The following article can be found in the AllAfrica archive, which requires a subscription. Unfortunately, the original article, which was published by The News, a Liberian newspaper, is no longer available on the internet. Interested readers are advised to follow the instructions below. (Webmaster FVDK).
The Recent Wave of ritual killings in Liberia have got the entire country petrified, particularly in Monrovia where the bodies of several people allegedly killed for ritual purposes are found. These killings continue to occur in spite of commitment by the Liberian government that it would deal with the situation.
Last Month, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf vowed to crack down on those responsible for ritual killings in the country. Yet, it would appear no progress has been made by the government to set a dragnet for those responsible for killing innocent men, women and children.
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Few cases of ritualistic murders have been reported recently from Namibia. This does not mean that ritual killings do not occur in this country. By definition these heinous crimes take place ‘in the dark’. Years ago, I reported some cases of ritual murders in Namibia on my website Liberia Past and Present. Unfortunately, the links then provided have expired by now. Consequently, the information related to these cases is minimal. Notwithstanding this scant information I decided to include here what I then reported. For the sake of history. (Webmaster FVDK).
WINDHOEK – A three-year-old boy from Kazauli village in the Caprivi Region was murdered in a case suspected to be associated with ritualistic muti killing. (…) There are no statistics of the number of muti murders in Namibia. November 24, 2008 (expired link)
(…) the gruesome murder of a 79-year-old woman whose head was found floating on the Kavango River (…) The elderly woman’s head was found at Shadikongoro village near Mukwe, about 180 kilometres east of Rundu, on Sunday after she disappeared on New Year’s Eve. It is suspected that she was killed for muti (traditional medicine) purposes. January 6, 2005 (expired link)
Founder of the Albino Foundation in Nigeria, Mr Jake Epelle has condemned the alleged killing of albinos in some parts of the country for ritual purposes.
Speaking in Abuja ahead of the national albinism day, Mr Epelle says Nigerians living with albinism suffer discrimination from their families, schoolmates and peers in addition to a deliberate failure to educate children living with albinism.
Mr Epelle therefore appealed to the various arms of government to come to the aid of persons living with albinism.
Dressed in yellow T-shirts and face caps, albinos converged on the national press centre in Abuja to listen to talks on albinism ahead of the national albinism day.
Some promoters of the albinism cause also appealed to privileged members of the society to assist persons living with albinism and stop all forms of discrimination against them.
Members of the albino foundation appealed to the federal government to assist them particularly in the area of acquiring education.
Albinism is an health condition that occurs in people of all race and gender and Nigeria is estimated to have one of the highest albinism prevalence rate in the world with children constituting about 40 per cent of the albinism population.
With the campaign for a national albinism day, the challenges of albinos may reduce stereotypes against persons living with albinism.
The body of a nursery school girl, who had been missing since December 2018, was on Sunday morning found in a dam near their home at Kagondo village in Kinangop Sub-county, Nyandarua.
It was found mutilated and tied to a block by a neighbour who went to wash clothes, a state which led to the belief that she was tortured before she was killed.
The victim was identified as six-year-old Mary Wanjiku.
Joseph Karanja, the girl’s father, said she went missing on December 9.
“Residents conducted a search after she failed to return home from school. It has been a very difficult time for the family,” said Mr Karanja.
Mr Karanja said strangers had called them, claiming to know Wanjiku’s whereabouts.
“We suspect the killers called to mislead us on the location of the body. Their intention was to divert our attention from the dam,” he said.
Village elder John Kagui said the body was found in a dam inside the premises of Heni Cooperative Society.
Mr Kaguni told of how residents spent many hours, on many days, looking for the girl.
He said, “We are saddened and troubled by the incident. How can a human being slaughter an innocent child, tie her body to a stone and then throw it in a dam?”
He added, “She was a bright, brave and obedient child. She was the favourite in the village … very jovial. Police must do their best to ensure justice for the minor and her family. We suspect she was sacrificed by a ritualist. There are suspected devil worshippers in this area.”
Kinangop divisional police commander Jane Munywoki said they opened an investigation.
Published: March 4, 2019, 15:12 By: Aboubakar Famau – BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam
Police in Tanzania have arrested 65 witchdoctors doctors suspected of involvement in the barbaric ritualistic killings of children in the south-west and northern part of the country.
This follows the murder of at least 10 children in Njombe region and other similar incidents in the northern Simiyu region in late January.
Forty-five witchdoctors from Simiyu, and 20 others from Njombe are being held for interrogation over the spate of heinous killings, Inspector General of Police Simon Sirro told reporters.
The police boss further said the crackdown on traditional doctors, who are the prime suspects in the ritualistic killings, was ongoing.
“I have ordered that every traditional doctor, both registered and unregistered, must be interrogated and inspected, and those who will be identified as criminals, then the law will take its course, but after that, we have also ordered the authorities to start fresh registration, but we have also requested other institutions like religious leaders and politicians to help us.”
Superstition is deep-rooted among some communities in Tanzania, who believe human body parts can bring wealth.
Albinos are among those targeted by assailants who kill them or chop off their limbs and private parts.
In Malawi, attacking, mutilating and killing persons with albinism is rampant. Body parts of albinos are mistakenly believed to bring power and wealth. Not a year passes without one or more reports of these heinous crimes. The following example merely illustrates this and definitely is no exception.
In November 2015 three men attacked a 17-year old boy with albinism, Alfred Chikalo, and nearly killed him with the intention to sell his body parts. It was not the only case of attacks on people with albinism in 2015. Police in Phalombe district arrested the three culprits who confessed hacking Alfred Chikalo. A few weeks later, Police in Phalombe district arrested a 29-year old man, Lawo Sambani, who was accused of being the mastermind behind the plot to attack the 17-year old boy. The victim sustained deep stab wounds in the head, both arms and on the upper part of his left leg. He was rushed to the hospital and discharged a couple of weeks later.
It was announced that the four men in police custody will be brought to court. Unfortunately, since their detention, nothing is known about their trial. To be continued. (FVDK)
More details in the following articles (warning: the original articles contain a graphic picture showing the victim):
Inspired by real life events, “The Roadblock” is a creative movie depicting the story of Joseph, a humble, genius young boy with albinism.
A Restoration Films production, powered by Magic Promotions, “The Roadblock” is set for release at the end of February, 2019.
Played by Smith Kanono, one Monday morning Joseph returned from school upon seeing suspicious men coupled with a bad dream the previous night although his mother forced him to go back.
However, Joseph did not make it back home. He was killed by unknown men and after the funeral ceremony, the suspects were apprehended at the Roadblock for being found in possession of human bones. They all got sentenced.
Commenting on the movie, Magic Promotions Co-founder Chris Loka condemned the killing of people with albinism, describing the acts as “barbaric”.
“As Magic promotions, we thought it is wise to partner with Restoration films in condemning the barbaric act of killing people with albinism. They are our sisters and brothers therefore we need to protect them at any cost. It is unfortunate that they should be living in fear, and apart from that, as stipulated in the Constitution of Malawi (section 16), they have right to life,” Loka explained.
He added that the acts are uncalled for, saying people with albinism should have peace.
Loka quarried: “This is their country. Where do we think they can go and find peace? Obviously, its nowhere! Let them find comfort here. People with albinism form part of our audience when we have events. They give us support. It is therefore inhumane to be killing our supporters and audience.”
In his remarks, Restoration films Director Alex Standy said: “People think to be patriotic is only by voting or involve yourself in politics but that is not the case. We also need to be concerned with issues of national concern.”
He further added that he believes people will learn something from the film.
Written and directed by Alex Standy, “The Roadblock” was shot by Bonface Kawinga and Paul Pascal.
The movie stars Bololo (Lovemore Muluwira), Jentele (Happy Matenda) as the men dealing with bones business, Joseph (Smith Kanono) as the murdered boy with albinism and Mrs Iness Standy Katendema as class teacher at Kawale Secondary School.
Published: February 24, 2019 By: Wongani Chiuta – Nyasa Times
HRDC (Human Rights Defenders Coalition) headperson Timothy Mtambo says the State has become a suspect in the abduction of people with albinism and killing them for ritual.
Mtambo’s comments in the press follows preliminary findings of an autopsy for the late Buleya Luke, a key suspect in the abduction of a 14-year old albino boy Goodson Makanjira in Dedza, that has revealed he was electrocuted, then hit with metal bars.
Another suspect in the abduction of a 18-year old baby with albinism Eunice Nkhonjera, Donald Msafiri, 61, allegedly committed suicide a day after being interrogated by police in Karonga.
Mtambo claimed the killing of people with albinism is a result of a leadership crisis facing the country.
“This madness is happening because of leadership failure from the Commander-in-Chief, Inspector General of Police and the Minister responsible for Homeland Security. This government is a big failure and we will hold them accountable, no matter what.”, Mtambo explained in comments reported by Nation on Sunday newspaper.
The late suspect was alleged to have offered K800 000 to buy Goodson, who is still missing in Dedza.
Lule has become the third suspect to die while on trial related to abduction of persons with albinism since 2015. All the three cases have the police involved. In 2015, another suspect charged in connection with abduction of a two-year old girl with albinism in Machinga died in the hands of the police after he allegedly jumped from a cruising police vehicle. (Italics added by the webmaster FVDK).
A HRDC statement made available to Nyasa Times signed by Mtambo, said these deaths [of key suspects] smack of foul-play, adding, it is too tempting to conclude that there are powerful forces orchestrating them.
“Firstly, we strongly believe that these deaths are mafia-like planned and executed just to frustrate investigations that would lead us to alleged markets and lords behind these heinous crimes.
“Secondly, we at HRDC and indeed all well-meaning Malawians are tempted to think that those that we have entrusted with the responsibility of bringing the perpetrators of these inhumane acts are deliberately failing to do their job,” reads the statement.
The government is under fire for not doing enough to protect people with albinism as cases of attacks and killings continue to rise since 2014.
Amnesty International (AI) has since taken swipe at Homeland Security Minister Nicholas Dausi for insinuating that attacks on persons with albinism (PWA) were not yet at crisis level.
AI, a global movement of more than seven million people in over 150 countries and territories who campaign to end abuses of human rights, said in a statement Thursday that the ‘shameful denial comments’ are fuelling attacks against persons with albinism.
During a news conference in Lilongwe on Tuesday, Dausi is on record to have said that the attacks on persons with albinism were yet to get to levels where they should hold vigils at State House or seek asylum in other countries.
In the Thursday statement, AI deputy director for Southern Africa Muleya Mwananyanda said remarks by Dausi will only embolden those perpetrating the assaults and are a disturbing reminder of the government’s inaction on the issue.
She said: “The latest comments from Minister Nicholas Dausi are yet another indication that persons with albinism in Malawi are on their own when it comes to their safety and security.”
Mwananyanda has since urged the government to promptly, thoroughly and effectively investigate the recent attacks against persons with albinism and ensure that suspected perpetrators are brought to justice.
Warning: The article reproduced here contains at its end a graphic picture and video. Readers are warned that if they continue they run the risk of being confronted with the result of torture.
Rumors can never replace the truth but I thought it useful to publish here the suspicion expressed by the sister of the deceased that the sudden death of her brother while in police custody was caused by the police in an attempt to hide the identity of ‘big shots’ who are involved in the atrocities committed including the mutilation and murder of people with albinism. It is not the first time that allegations are made that a syndicate is behind the disappearance and murdering of innocent people with albinism in Malawi. See e.g. my posting dated January 21, 2019: Malawi: MP Kalindo threatens to reveal syndicate on albino ritual murders (Webmaster FVDK).
Published: February 22, 2019 By: Osman Faiti and Owen Khamula – Nyasa Times
Sister to a suspect believed to be the master minder in the abduction of a 14-year-old boy with albinism in Dedza has said the police have killed his brother in cell.
Anne Luke, sister to Buleya Luke whom the police said has died of “natural causes” whilst in police custody has doubted the police account.
“My brother never complained of any ailments. Even yesterday, when he appeared in court, he looked healthy. The police have killed him,” said Anne in tears.
She said the police never allowed the relatives to see him at Area 3 police station which she said might have been a sign that he was being tortured.
Cousin to the deceased suspect, Samson Black said the police refused his request to accompany his uncle to Kamuzu Central Hospital.
“They flatly told me I could not join them. He was half naked and it was as if his skin was peeled off by hot water,” said Black.
Luke was said to be the key suspect who recruited those who abducted Goodson Makanjira at a fee of K800 000 which he never honored.
He is said to have known the markets for the body parts of people with albinism.
Apparently, he was willing to reveal the “biggie” behind the albino killings.
The family suspect Luke has been killed to protect the “biggie” and the powerful syndicate behind the albino ritual murders from being exposed. (Italics added by the webmaster FVDK).
Most of the suspects in albino killings either die under police custody or are reported to commit suicide in suspicious circumstance
Association of People with Albinism in Malawi (Apam) president Overstone Kondowe said he was suspicious with the police version whilst Lilongwe police spokesperson Kingsley Dandaula said people should wait for an autopsy report.
On Monday, European Union Ambassador Sandra Paesen called for serious criminal investigations and coordination among countries to fight abductions and killings of people with albinism.
According to Apam, since November 2014, the number of reported crimes against people with albinism in Malawi has risen to 152 cases, including 25 murders and more than 10 people missing. (Italics added by the webmaster FVDK).
Warning: The following short video may shock people because of its graphic content. The video shows the victim. Click here to watch the video. The picture below (‘Death in police custody: Buleya Luke’) is a still from the video.