
Cases of albino killings have been in the spotlight for almost two years
now. This wave of cruelty is unprecedented in Tanzania's history, with
the most affected areas being the Lake Victoria regions of Mara, Mwanza,
Shinyanga and Kagera, which border Burundi Uganda and Rwanda. (...)
Incidents have been reported in other parts of Tanzania as well.
The President of Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete, has condemned the killings
and called for tough action against perpetrators. It is worth noting
that so far 173 suspects, including five policemen have been arrested in
connection with the killings.
UNICEF condemns these heinous acts as a systematic violation of
individual human rights that must be dealt with decisively.
December 23, 2008
The European Union condemns ritual murders of albinos - November
23, 2008 "Recent murders of albinos in eastern and central Africa have
attracted worldwide condemnation. At least 36 albinos have been murdered
in Tanzania and Burundi since March, apparently targeted because of the
belief peddled by some witch doctors that albinos' blood or body parts
have magical qualities that can bring riches or cure disease.
The European Union in September passed a resolution condemning the
murders and calling for the killers to be prosecuted. The UN Children's
Fund (UNICEF) has condemned recent attacks in Burundi and is working
with the governors of some provinces there to protect albinos and to
dispel the myths surrounding them. "
November 23, 2008
Mothers hacked in albino attacks
Two mothers in western Tanzania have been attacked by gangs who were
after their children who have albinism.
The women were hacked with machetes when the attackers failed to find
the two children.
November 14, 2008
Police in southwestern Tanzania say they have arrested a man
accused of attempting to sell his albino wife. The man was
allegedly planning to sell his wife to two Congolese businessmen for
November 13, 2008
Social evils seen rooted in selfishness
He said the current wave for leaders to amass wealth without regard to
the hardships the faced, was the height of falling ethics on the part of
the leaders that the people had trusted to bring them development. Mr
Mbelwa mentioned the evils in society as rising incidences of corruption,
embezzlement of public funds and the ritual killings of albinos and the
October 20, 2008
President Kikwete promises an end to ritual killings
President Jakaya Kikwete has vowed to increase public awareness
countrywide and fight against the killing for ritualistic pursposes of
Albinos as they planned an exodus out of the country.
He said already 48 Tanzanian's witch doctors and other suspects who are
marketing albino skin, bones and hair countrywide have been arrested.
(...) the chairman of the Albinos Association, Mr. Ernest Kimaya said 28
albinos have been killed countrywide and most of them women and Children
October 20, 2008
BBC operative goes under cover to the hut of a witchdoctor. He
is recorded admitting to the use of albino body parts in potions.