Four people have been sentenced to death by a court in Tanzania, after killing an albino woman and hacking off her limbs so that they can be used in an ancient traditional witchcraft ritual. These rituals are still common in certain parts of Africa, and have led those who have albino qualities to live in fear for their lives. The UN has estimated that the average price for body parts from an albino are around $600, and a whole corpse could fetch around $75,000.
The most recent sentencing of the four killers has come after the President of Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete, spoke out about the albinos that are being murdered for witchcraft, calling it ‘disgusting and an embarrassment for the nation’. She had met with human rights activists earlier in the week, and promised to do something to stop the wave of albino murders occurring throughout the country.
The convicted murderers in this incident included the victim’s husband, Charles Nassoro. The woman had supposedly been eating a meal in the village when she was attacked. The attackers then cut off her legs and her right hand with an axe and a machete.
The court is hoping that the sentencing will serve as a warning to others who may commit the same crime. The death penalty is a severe punishment, especially when Tanzania carried out its last execution in 1994. Currently, there are 17 people who are on death row for the same crime.
Albinism is a genetic condition, and currently affects one person out of 1400 in Tanzania. In the West, it only affects one person out of 20,000.