Tanzania: Four Sentenced To Death For Killing Albino

A court in Dar Es Salaam, has sentenced four Tanzanians to death after being found guilty of murdering an albino woman.

They were said to have killed the woman in 2008, because they believed her body parts had special powers, according to the judge in north-western town of Geita.

The 22-year-old victim, Zawadi Mangidu, whose husband is one of those convicted, left behind a nine-month-old child.

President Jakaya Kikwete, had earlier in the week, vowed to tackle the killing of albinos, who are targeted for superstitious reasons.

The country is struggling to curb a wave of violence against people with albinism – a condition that affects the production of skin pigment.

Witchdoctors say potions made from albino body parts can bring good luck and wealth.

The president said such beliefs are false and fuel an “ongoing evil” which had shamed the East African nation.

The latest court ruling comes a few weeks after a one-year-old albino boy was killed in the same region.

The government banned witchdoctors in January as part of its efforts to prevent further attacks and kidnappings targeting albinos.

According to the Red Cross, witchdoctors are prepared to pay $75,000 (£50,000) for a complete set of albino body parts.

At least 75 people living with albinism in Tanzania have been killed in targeted attacks since 2000.

Albinism is particularly prevalent in Tanzania with one in 1,400 affected, according to a 2006 Public Health report. This compares with one in 20,000 in Western countries.

Some researchers believe the higher rate is due to inbreeding.

Residents expressed optimism that if the execution is carried out, it will serve as a deterrent to others.

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