trade in body parts of the special people is driven by belief that they
bring luck and wealth.
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
with albinism are regularly attacked by people who chop their limbs off
– an act which either leaves them severely mutilated, or dead.
a hereditary genetic condition which causes a total absence of
pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes, 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.
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.
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.
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.
it is understood suspicion turned on Pendo’s father after he took
half-an-hour to report her abduction, despite there being neighbours who
could have helped as soon as she was taken.
is not just parents. A 38-year-old woman with albinism was attacked
with machetes by her husband and four other men while she was sleeping
in February 2013, according to a UN report.
living with albinism in Tanzania fear the lure of making a couple of
hundred dollars – three times the minimum wage earned in the country –
is placing them in danger, even from their own families.
we can see the parents who are involved in planning the attacks. What
kind of war are we fighting if parents and family do this? Who can we
trust?’ Josephat Torner, who campaigns for albino rights, asked.
who himself is albino, added: ‘People with the albinism are being
hunted and killed for our body parts. It is because people want to
living in danger. It is because people, they have different ideas. Some
people, they are thinking they should get our body parts and sell to
Josephat – who has received death threats for his work, and was
attacked in 2012 – said: ‘The big fishes are behind the issue. It has
been really a big discussion. If I say big fish, or big people, it is
those who have enough resources, enough money.
are, campaigners know, times when more albino attacks take place. And
they know, with the general election coming up in October, now is one of
the most dangerous times to be an albino.
the course of just 11 days last year, there were three attacks and two
attempted attacks on people with albinism in Tanzania.
man, thought to be in his early 20s, was found lying dead, his body
mutilated, in the grass by some schoolchildren in a suburb of Dar Es
to Under the Same Sun, a witch doctor had received an order from a
wealthy client indicating that if Pendo’s arm could be provided, it
would garner a price of $600.
‘safer places’ are the centres set up around the country, where large
number of people with albinism are living behind high walls for their
the end of the day, families or communities do not want to allow them
to go back. These children are growing up without any parental care.’
you ask the community why now are they forcing their children to the
camps, they are saying it is where they belong. But we are not for the
camps: we are for the community.’