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Monday, December 8, 2008

The Legs of an Albino recovered at a Witchdoctor’s

It was in the news the other day (on ITV). The presenter of the news warned us, the viewers, that the images we were about to see were disturbing. I braced myself to face the disturbing images.

The story was of an albino boy who was killed with his head being chopped off and both his legs being hewn off and taken away. The boy’s mother who is a cripple told the sad story to journalists.

When the alarm (of the killing) was raised, a thorough search was conducted by the authorities in Bukombe District where the boy’s home was.

One thing led to another and, finally, the mutilated legs of the boy were found in a local witchdoctor’s house. The pictures of these dismembered limbs sent shivers down my spine. I couldn’t bring myself to understand this heartlessness and gory inhumanity meted on a fellow human being.

To add salt to injury, the boy was the bread-winner for the family as the mother is a cripple. Talk of a family blighted and thrown down a bottomless abyss!

My Two Cents: Local witchdoctors should undergo a rigorous and exhaustive system of ascertaining their “genuineness” and “integrity in the business” before they are licensed. Witchdoctors who are found to be advocating for the killing of albinos (or prescribing the usage of albino body parts) should be de-licensed. Legal proceedings should also be instituted against the proponents of this cowardly act.

The responsibility of making sure albinos are safe lies not only on the shoulders of the government, but also on the shoulders of the community and society that surrounds them.

The Prayer of an Albino in Tanzania

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