TANZANIA: 21 CONVICTED, CONDEMNED TO DEATH OVER ALBINO KILLING
September 12, 2016: Over 21 people have been convicted of killing people with albinism in Tanzania and sentenced to death.
This was reveled in Dar es Salaam over the weekend by the State Attorney from the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions, Ms Beatrice Mpembo during a two-day seminar for women with albinism and mothers with children who were born with the genetic disorder.
The seminar was orgainised by Under The Same Sun (UTSS) in collaboration with Canadian based organisation LUSH. Ms Mpembo said that the state won the cases after it presented before the court sufficient evidences that led to the conviction of the accused.
She said that her office has been facing difficulties in administering cases related to albino killings and attacks due to insufficient evidence.
â€śMost cases related to albino killings involve some family members, as a result it has been difficult to get sufficient evidence due to lack of cooperation from the relatives thus contributing to delays in delivering ruling on the cases,â€ť she said.
Ms Mpembo, however, said that police in collaboration with other stakeholders visited the regions with high rates of albino killing cases at the end of last year and early this year, and identified all the cases for further action.
Ms Mpembo declined to disclose the number of the cases identified unless they were approved by the DPP. She mentioned the regions as Mwanza, Geita, Kagera, Simiyu, Mara, Shinyanga, Tabora Kigoma, Arusha, Mbeya, Coast Region, Katavi and Morogoro.
An Independent Lawyer Neema Ndemo said that women with albinism or mothers with children born with the genetic disorder have been denied their rights and fail to take appropriate action because they lack awareness of their rights.
She said that although the country has no specific law governing the rights of people with albinism but there were other laws which protect the rights of the group.
Ms Ndemo said that despite having the laws people should be ready to report any incident related to albino killings or attacks for the culprits to be brought before the court. She noted that people should also cooperate with other organs especially police by keeping the evidence and be read to testify before the court.
â€śIt has been difficult to administer these cases related to albino killings because the testimony given by witnesses tend to differ with their police statements,â€ť She said. Reports show about 56 incidents of killing of people with albinism have been reported in the country from 2006 to 2015. (Sources: dailynews.co.tz, 12/09/2016)