East Africa

Tanzania’s albinos hacked apart by witchdoctors who believe their body parts ‘bring luck’ in sick trade ‘fuelled by the country’s elite’

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Hunted down like animals and sold by their own families for £50,000: Tanzania’s albinos hacked apart by witchdoctors who believe their body parts ‘bring luck’ in sick trade ‘fuelled by the country’s elite’
  • WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT 
  • Tanzania has the highest number of killings and attacks in Africa
  • Trade in body parts driven by belief albinos bring luck and wealth   
  • Witchdoctors turning bodies worth thousands into charms and potions
  • Greed drives husbands to turn on wives, parents to turn on own children 
  • Buyers thought to be some of Tanzania’s richest and most powerful people
  • Fears killings will rise as the presidential election approaches in October
Tanzania's albino population is being hunted down by people who want to turn their body parts into potions and charms

Tanzania’s albino population is being hunted down by people who want to turn their body parts into potions and charms

 

Tanzania’s albinos are being ‘hunted down like animals’ as greed for money and influence drives families to turn on their own loved ones in a trade allegedly fuelled by some of the country’s most powerful people.

It is believed albino body parts will bring a person wealth, or luck – and for that, people are willing to pay as much as $3,000 or $4,000 for a limb, or as much as $75,000 – about £50,000 – for the ‘full set’, a whole body.

People with albinism are regularly attacked by people who chop their limbs off – an act which either leaves them severely mutilated, or dead.

Albinism, a hereditary genetic condition which causes a total absence of pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes, albinism affects one Tanzanian in 1,400, often as a result of inbreeding in remote and rural communities, experts say.

In the West, it affects just one person in 20,000.

Since people began collecting records of the attacks, there have been 74 killings and 59 survivors of attacks. Even the dead are not safe: 16 graves have been robbed.

And these are only the recorded cases.

The most recent case saw four-year-old Pendo Emmanuelle Nundi abducted from her home in December.

Her father and uncle were both arrested in connection with her disappearance, but – despite rewards offered of £1,130 and promises of swift action from the police – she has not been found.

Charities working in the area do not hold out much hope she will be returned safely, but – listening to survivors’ stories – it is likely her end is, or will be brutal.

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