Children accused of witchcraft: abuse cases on the rise in UK (2014)

Whereas the criminal practice of ritualistic murders is a revolting and sad one, another phenomenon also draws our attention.  Both phenomena relate to superstition. Of course I know that fearing witches or, rather, fearing persons who people believe are possessed by an evil spirit or are thought to be witches is a universal superstition that can be found on all continents of the globe. Moreover, I certainly do not want to stigmatize a particular group of people or race. However, the focus of this website being on ritualistic practices notably ritual murders in Africa, I cannot ignore the occurrence of ritualistic murders committed by Africans that take place outside the continent.
For this reason I drew attention to the high profile case of the torso of a small black boy (‘Adam’) that was found floating in the river Thames in 2001. It proved to be a case of ritualistic murder, very likely committed by persons originating from West Africa. Unfortunately, also reports exist of ritual practices – even killings – of persons of African descent in other European countries (more later on this site).

The inclusion of the cases reported below is justified by the same reason – though these cases do not represent ritual murders. The ’cause-in-common’ of these distinct but related crimes is: superstition. Whereas the battle against superstition should be fought with all strength and conviction that we have, the rule of law should be strictly applied to those who commit these heinous crimes, be it murdering or torturing innocent people, notably children. Their suffering in the hands of the perpetrators of these crimes should end as soon as possible. Each new case is a case too much.
(Webmaster FVDK).

Children accused of witchcraft: abuse cases on the rise in UK (2014) 

Victoria Climbié (left) and Kristy Bamu (right), tortured to death by relatives
who were sentenced to life imprisonment (UK)

Published: October 16, 2014
By: RELIGION NEWS BLOG

London’s Metropolitan Police reports that cases of abuse where the child is accused of being a witch or possessed by an evil spirit are on the rise.

Thus far this year 27 allegations have been received — up from 24 in 2013.

There were 19 such cases reported in 2012, and 9 in 2011. Some 148 cases have been referred to the Metropolitan Police since 2004.

The rise in the number of reports is likely due to greater awareness among social workers, healthcare staff, teachers, pastors and others.

However, police believe many more cases are kept hidden in families and communities.

Parents, other guardians, and in several cases pastors and church members who believe a child is possessed often resort to physical abuse in order to try and get the spirits to leave.

New guidance has now been issued on how to spot children at risk of abuse linked to witchcraft.

On October 8, the Metropolitan Police Service and CCPAS,  the Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service, hosted a multi-agency event at London’s City Hall to raise awareness of child abuse linked to faith or belief.

Speaking ahead of the conference, Det Supt Terry Sharpe explained:

“Abuse linked to belief is a horrific crime which is condemned by people of all cultures, communities and faiths.

“A number of high-profile investigations brought the issue of ritual abuse and witchcraft into the headlines but it is important that professionals are clear about the signs to look for.

“Families or carers genuinely believe that the victim has been completely taken over by the devil or an evil spirit, which is often supported by someone who within the community has portrayed themselves as an authority on faith and belief.

“Regardless of the beliefs of the abusers, child abuse is child abuse. Our role is to safeguard children, not challenge beliefs. We investigate crimes against children, but our main aim is to prevent abuse in the first place. This is a hidden crime and we can only prevent it by working in partnership with the community. Project Violet aims to build trust with communities and emphasise that child protection is everyone’s responsibility.”

A training film aimed at all front-line professionals who work with children was launched at the event. The DVD, commissioned by our Project Violet team in conjunction with CCPAS, advises how to recognise the signs that a child may be suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm from abuse linked to witchcraft and spirit possession.

According to CCPAS the training DVD will be made provided to Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) so they may make it available to social workers and other front line staff.

HIGH-PROFILE CASES

Victoria Climbié

High-profile cases include Victoria Climbié  (link added by the webmaster FVDK) whose great-aunt and her boyfriend — along with their pastor — believed the girl was demon-possessed.

Beaten, burned with cigarettes and forced to sleep in a bathtub, the 8-year-old girl died in February, 2000 — with 128 injuries on her body.

In 2001 the headless, limbless body of a boy aged between five and six was found floating in the river Thames. Evidence strongly suggests the boy was sacrificed in a Muti ritual.
(See elsewhere on this site, ‘The unsolved case of the torso in the Thames’. The murder boy was ‘named ‘Adam’ by the investigators. Information added by the webmaster FVDK).

In 2010, 15-year-old Kristy Bamu was tortured for three days by his sister and his boyfriend after being accused of witchcraft, and was subsequently drowned in a bathtub during an exorcism ritual. 

HUMAN TRAFFICKING

In 2005 a leaked police report revealed that children are being trafficked  into the country in order to be killed as human sacrifices:

A confidential report into the sacrifice and abuse of children at African churches describes how pastors are profiting from the trafficking of black boys into Britain.

Uncircumcised boys are being smuggled into the country for human sacrifice by fundamentalist sects whose members believe that their ritual killing will enhance spells.

TYPES OF WITCHCRAFT

Most reported cases involve what is known as “traditional witchcraft” as opposed to “contemporary witchcraft.”

  • Traditional Witchcraft, such as performed by shamans or witch doctors, is a magical practice — not a religion. However, it can have religious elements.
  • Contemporary Witchcraft is one of many types of neo-Paganism. It is religion within the broader context of occultism. 

MANY COUNTRIES

The problem of children who are accused of witchcraft is not limited to England. But after several high-profile cases there is a greater awareness — and official response — that highlights such cases.

Immigration also plays a role in the rise of reports — as many immigrants bring along various beliefs and superstitions. 

Many Christian churches in Africa are part of the problem as well — as traditional beliefs are mingled with Christian theology regarding demons and exorcism.

In 2009, the Associated Press reported

An increasing number of children in Africa accused of witchcraft by pastors and then tortured or killed, often by family members. Pastors were involved in half of 200 cases of “witch children” reviewed by the AP, and 13 churches were named in the case files. 

Some of the churches involved are renegade local branches of international franchises. Their parishioners take literally the Biblical exhortation, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” 

Screen shot – the link to the source (below) gives acces to the video ‘Witch Child Documentary’

In 2010 UNICEF, the United Nations’ children’s charity, said that accusing children of sorcery was a fairly new and growing trend in Africa, despite long-held traditional and mystic beliefs on the continent.

Where previously elderly women were accused, today the focus more often falls on young children, often some of the most vulnerable, such as orphans, disabled or poor.

Throughout Africa, the vast majority of children accused of witchcraft are not murdered but — if torture has not helped remove the evil spirits — are expelled from their homes and communities.

 Exploring Issues of Witchcraft and Spirit Possession in London’s African communities

Child Abuse Linked to Accusations of Possession and Witchcraft — Eleanor Stobart, Dept. of Education and Skills

Source: Children accused of Witchcraft: abuse cases on the rise in UK

Related articles:

Rise in ‘witchcraft’ child abuse cases
Published: October 8, 2014
By: BBC
(extensive coverage of Victoria Climbié’s murder)

Rise in cases of ritual child abuse linked to witchcraft beliefs reported, say police 
“Threefold increase in allegations, say police, including two claims of rape and of children beaten ‘to drive out the devil’” 
Published: October 8, 2014
By: The Guardian
(with numerous articles on Kristy Namu’s murder)

Child abuse linked to witchcraft on the increase
“Met reveals it has investigated allegations of children having chilli rubbed into their eyes and being forced to drink noxious liquids in order to rid them of evil spirits.”
Published: October 8, 2014
By: Martin Evans, Crime correspondent, The Telegraph

Previous ritual murders, attacks targeting albinos in Burundi

Burundi has an ugly past with respect to the safety of people living with albinism – like other countries in the region, e.g. Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Swaziland. I have counted more than 20 registered (!) attacks on albinos in Burundi since 2008, often deadly, but very likely the real number is much higher. Arrest of culprits and prosecution of accused are rare, possibly because of – according to rumors – the involvement of politically powerful people and rich businessmen and because some murderers commit their heinous crimes on command of principals in neighboring countries, notably Tanzania.

I have reproduced a number of these murders and other incidents. Burundi is a francophone country and many articles are in French. Therefore I have provided a summary in English of the French reports and articles. Unfortunately, a number of articles have disappeared from the web since 2008.

I have omitted ritualistic murders committed before 2008 in the overview presented below.

Ritual murder of albinos back again!
(In French)
Summary in English:
After one year of no murders, a 15-year old albino girl named Chantal has been found murdered in the Kabezi community, south of the capital Bujumbura, on May 6. Her death and mutilation brings the total number of reported cases since 2008 to over 20.
(…..)
According to the president of the organization ‘Albinos without borders’ (‘Albinos sans Frontières’) the killers slit the girl’s throat and dismembered her. A neighbor, Kassim Kazungu, affirms that Chantal is the 18th person murdered for ritual purposes in the community since 2008. The government of Burundi is blamed for doing nothing to protect its citizens and for being too passive after the escape from prison of a number of convicted ritual killers.
(….)

The original article, in French:

Le retour du meurtre d’albinos

Published: May 7, 2012
By: RFI

Au Burundi, après une année d’accalmie, un albinos a été tué dans la nuit de samedi à dimanche 6 mai dans la commune de Kabezi, au sud de Bujumbura. Chantal, une jeune fille albinos de 15 ans a été tuée par un groupe de criminels, puis affreusement mutilée. L‘association Albinos sans frontière, qui a déjà dénombré une vingtaine de crimes rituels d’albinos depuis 2008, condamne et met le gouvernement en face de « ses responsabilités ».

Ces tueurs, armés d’un fusil, de machettes et de lances, sont d’abord passés au domicile des parents de la jeune fille albinos, une dizaine de kilomètres au sud de Bujumbura. Ils ont obligé sa mère à les accompagner chez un de ses fils, où la jeune Chantal avait trouvé refuge.

Sous la menace, la mère a demandé à son fils de lui ouvrir, qui tout naturellement s’est exécuté. La suite est racontée par le président de l’association Albinos sans frontière, sur place hier matin. « Ils ont pris la fillette. Deux kilomètres après, ils ont égorgé la fillette, et ils ont décapité ses jambes et ses bras, on a trouvé la fillette jetée dans un fossé par ces malfaiteurs ».

Frustration, colère, désarroi. « Le choc est rude  », explique Kassim Kazungu après ce meurtre, le dix-huitième qui touche sa communauté en moins de quatre ans au Burundi, d’autant explique-t-il, que tous les assassins d’albinos, condamnés et regroupés dans la prison de Ruyigi dans l’est du Burundi, se sont évadés en 2011.

« Depuis 2008 au mois d’août jusqu’aujourd’hui, nous comptons dix-huit enfants albinos déjà massacrés. Nous pensons que l’Etat est impuissant, parce que s’il était puissant, à Ruyigi comme vous le savez, il y avait dix-huit personnes qui étaient condamnées, mais aujourd’hui il n’y a plus personne. Tous se sont évadés de la prison et nous, nous pensons que c’est eux-mêmes qui continuent ces massacres d’albinos. Nous demandons à l’Etat – où sont ces gens là qui avaient été condamnés à cause des massacres d’albinos ? »

Très gênées, plusieurs autorités burundaises contactées par RFI ont refusé de s’exprimer, en se réfugiant derrière le secret de l’instruction.

Source: Burundi : le retour du meurtre d’albinos

Then…. two years later:

Another ritual murder of an albino child in Burundi:
Nouveau meurtre rituel d’un albinos au Burundi

Albino children in parts of Africa are targeted by groups who believe their body parts bring luck (stock image)

Published: October 4, 2010
By: RFI Afrique / RFI

A 8-year old boy has been found dead and mutilated in the province of Ruyigi, near Tanzania. This brings the
total to eight murdered albinos and one still missing in the past four months.
(…)
Last May a 28-year old mother together with her 4-year oldd son were killed and mutilated for ritual purposes in the community of Cendajuru, also near the Tanzanian border.
(…)
SInce September 2008 14 albinos have been murdered in Burundi.
(…)

The original article:

Les albinos du Burundi sont sous le choc. Il y a un peu plus de 48 heures, un garçon albinos de 8 ans a été tué puis démembré, alors que les autorités pensaient avoir mis fin à ces crimes rituels qui avaient frappé jusqu’ici la province de Ruyigi, frontalière de la Tanzanie. Le président de l’association Albinos sans frontière du Burundi, Kassim Kazungu, exprime la terreur qui anime désormais les albinos et entend agir pour ne plus voir ce genre de crime.

Au Burundi, six albinos ont été tués et un septième porté disparu au cours des quatre derniers mois. Chacun des membres de cette communauté vit désormais dans la terreur d’être le prochain sur la liste. Aujourd’hui, des dizaines d’albinos ont fui leurs collines pour les villes où la sécurité est mieux assurée.

Selon Kassim Kazungu président de l’association Albinos sans frontière du Burundi  « il y a au moins 80 albinos qui sont déplacés de chez eux. Ils sont regroupés dans les chefs-lieux de communes et chefs-lieux de provinces».

Mais jusqu’ici, assure le président de l’association des Albinos sans frontière du Burundi, seules quelques associations leur viennent en aide alors que certains responsables administratifs menacent de chasser ces albinos. Kassim Kazungu affirme que « le gouvernement burundais ne fait rien, seulement des promesses et qu’il ne tient pas ».

Après ce nouvel assassinat d’un jeune albinos, un garçon de 8 ans tué à coups de machette puis amputé de ses bras et jambes, Kassim Kazungu ne décolère pas. Il appelle le pouvoir burundais à prendre exemple sur le voisin tanzanien où l’on est parvenu à mettre fin à ces assassinats rituels.

« En Tanzanie, le président lui-même a pris la situation en main. Les albinos de Tanzanie sont mieux traités, dit-il. Alors pourquoi pas chez nous ? Je demande alors au chef de l’Etat d’aider ces albinos. Si nous ne sommes pas les enfants de cette nation qu’on nous renvoie là d’où nous sommes venus ».

Huit personnes accusées au Burundi d’assassinats et tentatives d’assassinats d’albinos ont été condamnées à des peines allant de un an de prison à la perpétuité en juillet 2009.

L’ONG canadienne « Under the same sun » (Sous le même soleil) a dénoncé en mai dernier l’assassinat et la mutilation le 2 mai d’une mère de 28 ans et de son fils de 4 ans, tous deux albinos, dans la commune de Cendajuru, près de la frontière tanzanienne, portant à 14 le nombre d’albinos tués au Burundi depuis septembre 2008. Ces albinos auraient été victimes d’un trafic d’organes vers la Tanzanie voisine où certaines parties de leurs corps serviraient à confectionner des charmes qui apportent la richesse à leurs possesseurs.

De son côté, le chanteur Salif Keita préside l’Association solidarité pour l’insertion des albinos du Mali. La mission de cette structure est de chercher des solutions aux problèmes que rencontrent les albinos dans la société. Son action se fonde sur l’égalité des chances et la solidarité.

Les albinos souffrent d’une maladie génétique caractérisée par une absence de pigmentation de la peau, des poils, des cheveux et des yeux. Ils sont victimes de discriminations dans de nombreuses régions d’Afrique.

Source: Nouveau meurtre rituel d’un albinos au Burundi


Jail over Burundi albino killings
Published: July 23, 2009, 6:23 GMT
By: BBC News

One person has been sentenced to life in prison and eight others to jail in Burundi over the murder of albinos whose remains were sold for witchcraft.

Three other suspects were acquitted by the court in Ruyigi province over the the killings of at least 12 albinos.

The victims were mutilated and their body parts sold in neighbouring Tanzania for use in potions.

In addition to the killing of albinos in Burundi, more than 40 have been killed in Tanzania.

In addition to the life sentence, those convicted were jailed for between one and 15 years.

The trial is believed to be the first linked to a spate of albino killings in East Africa since 2007.

Witchdoctors in the region claim potions made with albino body parts will bring those who use them luck in love, life and business.

An association campaigning for the rights of albinos in Burundi says the authorities are now taking the killings seriously, but more needs to be done.

At least 200 people have been arrested over the trade in Tanzania, but none has been convicted.

Source: Jail over Burundi albino killings


Regional parliament decries albino killings

Published: May 30, 2009
By: The Citizen, Tanzanian online newspaper

The East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) has decried the killing of albinos in the region and urged “tougher measures” to stop the ritual murders and protect albinos. (…) At the ongoing meeting of the regional parliament in Bujumbura, Burundi, MPs from the five EAC member states called for regional cooperation to protect albinos victimised by superstitious fortune seekers.
(…)
The killings are rampant in some parts of Burundi, Kenya and Tanzania.
(…)
The legislators said while “considerable progress” had been made on human rights issues in the EA region, the current killings and hostility portrayed towards the albino community showed there was still a long way to go in achieving the full respect for human rights.

Source: Regional parliament decries albino killings
Unfortunately, the original article has disappeared from the web.


Alleged albino killers on trial in East Africa

Published: March 20, 2009 (updated 12:23 am)
By: Africa correspondent Andrew Geoghegan

Eleven people accused of murdering 12 albinos in East Africa have gone on trial.

A recent spate of albino killings has seen at least 50 people across East Africa murdered and those on trial in Burundi are accused of killing 12 of them.

There is a widespread belief in the region that African albinos, who lack pigment in their skin and appear white, are cursed.

Some witchdoctors have encouraged the killings and police believe body parts are traded for use in witchcraft.

Human rights campaigners have accused police of failing to act on the murders.

Two hundred people connected to the trade in body parts have been arrested in Tanzania but no one has been convicted.

Source: Alleged albino killers on trial in East Africa


Burundian albino murders denied
Published: May 19, 2009
By: BBC News


The trial has begun in Burundi of 11 defendants accused of attacking and killing 12 albino people, starting with the murder of a young girl.

It is thought to be the first trial linked to the recent spate of albino killings in East Africa, which has claimed more than 50 lives.

The 11 denied charged of murder and attempted murder.

Police believe albino body parts are smuggled out of Burundi and sold in Tanzania, to be used in witchcraft.

Magic potions

If convicted, the defendants could be sentenced to life in prison.

Witchdoctors in the region tell clients that potions made with albino body parts will bring them luck in love, life and business.

In addition to the killing of albinos in Burundi, more than 40 albinos have been killed in Tanzania.

An association campaigning for the rights of albinos in Burundi says the authorities are now taking the killings seriously, but more needs to be done.

At least 200 people have been arrested over the trade in Tanzania, but none has been convicted.

Source: Burundian albino murders denied


Burundi: Progress in the ‘albino cases’

Translated:

Burundi: Des progrès dans les “affaires d’albinos”

Published: March 15, 2009
By: ? (see: ‘Source’)

Huit personnes trouvées à leurs domiciles en possession d’ossements humains censés provenir d’albinos assassinés ont été arrêtés dans la province de Ruyigi, dans l’est du Burundi. Selon le parquet local, les personnes interpellées ont été dénoncées par deux autres suspects arrêtés ayant avoué avoir assassiné deux albinos.

Deux pays d’Afrique des Grands Lacs notamment – le Burundi et la Tanzanie voisine – connaissent ces derniers mois une vague de meurtres rituels d’albinos alimentée par un commerce macabre. Les organes d’individus souffrant d’albinisme – absence de pigments colorants de la peau – sont très recherchés des sorciers et autres fétichistes parce qu’ils sont censés porter chance en amour et en affaires notamment.

Source: Burundi: Des progrès dans les “affaires d’albinos”
Unfortunately, the original French article has disappeared from the web.


Burundi arrests eight for albino killings

Published: March 15, 2009
Reporting by Patrick Nduwimana, editing by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura / Reuters

BUJUMBURA, March 15 (Reuters) – Burundi has arrested eight people found with human bones suspected of belonging to albinos, a government official said on Sunday.

The tiny east African nation and neighbouring Tanzania have been convulsed by a spate of ritual albino murders fuelled by a body parts trade. Witchdoctors tell clients that albino parts will bring them luck in love, life and business.

“Before arresting them, we did a search and found human bones in their houses,” said Nicodeme Gahimbare, a public prosecutor in the eastern Ruyigi province.

“The eight were denounced by two other detained people who have already confessed to killing two albinos,” Gahimbare said.

Albinism is a condition that causes a lack of pigment in the eyes, skin or hair, which makes patients especially vulnerable to skin cancer and burns, and makes life particularly difficult in sun-drenched Africa.

Since last year, 11 albinos have been killed in Burundi. Forty others have been murdered in Tanzania since mid-2007.

Kazungu Kassim, the head of a Burundi albino association, said: “Authorities have now realised that the killing of albinos is a serious matter which needs concrete action.

“We urge the government to double efforts in protecting albinos, because what we are witnessing here is a planned extermination of the albino community.”

There are about 200 albinos in the nation of 8 million people.

Source: Burundi arrests eight for albino killings


Albino boy killed
Un garçon albinos tué

Stock image

This article is only available in French. It is preceeded by a short abridged version in English.

Bujumbura (AFP) – Another albino boy was murdered, this time in the Muruta community, in Kayanza Province (about 90 km north of the capital Bujumbura. “The people of the region found the body of a boy of eight or ten years old who was killed and whose legs and arms had been cut off. (….)”. On February 24, a six-year-old boy had been murdered and dismembered in the same Kayanza Province.

The recent killing brings the total number of ritual murders of albinos to nine in the past five moths.
(…)

Below the original French version:

Burundi: un garçon albinos tué

Published: March 9, 2009

Bujumbura (AFP) — Un garçon albinos a été tué et mutilé dans le nord du Burundi, dernier cas d’une série de meurtres rituels visant les albinos dans ce pays et en Tanzanie voisine, a-t-on appris lundi de source administrative. Ce nouveau meurtre a eu lieu dans la commune de Muruta, dans la province de Kayanza (environ 90 km au nord de la capitale Bujumbura).
“La population a découvert hier (dimanche) le corps d’un garçon albinos de huit à dix ans, qui a été tué et dont les bras et les jambes ont été coupés”, a rapporté à l’AFP Geneviève Ntawiha, administrateur de la commune de Muruta.

Unfortunately, the original French article has disappeared from the web.

Another murder case:

Au Burundi, la traque des albinos
The hunt for albinos in Burundi

This article is only available in French.
It relates of the plight of the albinos in Burundi where since September 2008 five albinos have been murdered for ritual purposes.

Nicodème Gahimbare, in Ruyigi, in the east of the country, tells how seven bandits invaded the house, and while three of them threatened the family with their AK-47, four bandits dismembered the albinos of the family – alive – in a horrific scene. They started with the arms, then the legs, and finally the head.

Au Burundi, la traque des albinos / The hunt for albinos in Burundi

Stock image

Published: December 22, 2008
By: Pierre Lepidi – ENVOYÉ SPÉCIAL BUJUMBARA (Le Monde)

Dans la région des Grands Lacs, on les appelle “les enfants du soleil” : ils portent chance. Leurs corps sont recherchés par les sorciers. Cinq meurtres ont été commis depuis septembre, dans d’effroyables conditions

Cette nuit-là, les machettes étaient aiguisées. “Sept bandits ont fait irruption dans la maison, raconte Nicodème Gahimbare, procureur de Ruyigi, province située à l’est du Burundi. Trois ont menacé la famille avec des kalachnikovs, pendant que les quatre autres découpaient l’albinos, qui était toujours vivant. Ils ont commencé par les bras puis ont tranché les jambes et enfin la tête. L’un d’entre eux recueillait le sang dans un bidon… Puis, ils sont repartis en laissant dans la pièce ce qui restait du corps.” Depuis septembre, les albinos du Burundi sont victimes d’une traque effroyable, sordide et insensée. Cinq meurtres, plus abominables les uns que les autres, ont déjà été commis. Hommes ou femmes, garçons ou fillettes, les albinos sont devenus bien malgré eux les cibles d’un marché fort lucratif.

On ne compte plus les légendes africaines qui entourent les albinos, victimes d’une maladie génétique qui se caractérise par une absence de pigmentation de la peau, des poils, des cheveux et des yeux. Mi-hommes, mi-dieux, selon les régions, leur “blancheur” pourrait apporter toutes sortes de pouvoirs, bénéfiques ou maléfiques. Au Cameroun, au Mali et dans d’autres pays du continent, on attribue à ces “enfants blancs” nés de parents noirs des forces surnaturelles. “Ici, dans la région des Grands Lacs, nous sommes considérés comme les enfants du soleil, de la chance, explique avec un air de dégoût Cassim Kazungu, président de l’Association des albinos du Burundi. Alors, certains sorciers, principalement originaires de Tanzanie, racontent que s’ils mélangent nos os et notre sang à certaines potions magiques, ils seront capables de confectionner des gris-gris pour obtenir de l’or, de la chance ou une éternelle jeunesse. On nous assassine pour des histoires de sorcellerie…”

C’est principalement sur les bords du lac Victoria que seraient nées ces légendes. Autour du plus grand lac africain, on raconte, par exemple, que verser du sang d’albinos sur une mine d’or pourrait suffire à faire jaillir des pépites, sans même avoir à creuser la terre. Chez les pêcheurs, on soutient que le fait d’appâter les eaux du lac avec un bras ou une jambe découpée sur un corps d’albinos permettrait d’attraper de gros poissons, le ventre gorgé d’or…

En attendant, c’est l’appât du gain qui nourrit ces massacres humains. “L’un des bandits qui a été arrêté après un meurtre a dit qu’on lui avait promis 1 million de franc burundais (650 euros), explique Cassim Kazungu. La peau des albinos vaut une fortune et nous sommes dans un pays où les gens ont faim… Il faudrait que le gouvernement prenne des mesures très sévères à l’encontre des tueurs.” Deux hommes ont déjà été condamnés à la peine capitale, mais celle-ci est en passe d’être abolie, ce qui accroît l’angoisse des albinos.

Sur les rives du lac Tanganyika, où l’espérance de vie est de 43 ans, où l’indice de développement humain (IDH) classe le pays à la 169e place mondiale (sur 177), la guerre civile, qui a opposé les ethnies hutu et tutsi entre 1993 et 2006, a fait près de 300 000 morts. La tension ethnique est aujourd’hui retombée et, jour après jour, la paix avance. Jeudi 4 décembre, un accord de cessez-le-feu, conclu avec tous les autres mouvements rebelles en 2006, a été signé entre le gouvernement et le FNL (Forces nationales de libération), le dernier groupe en activité. Mais les massacres ethniques ont laissé des séquelles psychologiques irréversibles, inquantifiables, et une économie en lambeaux. Le soir, dans certains quartiers de Bujumbura, la capitale, on raconte qu’il suffit de “10 000 francs “bou”” (6,50 euros) pour acheter la vie d’un homme…

C’est en Tanzanie, pays de 40 millions d’habitants qui borde le Burundi à l’est, que les premiers meurtres ont été commis. Depuis le début de l’année, il y en aurait déjà eu une trentaine, alimentant des réseaux dirigés par certains notables. Le Parlement européen a adopté, le 3 septembre, une résolution condamnant “vigoureusement” l’assassinat d’albinos dans ce pays.

Les autorités tanzaniennes ont pris des mesures de protection, comme l’instauration d’un recensement et la mise en place d’un service d’escorte pour les enfants se rendant à l’école. Le gouvernement a surtout annoncé que des sanctions très sévères, allant jusqu’à la peine de mort, seraient prises contre toute personne mêlée à ces crimes rituels. Quelques trafiquants et une cinquantaine de sorciers auraient été arrêtés dans la foulée.

L’apparition de cette traque sur le sol burundais pourrait résulter des mesures prises en Tanzanie. Les frontières sont poreuses, surtout lorsque les trafics génèrent des sommes colossales… “Le gouvernement tanzanien a agi rapidement en faisant du meurtre des albinos un crime puni de la peine capitale, a déclaré Olalekan Ajia, responsable de l’Unicef au Burundi, le 19 novembre. Du coup, les sorciers et autres charlatans sont partis pour le Burundi.” Le retour de 100 000 réfugiés burundais vivant dans des camps le long de la frontière tanzanienne est une autre hypothèse avancée.

Jusque-là épargné, le Burundi, qui recense près de 150 albinos sur une population de 8 millions d’habitants, déplore donc aujourd’hui 5 meurtres et un disparu. Début décembre, un homme en tenue militaire armé d’une machette a tenté une agression. Il a été arrêté par le père de l’albinos, qui a été sérieusement blessé lors de l’altercation. Roué de coups par les gens du village, l’agresseur est décédé le lendemain.

Les albinos du Burundi vivent la peur au ventre. “Je ne sors plus de chez moi car, même si la capitale est pour l’instant épargnée, je me sens en insécurité, lâche Pascal, 28 ans, un habitant de Bujumbura. Mais je suis bien obligé d’aller faire mes courses… Sur le trottoir, les gens disent en me regardant : “Regardez, le beau paquet d’argent qui déambule !” D’autres stoppent leur voiture à ma hauteur et me menacent : “Tu vaux l’équivalent de trois camionnettes, on va te vendre en morceaux…” Nous vivons un véritable cauchemar.” Quelques ruelles plus loin, Nathalie, 25 ans, n’est guère plus sereine. “La situation est très difficile et j’ai peur, dit-elle. Mais je suis surtout très inquiète pour ceux qui vivent à l’extérieur de la capitale.”Rien n’arrête les tueurs. Pour découper les membres d’une adolescente de 16 ans, tuée quelques jours plus tôt, certains sont allés jusqu’à déterrerdeux fois son cadavre…

Lorsque les premiers meurtres ont été commis, dans la région de Ruyigi, à mi-chemin entre Bujumbura et la frontière tanzanienne, Nicodème Gahimbare, procureur de la province, a parcouru la région pour proposeraux albinos de les héberger chez lui. L’homme a pris des risques pour assurer leur protection. Il a payé de sa poche, aussi. “Il fallait vraiment faire quelque chose pour ces gens, dit-il. Les atrocités des attaques se propageaient à travers les villages, et ils vivaient de plus en plus dans l’angoisse… Dans une même famille, je me souviens qu’il y en avait quatre ! Plus loin, un curé a accepté que je lui en confie quelques-uns… Pendant une semaine, j’en ai hébergé huit. Très vite, on a atteint la vingtaine ! Il en arrivait presque tous les jours des villages alentour…”

Le gouvernement s’est alors penché sur leur sort. Les ONG, les pouvoirs publics et la communauté internationale se sont mobilisés. L’ambassade de France a été l’une des premières à réagir en envoyant des vivres et des matelas dans la maison. L’Union européenne a fait parvenir à Ruyigi des vêtements et des chapeaux pour protéger leur peau, sur laquelle se forment des croûtes après des expositions prolongées au soleil. “Ils vivaient dans des conditions d’hygiène déplorables, confie un Français qui a fait quelques visites à Ruyigi dans un but humanitaire. La maison, qui n’avait ni eau ni électricité, possédait seulement 3 chambres. J’y ai compté 34 albinos…”

Début décembre, une nouvelle demeure a été trouvée. Elle n’est toujours pas raccordée à l’eau et à l’électricité, mais elle est plus spacieuse puisqu’elle compte 10 chambres. On y trouve 39 “enfants du soleil”, âgés de 6 mois à 62 ans, auxquels il faut ajouter 6 accompagnateurs (parents, frères ou soeurs). Le loyer est pris en charge par le gouvernement et non plus par l’Association des albinos, “dont les comptes sont totalement vides”, indique le président.

L’Etat s’est engagé à prendre à sa charge les 8 policiers, contre 4 auparavant, qui assurent la sécurité de la maison. “On pensait que la situation durerait quelques mois, mais elle perdure, déplore Nicodème Gahimbare. Un jeune albinos est retourné dans son village, mais il s’est fait attaquer dans sa propre maison. Ceux qui sont sous notre protection ont tellement peur de rentrer qu’ils ne veulent plus repartir…”

Le gouvernement burundais, avec l’appui de la communauté internationale, vient de lancer plusieurs campagnes de sensibilisation à travers le pays. Mais s’il faudra du temps pour enseigner la tolérance, il en faudra encore plus pour faire taire les croyances. “Autrefois, on disait qu’un albinos qui naissait de parents noirs portait forcément malheur, car il était l’enfant d’une mère volage, lâche Cassim Kazungu. Il était rejeté et vivait comme un marginal, un laissé-pour-compte. Maintenant, on fait croire aux gens que nous portons chance. Alors, on nous massacre !”

Source: Au Burundi, la traque des albinos


6-year-Old Albino Girl Killed for Body Parts

Published: November 19, 2008
By: ? See below (‘Source’)

The following is an excerpt from the original 2008 article which has since disappeared from the web:

(…)
In Ruyigi province, Burundi, a 6-year-old girl, named Cizanye, was murdered in front of her family because she was an albino. A gang of armed bandits broke into the family home; they tied up the girl’s parents and shot the little girl in the head. They then cut off her head and both her arms and legs and left with the body parts. The attack took place at the family’s home in Bugongo, more than 200 kilometers (125 miles) east of the capital Bujumbura. Police said they suspected criminals of hunting albinos to sell their organs and limbs to witch doctors in Tanzania who use them for lucky charms.

“This little girl is the third albino victim of such barbaric crimes in our province since September. We are doing everything we can to find the killers,” Ruyigi province prosecutor Nicodeme Gahimbare said.
(…)
In the meantime, officials in eastern Burundi said that 24 albinos have fled their villages and gone into towns for fear of slaughter. Msembo said many albino children were dropping out of school for fear of being kidnapped. Many albinos have sought refuge in urban centers, which are relatively safer. She said “They are cutting us up like chickens” while pointing to a picture on a wall in her cramped office of a limbless body with the skin on its face peeled off from an incident in 2007.

Source: 6-year-Old Albino Girl Killed for Body Parts 
(linked disappeared in cyberspace)

The following BBC article refers to the same incident:


Albino girl killed for body parts

Published: November 17, 2008
By: BBC News

A six-year-old albino girl in Burundi has been found dead with her head and limbs removed, in the latest killing linked to ritual medicine.

Albinos in the region have been targeted because of a belief peddled by witchdoctors that their body parts can be used for magic potions.

The girl, who was attacked on Sunday, was the sixth person with albinism to be killed in Burundi since September.

There have also been a number of attacks in neighbouring Tanzania.

The latest attack took place in Burundi’s eastern province of Ruyigi.

The BBC’s Prime Ndikumagenge in Burundi said the child and her family had only just returned to their family home.

Armed attackers broke into the family home and tied up the girl’s parents before shooting her in the head, local officials say.

They had been among a group of about 50 people with albinism to have fled to a provincial centre because they feared for her safety.

The head of the Burundi Albinos’ Association, Kasim Kazungu, says people with albinism had not suffered any discrimination until other Burundians heard about the lucrative trade in albino body parts in neighbouring Tanzania.

Last week, police in south-western Tanzania arrested a man who was attempting to sell his albino wife to Congolese traders.

Two mothers in western Tanzania were also attacked with machetes after gangs failed to find their albino children.

Source: Albino girl killed for body parts

More on Ondo ‘money ritual’ murder case (Nigeria)

I Killed former Ondo deputy governor’s daughter for Money Rituals – Boyfriend

Published: July 14, 2018

“I would have been stinking rich after seven days if I hadn’t been caught”

The Saga surrounding the murder of Khadijat the daughter of the immediate past deputy governor of Ondo State as the main suspect who also happens to be her boyfriend confessed to killing the young woman for Money ritual purposes.

After having denied direct involvement in the death of the Adekunle Ajasin University undergraduate initially, Alao Adeyemi, the suspect in the killing of the daughter of the deputy governor of Ondo state has confessed to the crime, revealing that he killed Khadijat for ritual purposes.

He had initially said that he only provided a digger for two accomplices which was used to dig the grave where Khadijat was buried in his room.

He said he was supposed to become stinking rich after sleeping with the corpse of the deputy governor’s daughter for 7 days; He was caught on the 6th day by his brother who promptly reported him to the police.

Adeyemi also known as ‘QS’ confessed to dismembering Khadijat’s body in order to bury her in a corner of his room which he succeeded in doing, burying the deceased in a grave dug in his bedroom and sleeping on it for six days before he was caught; the seventh day was supposed to be the final day.

A source said Adeyemi disclosed during interrogation at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) that he scrapped the hair of the deceased and also removed her private part which he had taken to his native doctor in Ondo town for money ritual before burying her in the grave.

The suspect had taken the deceased for dinner at a restaurant and a bar afterwards before taking her home and killing her in connivance with two others who are still at large. After the deed had been done, the suspect used perfumes and insecticides in the room to subdue the odour from the decomposing corpse before he was arrested on the sixth day.

A police source said the suspect’s quest to get rich quickly made him kill Khadijat on the advise of a native doctor in Ondo town who reportedly informed him that the money ritual he was requesting for will require some human parts of a very close acquaintance.

Adeyemi an internet fraudster in turn acted on the advice of said native doctor and decided to settle for his girlfriend as a victim for his ritual activities.

Source: I Killed former Ondo deputy governor’s daughter for Money Rituals – Boyfriend
The Herald Nigeria, July 14, 2018

Also read:

Ex-Deputy Governor Oluboyo: The travails of a bereaved

Published: July 14, 2018
Posted By: Damisi OJO
In: News, News Update

When Khadijat Adenike Oluboyo joined the family of the immediate past deputy governor of Ondo State, Alhaji Lasisi Oluboyo and his wife Fatimat some 25 years ago, the joy of the family knew no bounds. Well-wishers came from far and near to rejoice with the Muslim family in Ikare-Akoko, headquarters of Akoko Northeast Local Government, over the arrival of the new baby.

Without a doubt, the excited parents must have vowed to live up to their responsibilities to ensure that the beautiful girl ranked among the best in her generation. She began her elementary school early, graduating into secondary school and lately to Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, where she was in the final year, preparing her project in preparation for her first degree.

Unfortunately, Khadijat was cut down in her prime in a mysterious manner.

While it is generally believed that death can come at any time, the one that visited Oluboyo’s family while they anxiously awaited the day their affectionate daughter will join others for her graduation after spending a fortune to raise her to this level, was most shocking, given the circumstances that surrounded it.

The former deputy governor, his wife and other relations have been traumatised by the avoidable tragedy. His Alagbaka Extension residence in Akure, the state capital, has witnessed an influx of symphatisers since the sad incident. Political associates, religious groups and friends have all expressed shock over the death of the late Khadijat, the second child in the family. The bereaved father has alleged that Khadijat was killed for ritual purposes by her boyfriend, Adeyemi Alao, who was said to have completed his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in 2017, although the accused boyfriend has since denied the allegation, saying some strangers Khadijat invited to his house were responsible for her death. Grieving Oluboyo said the suspected killer wanted to give an impression that Khadijat was kidnapped after sniffing life out of her. He also believes that his daughter was hypnotised, considering the situation surrounding her leaving the campus on June 28.

The former Deputy Governor said: “We got to know that Khadijat was missing on Monday, July 2. Somebody called us that she was not available on the campus and we started looking for her. “We got in touch with her friends in the university. Her closest friend told us that they finished lecture on a Thursday and took the same vehicle to their houses. “The Friday was lecture-free. When the friend got to the room on Monday morning and could not see her, she started calling her phone numbers ceaselessly.” The bereaved father said he sent some pocket money for Khadijat’s feeding that Friday, stressing that the usual thing was that immediately she got the bank alert, she would call him back to appreciate it. But on that particular day, there was no response, a situation that prompted her mother to start calling her.

Oluboyo said Alao gave the impression that Khadijat was kidnapped on her way from his house. He noted that the way her daughter was discovered in the suspect’s room showed that the killing was for ritual purposes, adding that prayers had to be organised before the victim’s decomposed body could be found. However, Oluboyo, a devout Muslim, took his pains in good faith, saying: “I have left everything to God to judge, His judgment is more than the verdict of any human being.” Symphatisers have been trooping in from across the state and beyond to commiserate with the distressed family. Among them were the lawmaker representing Akoko Northwest/Northeast Federal Constituency, Hon. Friday Olemija, who expressed shock over Khadijat’s death.

He condemned the manner the deceased was killed by his so-called longtime lover, urging the police to urgently prosecute the case to bring the perpetrators to book and praying God to grant the bereaved families the fortitude to bear the loss. Also, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu commiserated with Oluboyo over the gruesome murder of his daughter. Akeredolu, who spoke through his deputy, Agboola Alfred Ajayi, while paying a condolence visit to Oluboyo at his residence in Akure, described the incident as a big blow to the bereaved family.

The governor was accompanied by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Hon. Ifedayo Abegunde, and the State Commissioner for Information, Yemi Olowolabi. He urged the bereaved family, as believers in Allah, to submit to the will of God who gives and takes life. Akeredolu prayed that Allah will comfort the family over the loss and spread His wing of protection over all the people she left behind. The governor lauded the security operatives for being proactive in apprehending the suspect allegedly behind the death of Khadijat. He assured that the suspect would face the wrath of the law if at the end he is found guilty. Oluboyo, who described his daughter’s death as devastating, thanked Akeredolu for showing the family strong support and care despite their different political affiliations.

Source: Ex-Deputy Governor Oluboyo: The travails of a bereaved
The Nation, July 14, 2018

Also read:

I killed Khadijat Oluboyo to become rich in 7 days – Suspect

Published: July 13, 2018
By : Nnenna Ibeh

Khadijat Oluboyo murdered by her fiance of eight years in Ondo and the suspected killer: Adeyemi Alao

– Alao Adeyemi, the suspect in the killing of the daughter of the deputy governor of Ondo state has revealed why he committed the crime
– Adeyemi said he killed Khadijat for ritual purposes
– According to him, he was supposed to become very rich after seven days of killing the deceased

The prime suspect in the killing of Khadijat Oluboyo, a daughter to the former deputy governor of Ondo state, Alao Adeyemi, has said that he killed her to become rich.

Adeyemi confessed to killing Khadijat with the sole purpose of becoming rich within a period of seven days.
According to Vanguard, sources at the Nigeria Police said the suspect also known as QS dismembered Khadijat’s body in order to bury her in a corner of his room.

The suspect, a son of a bricklayer, Alhaji Alani Alao, who hails from Osun state buried the deceased in a grave he dug in his bedroom, and slept on the decomposing corpse for six days before he was found out.
A source said Adeyemi during interrogation at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) disclosed that he scrapped the hair of the deceased and also removed her private part which he had taken to his native doctor in Ondo town for money ritual before burying her in the grave.
It was gathered that a night before her death, Khadijat and Adeyemi went to a restaurant for dinner and branched at a drinking joint before they retired to the lover boy’s New Oke-Aro extension residence. While he was joined by two others, who are at large to commit to heinous crime, Adeyemi continued to spray insecticide and perfume to subdue the odour from the decomposing body. He was arrested on the sixth day after the killing happened.

A police source said if Khadijat’s body had been allowed to continue decomposing in Adeyemi’s house, he would have become stinking rich. The source said Adeyemi’s quest to get rich quickly made him kill Khadijat after a native doctor in Ondo town reportedly informed him that the money ritual he was requesting for will require some human parts of a very close acquaintance. The advice by the native doctor led Adeyemi, a Yahoo Plus Club (internet fraudsters) member, to settle for his girlfriend as a victim of his ritual activities.

Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that Adeyemi had denied killing the daughter of the former deputy governor of Ondo state. He claimed he was not directly involved in the killing of Khadijat. Adeyemi speaking while he was paraded by police said he only provided a digger for two accomplices which was used to dig the grave where Khadijat was buried in his room.

Source: I killed Khadijat Oluboyo to become rich in 7 days – Suspect (scroll)
The Herald Nigeria, July 13, 2018

Also read:

Ex-Ondo Dep Gov’s daughter’s murder: Suspect’s family disappears

Published: July 13, 2018
By Dayo Johnson

Late Khadijat Oluboyo

Akure—Barely 24 hours after the suspected killer of the daughter of the former deputy governor of Ondo State, Adeyemi Alao was paraded by Police, his family members have vacated their residence. Adeyemi was paraded by the police in the state for alleged ritual killing of his fiancée of eight years Khadijat and burying her in inside his room. Khadijat was a final year student of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, before her murder.

The father of the suspect Alhaji Alani Alao reportedly moved out of the house with his family members late Wednesday to an unknown destination.

Vanguard gathered that this was sequel to the parade of their son by the state Police command.

The main building where the father of the suspect resided and the boys-quarters where the suspect and three other tenants lived were desolate yesterday.

The doors and windows to the two building were shut while the father Mercedes Benz with Osun State registration number had been removed from the frontage of his house.

A neighbour told Vanguard that many people trooped to the house located at the new Oke Aro extension that same Wednesday their son was paraded by the Police and yesterday after they saw the suspect on the television stations and heard of his atrocities on Radio.

“They just left the house because of the shame the incident had brought to the family,” the neighbour added, saying they did not confide in anybody before leaving, but that he just noticed that the father and members of family drove out of the house late on Wednesday and had not returned yesterday.

He said: “Not one soul slept in the two buildings overnight and there is no guarantee that anyone will sleep there for some time.

“It is clear that they have relocated because of the shame and the name calling that the incident would attract to them. It’s really unfortunate.”

Recall that the mother of the suspect simply referred to as Alhaja, the three tenants in the boys quarters and some landlords had before now gone into hiding for fear of arrest by security operatives investigating the murder case.

Father mourns

Meanwhile, the father of the deceased, Alhaji Lasisis Oluboyo said due to his religion, he would not seek vengeance against his daughter’s alleged killer in the law court.

He said this when a delegation of the state government led by the deputy governor Agboola Ajayi and Information Commissioner, Yemi Olowolabi, visited him.

Alhaji Lasisi who described her daughter’s death as devastating thanked the government for showing the family strong support and care despite their different political affiliation.

Gov Akeredolu condoles with family

The state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, earlier commiserated with the family of Lasisi over the gruesome murder of their daughter.

Akeredolu who urged the bereaved family as believers of Allah to submit to the will of God who gives and takes life prayed that Allah will comfort the family over the loss and spread his wing of protection over all others she left behind.

A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Segun Ajiboye lauded the security operatives for being proactive in apprehending the suspect allegedly behind the death of Khadijat.

The governor lauded the security operatives for being proactive in apprehending the suspected killer and urged them to carry out a thorough investigation and ensure that justice is served in the matter. Akeredolu, however, advised youths, especially students, to face their studies and to always shun acts that are capable of jeopardising their future.

Source: Ex-Ondo Dep Gov’s daughter’s murder: Suspect’s family disappears 
Vanguard, July 13, 2018

Also read:

Ex-Ondo Dep Gov’s daughter’s murder: My girlfriend came with boys that raped, strangled her—Suspect

Published: July 12, 2018
By Dayo Johnson

Late Khadijat Oluboyo

Police describe his story as cock and bull

Akure—Adeyemi Alao, yesterday, said the two boys that raped and killed his fiancée, Khadijat Oluboyo, daughter of the former deputy governor of Ondo State, came with her to his room.

The deceased was allegedly murdered for ritual purpose by her fiancée and buried inside his room at his Oke Aro extension residence in Akure.

This came as family sources hinted that the victim has been buried after the completion of post-mortem examination.

Alao, who was paraded by the state Police Command, said he joined cyber crime, popularly known as Yahoo Yahoo, this year but upgraded to Yahoo Plus to earn more money.

According to him, his friend introduced him to Yahoo Plus, which involves ritual activities after he complained to his friend that he was not getting the expected money from being a member of Yahoo club.

Speaking during an interview before he was paraded, the suspect said: “Khadijat has been my girlfriend since 2010 and she visited me to help her in writing her final year project. She slept in my place on Thursday and left the following day.

“She sent a text message to me on Monday, July 2, that I should send some money to her. But I was surprised to see her that same Monday when she came with two boys to my room.

“I left her in my room with the two boys, but they called me 30 minutes later and when I came in one of the guys brought out a gun and ordered me to kneel down, while the other was making love to Khadijat, who was naked on my bed.

“Khadijat was begging them to leave, promising not to tell anyone about what happened. But they strangled her and ordered me to get a digger and shovel. I thought they wanted to use the chance to escape. “But when I came back to the room, they were still there and ordered me to dig the grave, where we buried her and covered it with the rug.”

‘I don’t know the boys’

Asked why he failed to alert his parents or tenants when he was ordered to look for the digger and shovel, Alao said: “The tenants were busy watching a World Cup match and the noise from the home theatre in my room was too loud to make them know what was happening even when we were digging the grave in my room.

“The two boys left after burying her and I couldn’t sleep in my room that day. I had to sleep in my brother’s room and I could not tell anyone because no one would believe my story.

“I don’t know the two guys. Although they have visited my place thrice with Khadijat, I don’t know them or their names. I have been dating Khadijat since 2010 and know nothing about these boys; she invited them. I don’t know their names, but I can recognise them.”

On motive, the suspect said: “I did not kill Khadijat for money ritual, though I joined Yahoo business this year and never made any headway. I later joined Yahoo Plus to make more money, but I not to do any ritual.”

Police react

However, the state’s Police image-maker, Femi Joseph, described the suspect’s defence as infantile and dismissed his “cock and bull story.” His words: “His defence is very infantile and does not hold any water. I am very sure in the next 24 hours, when he will be charged to court, he should begin to talk.”

Police sources hinted that the defence put up by the suspect was to divert attention as he had confessed during interrogation that he and the other suspects, now at large, killed the victim for rituals.

Meanwhile, the Police image-maker, while speaking on the arrest, said the Command was alerted by an informant.

According to Joseph, “we met the suspect, who happened to be the boyfriend of late Khadijat, in his room trying to pack her remains in a sack. This is to tell you that he killed Khadijat.

“The suspect mentioned some other suspects, now at large, but we found out that he single-handedly looked for digger and shovel, dug the grave and buried Khadijat.”

Source: Ex-Ondo Dep Gov’s daughter’s murder: My girlfriend came with boys that raped, strangled her—Suspect
Vanguard, July 12, 2018

Also read:

Killer of Oluboyo’s daughter confesses, mentions two accomplices

Published: July 12, 2018
By Hakeem Gbadamosi, Akure

The late Khadijat Oluboyo

INDICATIONS emerged on Wednesday that two other accomplices partook in the killing of the daughter of the former Ondo deputy governor, Khadijat, who was allegedly killed by her boyfriend for money ritual.

The main suspect, Adeyemi Alao, who made this confession during his parade by the Ondo State Police Command in Akure, the state capital, said the two other suspects took to their heels after killing the final year student of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko.

Explaining how the young lady was murdered, Adeyemi said her girlfriend of eight years was killed by the other two suspects but he dug the grave inside his room where the girl was buried.

Giving the graphic details, Adeyemi said “Khadijat was my girlfriend since 2010 and she visited me to help her in writing her final project in school. She slept in my place on Thursday and left on Friday the following day.

“She sent a text message to me on Monday, 2nd July that I should send some money to her. But I was surprised to see her that same Monday when she came with two boys to my room.

“I left her in my room with the two boys but when they called me some 30 minutes later, one of the guys brought out a gun and ordered me to kneel down while one of them was making love to Khadijat who was naked on my bed”

Adeyemi said further, “Khadijat was begging them to leave and promising not to tell anyone about what happened but they strangulated her in the process and ordered me to go and bring digger and shovel.

“I thought they wanted to use that to escape from the scene of the incident but when I entered the room they were still there and ordered me to dig the grave where we buried her in my room and covered it with the rug. ”

Asked why he failed to alert his parents or tenants when he was ordered to look for the diggers, he said “the tenants were busy watching World Cup match and the noise from the home theater in my room was too loud to make them know what was happening even when we were digging the grave in my room.

“The two boys left after burying her and I couldn’t sleep in my room that day and I had to sleep in my brother’s room because I wasn’t myself and I couldn’t tell anyone because no one will believe my story.

“I don’t know the two guys, though they have visited my place thrice with Khadijat I don’t know them or their names. I have been dating Khadijat since 2010, she was my girlfriend but I knew nothing about these guys, she invited them, I don’t know their names but I can recognise them.”

When queried the motive behind the killing, the suspect said: “I did not kill Khadijat for money ritual, though I joined Yahoo business this year and never made any headway I don’t plan to do any ritual”.

But the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Mr Femi Joseph, described the suspect defence as infantile saying Adeyemi implicated some people while the command has been trying to get those people.

He said, “his defence is very infantile and does not hold any water and I am very sure in the next few hours he should begin to talk”.

Speaking on the suspect arrest, Joseph said the command was alerted by an informant while the police from the state responded and arrested the suspect at his residence.

He said “we met the suspect who happened to be the boyfriend to the late Khadijat, in his room trying to pack the remains in a sack and this is to tell you that he killed Khadijat.

“According to him, he mentioned some other suspects now at large but we found that he single-handedly looked for digger, shovel, dug a grave in his room and buried Khadijat

“The Police immediately swooped on him, and on close observation of his residence, it was discovered that the suspect had actually buried the missing girl for six days and was planning to exhume the remains and finally dispose of them.

“According to him, he was not comfortable with the stench coming from the decomposed body as it was not properly buried.

“The suspect will soon appear in court while the effort is on to arrest the alleged accomplices.

Source: Killer of Oluboyo’s daughter confesses, mentions two accomplices
Nigerian Tribune, July 12, 2018

Also read:

BOYFRIEND OF FORMER-ONDO DEPUTY GOVERNOR’S DAUGHTER, KHADIJAT OLUBOYO, GIVES SHOCKING DETAILS OF HOW SHE WAS KILLED

Published: July 12, 2018
Information Nigeria
Adeyemi Alao, the boyfriend of Khadijat Oluboyo, the late daughter of the former Ondo state deputy governor, has given shocking details of how she was killed.

On Sunday July 8th, Khadijat’s body was found in a grave Adeyemi dug inside his room after he allegedly killed her for ritual purposes.

Adeyemi who made his confession during his parade by the Ondo State Police Command in Akure, the state capital, said two other persons worked with him in killing Khadijat who was until her death a final year student of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko.

Explaining how the young lady was murdered, Adeyemi said,

“Khadijat was my girlfriend since 2010 and she visited me to help her in writing her final project in school. She slept in my place on Thursday and left on Friday the following day. She sent a text message to me on Monday, 2nd July that I should send some money to her. But I was surprised to see her that same Monday when she came with two boys to my room. I left her in my room with the two boys but when they called me some 30 minutes later, one of the guys brought out a gun and ordered me to kneel down while one of them was making love to Khadijat who was naked on my bed. Khadijat was begging them to leave and promising not to tell anyone about what happened but they strangulated her in the process and ordered me to go and bring digger and shovel. I thought they wanted to use that to escape from the scene of the incident but when I entered the room they were still there and ordered me to dig the grave where we buried her in my room and covered it with the rug. ”

Asked why he failed to alert his parents or tenants when he was ordered to look for the diggers, he said:

“The tenants were busy watching World Cup match and the noise from the home theater in my room was too loud to make them know what was happening even when we were digging the grave in my room. The two boys left after burying her and I couldn’t sleep in my room that day and I had to sleep in my brother’s room because I wasn’t myself and I couldn’t tell anyone because no one will believe my story. I don’t know the two guys, though they have visited my place thrice with Khadijat I don’t know them or their names. I have been dating Khadijat since 2010, she was my girlfriend but I knew nothing about these guys, she invited them, I don’t know their names but I can recognize them.”

He denied killing Khadijat

“I did not kill Khadijat for money ritual, though I joined Yahoo business this year and never made any headway I don’t plan to do any ritual”.

Reacting to Adeyemi’s claims, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Femi Joseph, dismissed it, saying his defence is infantile:

“His defence is very infantile and does not hold any water and I am very sure in the next few hours he should begin to talk”.

On how the suspect was arrested, the police spokesperson said:

“We met the suspect who happened to be the boyfriend to the late Khadijat, in his room trying to pack the remains in a sack and this is to tell you that he killed Khadijat. According to him, he mentioned some other suspects now at large but we found that he single-handedly looked for digger, shovel, dug a grave in his room and buried Khadijat. The Police immediately swooped on him, and on close observation of his residence, it was discovered that the suspect had actually buried the missing girl for six days and was planning to exhume the remains and finally dispose of them. According to him, he was not comfortable with the stench coming from the decomposed body as it was not properly buried. The suspect will soon appear in court while the effort is on to arrest the alleged accomplices”.

Source: Boyfriend of former-Ondo Deputy Governor’s daughter, Khadijah Oluboyo, gives shocking details of how she was killed
Information Nigeria, July 12, 2018

Also read:

I leave the killer of my daughter to God’s judgement – Oluboyo

Published: July 11 or 12, 2018
By Hakeem Gbadamosi, Akure

Former Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Alhaji Lasisi Oluboyo

MORE facts emerged on Monday, on the killing of Khadijat, the daughter of the immediate past Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Alhaji Lasisi Oluboyo, who was killed by her boyfriend for an alleged money ritual.

Speaking with Nigerian Tribune at his residence in Monday, Oluboyo said his daughter was killed for ritual purposes and maintained that the young lady was charmed and hypnotized, saying her daughter could not have gone to the suspect house on her own volition.

The former Deputy Governor while reacting to the death of Khadijat however, said he has decided not to go to court over the killing of his daughter, saying, “to me, I don’t want anything, God’s judgment is more than all the human’s verdict.”

It was discovered that the suspects, Adeyemi Alao, killed the young Khadijat and dug a grave in his room where he buried her and covered it with a mattress for six days before he was arrested.

According to him, the family got to know that the final year student of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, was missing last Monday and while all efforts to find proved abortive, they resorted to prayers.

He said “We got to know that Khadijat was missing on Monday 2nd July 2018 when one of her friends called us from school that she was missing and we started looking at her.

“I sent money for her feeding on Friday, the usual thing is that when she got bank alert, she would call me back to thank me. But this day, I did not get a response from her. I told her mother and she started calling her but her phones were switched off.

“We got in touch with her closest friends in the school, who told us that they finished lecture on Thursday evening and took the same motorcycle to their houses, but said they have no lecture on Friday. She said she was surprised not to see Khadijat at the lecture room on Monday and started calling her numbers.

“We started calling her number and it did not get through. Later the phone rang, someone picked it and we were hearing the underground sound. The phone was later switched off again.

“Later we got a text that the mouthpiece of the phone is not good and that she would call when she changed the sim card to another phone. With that, we thought that everything was settled. We were waiting anxiously for the call.”

Oluboyo said the same message was sent to Khadijat’s friend but said he got to know that her daughter came to Akure to meet the boy and from what the father of the boy told him, “there is no doubt that they were once boy and girlfriends. They met each other at Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo.

“When we started looking for the girl, the father called me, he said he is the father of Adeyemi, and my daughter came to their house on Thursday and left on Friday morning and confirmed that my daughter used to come in the past but stopped suddenly.”

Oluboyo explained further that the family received a call from unknown men who claimed to have kidnapped the young lady and promised to get across to the family, saying the suspects were using diversionary tactics to buy time.

He said when the family was waiting for the next instruction from the kidnappers they tracked Khadijat numbers saying “my daughter has four numbers and two handsets. The old number she was using was kept in her bag.

“What happened was that when we tracked the first number, it went off immediately after roadblock at Owo. The second number went off after Oba-Akoko. That gave us the impression that she was travelling and kidnapped when she was going back to school.

“We got it on good authority that she came to Akure. When they sent a message that we should wait for the negotiation team, we discovered it was one of the numbers in her bag that they used to send the message to us. It was a perfect arrangement to buy time”.

He, however, said the family resorted to prayers which yielded results, saying “when we tried our best, we organized prayers and when we finished with the prayers, he got the heat and said he cannot continue with the ritual.

“He rushed out of his room to confess to his immediate sister who narrated the story to their father and called the police. My daughter was not found under the bed, the boy has no bed. The boy dug a grave in his room, and put his foam on the grave and was sleeping on the grave.

“The boy killed her for ritual purposes. It is not that the girl was not well-fed. I am sure my daughter did not go to the boy’s house on her own volition.”

The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Mr Femi Joseph, confirmed the arrest of the suspect, Adeyemi Alao but said the State Commissioner of Police, Mr Gbenga Adeyanju, would address the public on the incident after the completion of investigations.

Source: I leave the killer of my daughter to God’s judgement – Oluboyo
Nigerian Tribune, July 11 or 12, 2018

Also read:

Ghost of ex Deputy Gov’s daughter shows way to killer

Published: July 11, 2018
By Jude Egbas

Before her passing, Khadijat was studying in the department of Educational Management at the Adekunle Ajasin University.

The ghost of the daughter of a former deputy governor of Ondo State, reportedly led the way to her killer.

The ghost of Khadijat Oluboyo, slain daughter of a former Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Alhaji Lasisi Olugbenga Oluboyo, is reportedly stalking the land, according to a Vanguard report.

Khadijat Oluboyo was found dead underneath her boyfriend’s bed on Sunday, July 8, 2018 at the Oke Aro extension, Azure, Ondo area.

The name of her boyfriend has been given as Adeyemi Alao.

Reports allege that she was murdered for ritual purposes.

Alao is now a suspect who has been taken into police custody.

Ghost and other tales

Vanguard reports however, that it was Khadijat’s ghost that alerted authorities and the family to her decomposing body underneath the bed.

Vanguard quotes a neighbor as saying that it was the ghost of Khadijat that appeared to Mutiu; the younger brother of Adeyemi, in their father’s house.

The ghost subsequently led Mutiu to Adeyemi’s room where the suspect was frantically trying to conceal the corpse.

The suspect was said to be residing at the boys’ quarter in his father’s compound at the time of the murder.

Reports say he was trying to evacuate Khadijat’s decomposing corpse from under his bed when his brother, Mutiu, found him out.

Vanguard quotes the neighbor as saying ”it was when the ghost appeared to Mutiu that he went to his brother’s room and discovered that he was trying to evacuate the decomposing body from his room”.

The late Khadijat has been described as a reserved person who rarely spoke with neighbours.

Khadijat was a final year student of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko.

Tenants flee

Adeyemi’s father, Adekunle Alao was arrested after the decomposing corpse was found, but he has since been released after being exonerated by Mr. Oluboyo, reports say.

Vanguard reports that tenants and several landlords in the neighbourhood of the Alaos, have gone into hiding.

Vanguard quotes a source as saying that tenants of Adekunle Alao, many landlords and the mother of Adeyemi who is simply referred to as Alhaja, “have bolted for fear of arrest by the police since the strange discovery in the area”.

Adeyemi had just completed the mandatory NYSC scheme and had reportedly been dating Khadijat for some time.

Former Deputy Governor Oluboyo has asked the police to ensure that the murderer(s) of his daughter are made to face the full wrath of the law.

Killing for ritual and get-rich-quick purposes are commonplace in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country. Frequent tales abound of persons being caught with severed body parts like skulls,hands, legs and tongues, across the country.

Source: Ghost of ex Deputy Gov’s daughter shows way to killer
Pulse Nigeria, July 11, 2018

Also read:

Police parade Ex-Ondo Deputy Governor Daughter’s killer

Published: July 11, 2018
By: Damisi Ojo, Akure

Suspected killer of Khadijat Adenike Oluboyo, daughter of former Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Alhaji Lasisi Oluboyo, Adeyemi Alao Wednesday said he slept with the corpse of khadijat for six days in his room.

Alao affirmed that late khadijat’s was her lover of over five years.

However, he said he had no intention of killing her when he invited her to his residence at Oke-Aro, Akure until he met her making love with another person in his room.

The suspected killer was paraded Wednesday at the state police headquarters, Akure, the state capital.

He confessed that he dug a grave inside his room in an attempt to bury Khadijat before he was arrested by the Police.

Alao was arrested by the Police last Sunday after the discovery of the corpse of Khadijat, a final year student of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko.

Late Khadijat, 20, had earlier been declared missing by her parent when she could not be found by her friends in the campus and her parents at home.

The suspect on interrogation confirmed the killing of the deceased.

He however denied responsibility for her death, stressing that he met her dead inside his room.

He accused the late University final student of being notorious for sex.

According to Alao, Late Khadijat could have sexual intercourse with any individual not minding the status or age of the fellow.

He said “she called me that she was in Lagos and I asked what she was doing in Lagos, the response she gave was that she was there to perfect the project she was writing.

“She told me she would come to visit me after leaving Lagos and she came but the following day she went out and returned with two boys who claimed were his brothers.

“I went out one day and when I returned I saw one of the boys she called her friend making love with her. I was furious and I beat her to pulp. The boy escaped because he threatened to shoot me with a gun in his hand.”

Alao denied rumours that he killed Khadijat for ritual purpose.

He confessed that he made arrangements to bury her inside the room, having dug a grave but was eventually caught.

The state commissioner of Police, Gbenga Adeyanju assured that the suspected killer would face the full wrath of the law.

He said the suspect will soon be prosecuted, assuring that his other accomplices would be arrested and also face justice.

Source: Police parade Ex-Ondo Deputy Governor Daughter’s killer
The Nation, July 11, 2018

Also read:

Police arrest suspected killer of Ex-Ondo Deputy Governor’s daughter

Published: July 9, 2018
By Damisi Ojo, Akure
Ondo State Police command has arrested Adeyemi Alao suspected to be the killer of the daughter of former Deputy Governor of the state, Miss Khadijat Oluboyo.

Khadijat, daughter of Lasisi Oluboyo who was also a one-time Commissioner in Ex-Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s Cabinet was found dead in Alao’s residence on Sunday.

Sources said the deceased had died almost six days before her corpse was discovered inside her boyfriend’s room.

The suspect was said to be staying permanently in Abuja.

It was learnt that Alao had made attempts to bury Khadijat’s corpse in his house at Oke-Aro area of Akure.

According to a source, he had dug a grave in the room, before nemesis caught up with him.

Khadijat, a-20 year old final year student of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko was said to be fond of visiting her ex-lover each time he came to Akure from Abuja and usually passed the night with him.

There were speculations that the suspected killer was a “yahoo boy” who planned to use her late girlfriend for rituals Police spokesman, Femi Joseph, a Superintendent of Police(SP) said the suspect was arrested by a team of detectives from the State Criminal Investigations Department (CID).

He said the suspect, who was already in police custody has been cooperating with the police on relevant information on the circumstances that led to the death of Khadijat.

Joseph said the Commissioner of Police will address the press after they conclude their investigations on the matter.

He assured that the case would be thoroughly investigated with a view to establishing facts behind the death of the Ikare-Akoko born University final year student.

The PPRO said the suspect and others who might have involved in the death of Khadijat would be prosecuted.

Source: Police arrest suspected killer of Ex-Ondo Deputy Governor’s daughter
The Nation, July 9, 2018

Also read:

“My daughter was used for ritual” Ondo ex-deputy governor, Lasisi Oluboyo says

Published: 10/07/2018 6:44 AM
By Linda Ikeji
A former deputy governor of Ondo State, Lasisi Oluboyo, whose daughter, Khadijat, was found in the room of her boyfriend, Adeyemi Alao, on Sunday July 8th, has accused the suspect of killing his daughter for ritual purposes.

Khadijat, a student at the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, was found dead in Alao’s room.

Reacting to the unfortunate incident, the distraught father who spoke to newsmen yesterday, said his daughter was killed for ritual purposes and maintained that the young lady was charmed and hypnotized, adding that Khadijat could not have gone to Alao’s house on her own volition.

“Somebody called us that she was missing on Monday, July 2, 2018, and we got in touch with her friends in the school. I had sent her money on previous Friday; the usual thing is that when she got bank alert, she would call me back to thank me. But I did not get any response from her that day. On Monday, we called her number and we did not get through. We got a text that the phone was not good and that she would call back.”

Lasisi said his family later organised a special prayer which made the suspect to confess to his sister that he killed Khadijat and used her for ritual purposes.

The former Deputy Governor said he has decided not to go to court over the killing of his daughter, saying, “to me, I don’t want anything, God’s judgment is more than all the human’s verdict.”

Source: “My daughter was used for money ritual” – Ondo ex-deputy governor Lasisi Oluboyo says, Welcome to Linda Ikeji’s blog, by Linda Ikeji at 10/07/2018 6:44 AM

Also read:

Ex-Ondo Deputy Gov Speaks on Daughter’s Alleged Ritual Killing

Published: July 9 or 10, 2018
By John Ogunsemore
The Herald NigeriaImmediate-past Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Alhaji Lasisi Oluboyo has explained the circumstances surrounding how the decomposing body of his daughter, Khadijat Adenike was found in a shallow ground of her boyfriend, Adeyemi Alao.

He made the revelation in an interview with New Telegraph.

Khadijat, a student of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko was said to have gone to the home of Alao, her boyfriend, in the Oke-Aro area of the state capital Akure but did not return.

Oluboyo said, “We got to know that Khadijat was missing on Monday, July 2. Somebody called us that she was missing, we started looking for her. We got in touch with her friends in the school.

“The closest friend told us that they finished the lecture on Thursday. They took the same motorcycle to their houses. On Friday, they had no lecture, when the friend got to the lecture room on Monday and did not see her, she started calling her phone numbers.

“I sent the money for her feeding on Friday, the usual thing is that when she got bank alert, she would call me back to thank me. But this day, I did not get a response from her. I told her mother and she started calling her.

“The phones were switched off.

“But on Monday, we started calling her number but did not get through. Later the phone rang, someone picked it and we were hearing an underground sound. The phones were switched off again. Later we got a text that the mouthpiece of the phone is not good and that she would call when she changed the sim card to another phone. With that, we thought that everything was settled. We were waiting anxiously for the call.”

He added, “Sincerely, it was last Monday that we noticed she was not around. Her friend now called and said she had been calling her numbers. The same person sent a message to that her friend that she was on her way coming. It was then I got to know that she came to Akure to meet that boy. From what the (Alao’s) father told us, there is no doubt that they were once boyfriend and girlfriend.

“They met each other at the College of Education, Ondo.

“When we started looking for the girl, the father called me, he said he is the father of Adeyemi, he said my daughter came to their house on Thursday and left on Friday morning. He said she used to come in the past but stopped suddenly that she is the type he would want his son to marry. I said we were not talking of marriage and that we were looking for her.

“The man called and started praying. When we called, the boy said she came on Thursday and left on Friday.

“My daughter has four numbers. She had two handsets, one with two sim cards, and one with one sim. The old number she was using was kept in her bag. What happened was that when we tracked the first number, it went off immediately after roadblock at Owo.

The second number went off after Oba-Akoko. That gave us the impression that she was travelling and that she was going back to school.

“We got it on good authority that she came to Akure. That gave us the impression that she was going back. When they sent a message that we should wait for the negotiation team, we discovered it was one of the numbers in her bag that they used to send the message to us. It was a perfect arrangement to buy time.”

He explained that, “The boy killed her for ritual purposes. It is not that the girl was not well-fed. The lady did not go there on her own volition.

“The boy dug a grave in his room, buried her and put his foam on the grave and was sleeping on the grave. She was not found under the bed, the boy has no bed.”

On how the deceased’s decomposing body was found, he said, “we organised prayers.
“When we finished with the prayers, he got the hint and said he cannot continue. He rushed out and confessed to his immediate sister. He said this is what I did; I cannot cope, go and help me bring a sack.
The sister rushed to the father and narrated the story.”

While saying he had left everything to God, Oluboyo said, “God’s judgement is more than the entire humans’ verdict. The danger is that if you allow him to go scot-free, he would do it again.”

Source: Ex-Ondo Deputy Gov Speaks On Daughter’s Alleged Ritual Killing
The Herald Nigeria, July 9 or 10, 2018

Ondo State – Nigeria

Swaziland: Campaign to educate on albinism

There are also positive and encouraging newspaper reports and blogs, like e.g. Richard Rooney’s post on Swazi Media Commentary, Information and commentary in support of human rights in Swaziland. On March 30, 2018 Richard Rooney published the following report on ‘A campaign to educate on albinism in Swaziland’. Also in other African countries, people rise up against ritualistic killings and related human rights violations, e.g. in Gabon.

‘Freedom of fear is a human right;  rule of law an obligation of the state’. The answer to ritualistic killings in the short term is the rule of law – but the only real answer to these heinous crimes is EDUCATION.

Like many people living with albinism in Swaziland, Albert fears for his life.

CAMPAIGN TO EDUCATE ON ALBINISM

BY RICHARD ROONEY
SWAZI MEDIA COMMENTARY – INFORMATION AND COMMENTARY ON HUMAN RIGHTS IN SWAZILAND
Published: March 30, 2018

A campaign has started in Swaziland called ‘Don’t kill us, we are human beings too’ to raise awareness about people with albinism.

People in Swaziland with the skin condition live in fear of their lives as some traditional healers, witchdoctors and others use their body parts in spells to bring good luck.

The Stukie Motsa Foundation is now using social media to dispel the false belief that people with albinism cleanse back luck and bring fortune to people.

There have been concerns in Swaziland for years that people with albinism have been targeted and murdered. Witchdoctors use the body parts to make spells that they claim bring people good luck.  Sport teams have also been known to use spells to bring them good fortune during matches. Witchdoctors’ services are especially sought after by candidates contesting parliamentary and local elections. An election is due in Swaziland later in 2018.

In January 2017, the Director of Public Prosecution’s office in Swaziland told witchdoctors in the kingdom to stop murdering people for body parts. The witchdoctors, also known as tinyanga, were advised to go to the Ministry of Health for body parts, such as bones.

During the national elections in Swaziland in 2013, people with albinism lived in fear that their body parts would be harvested by candidates seeking good luck.

Independent Newspapers in South Africa reported at the time, ‘In the past [people with albinism], who lack the skin pigment melanin, as well as epileptics have been specifically targeted, prompting the police to set up registries.

‘In 2010, the killing and mutilation of [people with albinism], including in one instance the decapitation of two children in Nhlangano, prompted panic.’

In August 2013, Independent Newspapers quoted an academic at the University of Swaziland, who did not want to be named, saying, ‘Ritual killings to achieve elected office are a natural outgrowth of a government based not on rationality or democratic principles but on superstitious beliefs.

‘The Swazi king claims power through an annual Incwala festival where a bull is brutally sacrificed and mysterious rituals occur, and this sets the tone. No one knows how office-holders are appointed in Swaziland. It’s all done in secret, without recourse to merit or any rhyme or reason, so this fuels irrational beliefs.

‘Ritual murder has long been part of Swazi life.’

At present, a Swazi traditional healer is in police custody in South Africa for allegedly killing two children from Vosman near Witbank, one of them living with albinism. The South African Deputy Minister for Social Development, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu said the killing of people living with albinism by people believed to be Swazis has become a national crisis in her home country.

The Swazi Observer reported on Tuesday (27 March 2018), ‘The deputy minister said she wanted to know what Swaziland was doing to stop the killing of people living with albinism. She also stated that some of these people were quitting their jobs and schools in fear of being kidnapped.’

Albinism affects the production of melanin, the pigment that colours skin, hair and eyes. It’s a lifelong condition, but it doesn’t get worse over time. People with albinism have a reduced amount of melanin, or no melanin at all. This can affect their colouring and their eyesight. Albinism is caused by faulty genes that a child inherits from their parents.

See also :
PEOPLE WITH ALBINISM WANT PROTECTION

Source: A campaign to educate on albinism, March 30, 2018

More on Swazi Media Commentary (source: Pambazuka News):
Swazi Media Commentary: Telling the truth about Swaziland
by Peter Kenworthy | February 2, 2011

Related article on albinism in Swaziland: Why Albert is living in fear