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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Albino child attacked with machete while on mother’s back

This article first appeared in Nipashe(a Kiswahili newspaper)on 13th February, 2010 and was translated into English by Jean Burke

An albino infant Fatuma Khalfani (1) was admitted to Tumbi hospital of the Coast region after being seriously injured on her left leg by people suspected of being traders of albino-body parts.

According to the mother, Rukia Khalfani (32), resident of Ruvu of Bagamoyo district, the incident took place at the end of last week when she was outside her home at about 9 pm whilst carrying her child on her back.

Rukia said that when outside, she was suddenly attacked with machetes on her back where her child was being carried, which injured her child on the thigh.
She said she cried out for help but the person attacked with the machete again injuring her child behind the left knee.

"I ran inside but that person, wearing Maasai clothes, continued to follow and hit me with an axe on my thigh and face and then my husband, Mohamed Hussein,who was inside the house, went outside and looked around everywhere but couldn’t see anyone.

She said they then rang the police and went to the Teule hospital for treatment.
Rukia, mother of five children of whom two are albino, has appealed to the government to consider the possibility of renting a room for them outside the area because she is frightened to return to her house due to the frequent threats following the recent emerging wave of albino murders.

"We are progressing well with treatment, and I thank the nurses and doctors, but I fear that when I am discharged, I don’t know where I will go. I am very scared to return. My house is behind a large forest, so I am not at peace because there have been frequent threats that I and my child could be killed."

The Police Commander of the Coast region, Absalom Mwakyoma, said police are investigating this incident to find out whether the attacker was an albino-murderer or an armed robber.