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Albinos call for security as sorcerers bay for their body parts

14 September 2015, 09:14 Dareel Eric

Vihiga - People living with albinism in the country have called on government to provide them with adequate security as electioneering period in Tanzania takes centre stage.

This follows an attack on one of them in Vihiga County, Enoch Jamenya Lugadiru, where he sustained deep cuts on his ears and fingers with the attackers saying they wanted his body parts taken to Tanzania.

National Coordinator for Albinos Empowerment Network, Martin Wanyonyi noted that electioneering periods in Tanzania have always posed a threat to people living with albinism as their body parts are superstitiously believed to bring success.

“We do not know what cheats the sorcerers that albinos’ body parts will help them win elections. We want the government to take a decisive decision on this issue because it is a threat to our lives,” said Wanyonyi.

He added, “Since 2009, we have been asking the government to provide security to people living with albinism in vain.”

Read Also: Malawi arrests 4 over albino murder

He said the National Assembly should come up with proper and comprehensive legislation to help protect albinos.

“When Tanzania adopted tough legislations that have made it difficult for albinos to be attacked anyhow and their body parts used by sorcerers, they have turned to Kenya where there is no legislation,” said Wanyonyi.   

He said if the attacks on albinos persist, those who live in interior parts of the country will have no peace and may not have confidence to come into public limelight due to fear of being attacked.

He said they will organise peaceful demonstrations in the country if the government does not address the issue within the shortest time possible.     

Jamenya, 36, was attacked at his home in Gavudunyi village, Hamisi constituency while sleeping on September 10.

While recalling the night, Jamenya said that the attackers requested him to be calm so that they could chop his ear and some fingers to be taken to Tanzania or they kill him altogether.

“I was asleep and suddenly realised that three people were in my house. They asked me to remain calm so they could chop parts of my body. I tried to resist and that is when they inflicted deep cuts on my ear and hand with the sharp objects they were carrying,” said Jamenya.

He said he could not recall anything else after the attack as he fainted only to wake up at hospital on Friday.

His brother, Nixon Muhole, said that they only found Jamenya bleeding in the morning and rushed him to Hamisi sub-county hospital where he was quickly referred to Vihiga Hospital.

“Jamenya lives by himself because he is a widower. When one of his sons came in the morning to check on him, he found him lying in a pool of blood helpless,” said Muhole.

“He is a Jua Kali artisan and survives on the little that he gets in a given day. The attackers must have just targeted parts of his body,” he said.

Doctors at Vihiga Hospital noted Jamenya was responding well to medication and was out of danger.

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