Thursday, May 28, 2015

‘Politicians killing albinos’

Secretary of the Council of Children with

Secretary of the Council of Children with disability in Mpanda Region, Arusha.  Shabani reads a document during a House session in Dodoma yesterday. The government has admitted that politicians could be behind increased attacks and killings of albinos. PHOTO| EDWIN MJWAHUZI 

By Bernard Lugongo The Citizen Reporter

Dodoma. The government admitted yesterday that politicians could be behind increased attacks and killings of people with albinism in the country.

The accusation came in the wake of reports that linked the country’s political power pursuit with attacks on albinos because such incidents rise during elections time.

It is erroneously believed that the body parts of persons with albinism bring fortune, and thus some politicians seek them ostensibly to boost their chances of winning in the polls.

In March, the UN condemned the wave of albino killings in Tanzania, warning that the upsurge could be linked to the forthcoming General Election campaigns.

Speaking in Geneva, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein, warned that the surge could be linked to the looming General Election in October this year, as power aspirants may be turning to sorcerers to boost the chances.

He noted that in the past six months, at least 15 people with albinism in Tanzania, Malawi and Burundi have been abducted, wounded, killed or escaped being kidnapped, including three such attacks in the past week alone.

Deputy minister for Home Affairs, Mr Pereira Silima, yesterday told the Parliament that he also had heard of the reports linking politicians with the killings of people with albinism.

“This could be true because the killings are increasing during elections,” he said.

“I want to assure my fellow politicians that there won’t be any parliamentary seat that will be won as a result of using albino body parts,” he added.

Earlier, Rombo MP Joseph Selasini (Chadema) wondered why the government remaining silent on the reports linking politicians to albino killings.

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