TZ to highlight Albino plight

Tanzania's Albinos are a hunted species. The illicit trade in their body parts has led to persecution, torture and killings of Albinos

Tanzania’s Albinos are a hunted species. The illicit trade in their body parts has led to persecution, torture and killings of Albinos

President Jakaya Kikwete will grace the 10th World Albino Day event this Saturday in Arusha where he is expected to unveil how his government has aggressively dealt with the issue of Albino persecution and killings in the country. He is expected to use the platform to raise more awareness about Albino plight across the country.

The event will bring together about 150,000 people with Albinism, this according to the Tanzania Albino Society (TAS).

This year’s World Albino Day will be held while scores of children and adults with albinism in Tanzania and Sub-Saharan Africa continue to face enormous stigma, persecution, torture and death, all these challenges make it harder for this population to live a normal life.

Over 98 percent of the population dies from skin cancer before celebrating their 40th birthday as they lack melanin in their skin.

Tanzania in particular in recent years has grappled with the scourge of Tanzania’s seeking out Albinos and killing them for witchcraft and ritualistic purposes of getting rich or power.

Records show about 75 Albinos have been killed senselessly by people who believe in witchcraft, and hundreds have sustained serious body injuries that they will endure for the rest of their lives.

Very few of the perpetrators of these crimes have been prosecuted.

Arusha Regional Commissioner, Felix Ntibenda said “we are going to use the event to raise awareness about the situation in Tanzania where more than 75 people with albinism have so far been killed and many others maimed for life, with the victims continuing to suffer the wrath of witchcraft and supernatural beliefs.”

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) figures show that Arusha has nearly 732 people with albinism.