Friday, March 6, 2015

Four albino killers get death sentences

From left: Nassoro Charles, Singu Nsiantemi,

From left: Nassoro Charles, Singu Nsiantemi, Masaru Kahindi and Ndahanya Lumola, who were yesterday sentenced to death for the brutal murder of an albino woman in 2008.  PHOTO | FILE 

By Jackline Masinde,The Citizen Correspondent

Geita. The husband of a 32-year-old woman with albinism is among four men sentenced to death for her 2008 killing in Nyamaruru Village. Zawadi Magindu’s attackers, who included her husband Nassoro Charles, cut her limbs and right hand with an axe and a machete.

High Court Judge Joacquine Demello ruled that the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the four committed the murder.

The killers are Nassoro Charles, a resident of Beda Village in Kagera Region, Masaru Kahindi of Nyamaruru Village in Geita Region, Ndahanya Lumola whose origin was not stated, and Singu Nsiantemi from Kakoyoyo Village in Bukombe District.

The four attacked the woman at 7pm as she ate dinner. Kahindi, a neighbour, and Magindu’s husband were armed with an axe and a machete. They chopped off her legs and right hand. 

Said the Judge: “The attackers also beat and threw out of the house the mother of the deceased, Ms Magdalena Mashimba, and her granddaughter, Semen Hamisi. As they beat the elderly woman, her granddaughter--who was hiding behind the door--identified the attackers and their voices since there was moonlight on that night.”

The other convicts--Ndahanya Lumola and Singu Nsiantemi--were dealers in albino parts and were arrested in a manhunt police launched shortly after the murder was reported. “When questioned by police, the two acknowledged being dealers of albino organs and said they were delivering them to a witchdoctor identified as Gerald Mazuri, who later sold the parts to some white men in Geita,” said the judge. “Given the evidence that the four suspects took part in murdering the innocent woman in different ways, and taking into account the escalating killing of people with albinism in the country, I sentence them to death.”

Tens of albinos have been killed countrywide between 2007 and 2015. The sentence was the first of cases related to albino killings in Geita and the 16th nationwide. Between 2009 and 2011, 11 people were sentenced to death in connection with albino killings.

In September 2009, three people were found guilty of killing 14-year-old Matatizo Dunia by cutting his legs in Bukombe District in Shinyanga Region. In November of the same year, four other people in Shinyanga were sentenced to death for killing a 50-year-old man with albinism.

In July 2010, the High Court in Northern Zone sentenced 50-year-old Kazimiri Mashauri to death for killing a five-year-old albino girl by hacking off her legs with a machete and then drinking her blood. He took off with the severed limbs, leaving the girl to die.

In June 2011, the High Court in Tabora sentenced three people to death for killing another girl with albinism, Ester Charles. The culprits were Charles Kalamuyi, Masumbuko Madada and Merdadi Maziku.