Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Police hold man over albino daughter’s abduction

Mwanza RPC Valentino Mlowola

Mwanza RPC Valentino Mlowola 

By Aidan Mhando,The Citizen Correspondent

Mwanza. Police are holding a man after his four-year-old albino daughter was kidnapped on Sunday in Kwimba District.

Mwanza Regional Police Commander Valentino Mlowola told The Citizen yesterday that the man was among four people arrested after the girl was kidnapped from her home in Ndami Village by armed men at around 10pm. “The girl’s father is assisting us in investigations along with three other suspects,”  he said. The girl had not yet been found by the time the RPC spoke to this reporter.

Mr Mlowola said several people armed with machetes, who were in the company of a traditional healer, stormed  the house belonging to the girl’s father and fled into the night with her.

The  commotion prompted neighbours to report the incident at Kwimba Police Station.

Police immediately launched a manhunt and arrested  four people, including the girl’s father.

Mr Mlowola could not say whether any of the suspects was part of the gang that kidnapped the girl, but added that police had made “good” progress in their investigations.

“We have some important clues and leads.  We expect to make a big breakthrough in the next few days,” said the RPC, and asked for the public’s cooperation and support.

“Anyone who has any information they think will help us in our investigations should talk to us.  We need the public’s help,” Mr Mlowola said.

There has been a resurgence of albino killings this year after a one-year lull.

In August, 40-year-old Munghu Lugata was killed at her home in Mwachalala Village, Simiyu Region. Her attackers cut off her left leg above the knee, two fingers and a thumb.

In the same month, a resident of Buhekela Village in Igunga District, Mr Mapambo Mashiri, 53, was killed as he tried to fight off assailants who were after his albino wife.  The attackers chopped off the woman’s arm and escaped.

The United Nations Human Rights Office said five attacks against people with albinism occurred over an 11-day period in Tanzania in August alone. 

The figure, according to the UN, brought the number of attacks since 2000 to 151, including 74 murders.

In May, the European Union (EU) wrote to the government to express its shock and concern about the continuing killing of people with albinism in the country.

In an open letter to Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda, the EU delegation in Tanzania urged the government to take firm action to end inhuman acts against people with albinism.

The EU wrote to the government after Ms Lugata’s brutal killing in Simiyu Region.