Albinos tracked down in lucrative trade of body parts
UPDATE 2: Four men were charged for killing Lyaku Willy in Shinyanga . The murder took place last November. Willy was brutally killed when the men slit his throat before chopping off his legs, which they took away, and dumping the body in a well.
All four men denied the charges brought against them.
Four people appeared before the High Court in Shinyanga yesterday charged with the murder of a 54-year-old albino man.
It was the first time that suspects had appeared in court in connection with the wave of ritual killings targeting albinos that began two years ago.
The four men, including two village leaders, were charged with murdering mentally retarded Lyaku Willy albino by slitting his throat before chopping off his legs, which they took away, and dumping the body in a well.
Although the ritual killings of albinos in Tanzania have gone down in recent months, they still live in fear.
It's not only adults but also albino children that have been attacked in their homes, hacked to death or had their throats cut.
The Tanzanian government has said it wants the killings to stop and requested people to come forward and give any information they may have of the attacks.
The demand for albino body parts in Tanzania come from superstitious miners, fishermen and businessmen who sell it hoping to get rich quick.
Shinyanga, Kahama and Burmundi are the places Albino trials have begun.
Prejudice against them is widespread in Africa. But ritual killings in such numbers is a new phenomenon.
Both adults and children have been attacked in their homes, hacked to death or had their throats cut. Each body part can be worth thousands of dollars.
Superstitious miners, fishermen and businessmen in Tanzania, hoping to get rich quick, have been accused of fuelling the demand for the potions.
The number of attacks has gone down in recent months, but the albinos still live in fear.
When a person with albinism dies and is buried, their resting place often has to be cemented over to deter grave robbers.
The Tanzanian government has publicly stated its desire to end the killings. In March, President Jakaya Kikwete called on Tanzanians to come forward with any information they might have.
This is a shocking story I came across. I can't believe that there are human beings kidnapping and killing others for their body parts.
I'm surprised that the Tanzanian government allowed this to go on for so long.
When white children are born to black parents, they are considered to have magical powers, and their bodies are hunted for human sacrifice.
A seven-year-old albino, Kevin is just seen as easy money for some people. He was on his way to school when three men tried to kidnap him. In Tanzania, killings of albinos have become a flourishing business.