Nigeria: ritual killing: Osun man sentenced to death by hanging

Several Nigerian states (Osun, OndoRivers) have enacted laws making it possible for judges to pronounce the death sentence for a specified number of crimes. Osun State is one of them. Ritualistic murders occur frequently in this southeastern state. Among the crimes mentioned in the law which carry the capital punishment when found guilty is murder committed for the purpose of a ‘money ritual’, as ritualistic murders are called in Africa’s most populated country.

More than one Nigerian state faces this phenomenon which seems difficult to eradicate. In my view it will not be eradicated by any severe jail sentence, not even by the capital punishment. The only solution is education, to instruct people that superstition does not lead to success, power or wealth. Nonetheless, the rule of law must apply and perpetrators of heinous crimes must pay for their deeds. (webmaster FVDK).

Ritual killing: Man sentenced to death by hanging

Published: July 7, 2020
By: The News, Nigeria 

An Osun State High Court sitting in Ile-Ife on Tuesday sentenced a 37- year-old man, Ogunyemi Oluleke, to death by hanging for murder.

Oluleke was arraigned on March 6, 2013 on two-count charge of murder and conspiracy to murder contrary to Sections 319 and 324 of Criminal Code, Laws of Osun State.

The offences were allegedly committed at Iredunmi area of Ile-Ife and at Oketase area in Ile-Ife around 10:00 a.m on Feb. 17, 2010.

At about 10:00am on Feb. 17, 2010, one Moshood Babalola was killed by cutting off his head with knife at Iredunmi area, ile-ife.

Mr Babalola Sikiru lodged the complaint of his lost son (Moshood Babalola) at More Police Station, Ile-Ife, on Feb. 18, 2010.

The Prosecution Counsel from the Ministry of Justice, Lawyer Tijani Adekilekun, called five witlessness and rendered several exhibits to prove the case.

Adekilekun also informed the court through one of his witnesses, Insp. Rasheedat Olanrewaju, that she was among the three policemen that went to a village in Agbedegbede area.

Olarewaju said that her team went to the house of the convict for a search and during the search, they saw decomposed body of one person in the convict’s house.

In his additional statement after the discovery of deceased corpse in his house on Feb., 2010, Ogunyemi confessed that he killed Moshood Babalola for rituals.

Justice Adedotun Onibokun found the accused guilty of the charges preferred against him.

The Defence Counsel, Mr Olalekan Banjo, pleaded to the court to temper justice with mercy, claiming that his client was a first offender.

Onibokun sentenced him to death by hanging.

Source: Ritual killing: Man sentenced to death by hanging

Related article:

Osun man to die by hanging for ritual killing

Published: July 8, 2020
By: Punch, Nigeria – Bola Bamigbola, Osogbo

Source: Osun man to die by hanging for ritual killing

What the **** is goin’ on in Ogun State, Nigeria? Alarming increase in ritualistic murders!

Killing for ritualistic purposes is rampant in Nigeria. In most states, ‘money ritual’ is a well-known phenomenon. I have already reported many cases on this site. In many states ritual murders are being committed. Reporting on these cases is erratic. Not always there is a follow-up, informing the public of any arrest made, or – in case suspects are arrested – whether they are put on trial, and what the outcome is.

Unfortunately, ritualistic murders or murders for ritualistic purposes are not rare in Ogun State, in Nigeria’s southwest. This year alone I already reported various cases, my most recent postings were on April 27 and March 15

Below I’ve listed four cases which happened during the past few months. Mind you, these are cases which have been reported. How many cases go unreported? To be correct, the fourth case, a seven-year old boy who was murdered for ritualistic proposes by his mum and step-father was already reported on April 27, from a different source. It does not make it less serious. I’m afraid ritualistic killings in Ogun State will continue, as they will in other states. How to end this barbaric practice?
(webmaster FVDK).

Notorious cultist arrested in Ogun State, confesses to killing three

Published: June 3, 2020
By: The Eagle Online, Nigeria

A notorious cultist, Adewale Adeoye, popularly known as 16, has confessed to killing no fewer than three persons since joining the Eiye cult.

Adeoye made the confession on Tuesday when he was paraded alongside 30 others by the Ogun State Police Command for different crimes.

The Commissioner, Ogun State Police Command, Kenneth Ebrimson, who paraded the suspects at the command headquarters in Eleweran, Abeokuta, accused them of involvement in cultism, armed robbery, murder and illegal possession of firearms.

Ebrimson said Adeoye, who has been on the wanted list of the police in connection with cult-related killings in Ijebu-Ode and its environs, added that he was arrested alongside five others at their hideout in Ijebu-Ode.

He said two locally-made single-barrelled pistols, one double-barrelled pistol, 11 live cartridges, assorted charms and Indian hemp were recovered from them.

Adeoye told newsmen that two of his victims were the killers of the leader of the Eiye confraternity in Ijebu-Ode, identifying them as Vandan, Koledowo and Abas.

He said he had been arraigned twice for similar crimes between 2012 and 2017.

He said: “I have been arraigned twice.

“I was first arraigned in 2012 and regained my freedom in 2015 because the complainant did not show up in court and they could not find anything incriminating against me.

“A few days after, the police came for my arrest again and kept me in custody for another two years before I regained my freedom again in 2017.”

Adeoye said he was the fourth in command in the confraternity in 2017 and later became the second in command a year later.

When asked if he renounced his membership of the cult after his arrest, he said: “I have not renounced my membership.

“They didn’t give me the chance because they told me that they would kill me if I renounced my membership.”

Source: Notorious cultist arrested in Ogun, confesses to killing three

AND

Ogun State:
Pastor seeking ‘power’ to grow congregation killed by native doctor for ritual

Published: May 27, 2020
By: The Eagle Online, Nigeria

A Pastor, Kalejaiye Ezekiel, who went to seek traditional power, has been killed by the same native doctor from whom he sought help.

According to available information, the pastor said he needed the power to draw worshippers to his church.

The Ogun State Command has since last month arrested the native doctor, Isiaka Ogunkoya, for the murder of the pastor.

The 48-year-old native doctor has also confessed to killing Ezekiel.

Ogunkoya told policemen mid last month: “The Pastor came to me for power so that his church would  grow.

“I used the opportunity to use him for my personal job.

“I mixed some sleeping solution for the pastor to drink and he slept off moments afterward.

“As he dozed off, I  picked a knife and slaughtered him.

“I am a native doctor and I have helped so many people, including pastors who want their congregation to grow, in the area.

“This particular incident happened because I personally needed human parts for a particular concoction that I wanted to prepare for one of my clients in Isoyin.

“When the Pastor came, saying that he wanted power so that his congregation could grow, I used the opportunity to kill him and used the needed parts for the concoction.

“I gave him some solution to drink and he fell deeply asleep and that afforded me the time to slaughter him and cut out the parts I needed for my concoction.

“I know I have done wrong, but I want forgiveness because if you go around and ask about me, people will tell you that I am a good person.

“This one just happened the way it did.”

The spokesperson of the Ogun State  Police Command, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the native doctor was arrested by policemen on routine stop and search duty along Isoyin Road.

Oyeyemi, a Deputy superintendent of Police, said Ogunkoya would be profiled to know how many people he may have killed in the same manner.

He said the native doctor would be charged for murder at the end of investigation.

Source: Pastor seeking ‘power’ to grow congregation killed by native doctor for ritual

AND

Ogun State:
Human parts dealers go violent after customers fail to pay N1m for ‘fresh hand’

Published: May 21, 2020
By: The Eagle Online, Nigeria

Alleged human parts dealers in Ogun State last week went violent following the failure of three of their customers to come up with the N1 million agreed for the supply of a “fresh human hand”.

According to available information, after the customers failed to pay for the human hand, the human parts dealers lured them to a bush, where they had them beaten thoroughly for a couple of days before releasing them on May 17, 2019.

According to the spokesman of the Ogun State Police Command, Deputy Superintendent of Police Abimbola Oyeyemi, the development led to the arrest of four persons involved in the deal.

Oyeyemi, in a statement on Wednesday, said the operation, carried out in conjunction with the Ogun State Security Outfit, So-Safe Corps, also led to the recovery of the fresh human hand.

The Command’s spokesman, who identified the buyers of the fresh human hand as Matthew Idosu, John Feyisetan and Samuel Adegbola, said they were arrested alongside a 40-year-old herbalist, Michael Itomu, by operatives of the Police and So-Safe Corps at Idi-Iroko in Ipokia Local Government Area of the state for being in possession of a fresh human hand.

He said the suspects, through Idosu, had contracted someone in Abeokuta, the state capital, who promised to get the human hand for them for N1 million for money rituals.

Oyeyemi said in the statement: “On delivering the hand, the dealers demanded the agreed N1 million, but the money was not readily available; this led to a serious scuffle between them and they angrily took away the duo of Samuel Adegbola and John Feyisetan into a bush, where they thoroughly beat them before they were released on May 17, 2020.

“It was the action of those, who supplied the hand, that made the whole secret to leak out and which eventually led to their arrest.”

He said following a tip-off, the Idi-Iroko Divisional Police Officer, CSP Sunday Opebiyi, detailed his detectives in collaboration with men of the So-Safe Corps to ambush the suspects, leading to the arrest of three of them in Owode-Yewa, adding: “Their arrest led to the arrest of the herbalist in the early hours of Tuesday, May 19, 2020.”

Oyeyemi said the fresh human hand had been taken to the Idi-Iroko General Hospital for preservation, adding that the Commissioner of Police in the state, Kenneth Ebrimson, had ordered the transfer of the case to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for further investigation.

He said: “He also directed that other members of the syndicate, who provided the hand, should be hunted and brought to justice.”

Source: Human parts dealers go violent after customers fail to pay N1m for ‘fresh hand’

AND

Ogun State: Mum, stepdad kill boy for ritual, bury him in upright position with parts missing

Published: April 26, 2020
By: The Eagle Online, Nigeria

Operatives of the Ogun State Command have arrested three persons, including the mum and stepdad, of a seven-year-old boy in the state, Pelumi Apalaya, for allegedly killing him for ritual.

The spokesman of the Command, Abimbola Oyeyemi, revealed this in a statement on Saturday.

According to the police, those arrested were the boy’s mum, Adetutu Apalaya; her husband, who is the boy’s stepdad and a herbalist, Lajuwon Ogunleye; and his friend, Fatai Sefiu.

Oyeyemi said in the statement that the boy, who lived with his mum and stepdad until he died in Abigi area of Ogun State, reportedly slumped and died on the spot without being ill.

This was said to have aroused the suspicion of some neighbours who trailed Apalaya, Ogunleye and Sefiu to a bush, where the corpse of the boy was reportedly buried in a mysterious way.

The incident was then reported at Abigi Police Station, with the Divisional Police Officer, SP Tarkighir Joseph, leading a crack team to track down the suspects in Iwopin area of Ijebu Waterside, Ogun State on Wednesday.

The three suspects led the policemen to where Pelumi was buried.

There, it was discovered that the victim was buried in an upright position with some of his parts removed.

Oyeyemi said: “On interrogation, the second suspect, Fatai Sefiu, told the detectives that the boy was actually used for ritual by the stepfather (Ogunleye) in connivance with the deceased boy’s mother.

“He stated further that the couple had reached a conclusion before he was co-opted into the business.”

He stated that Apalaya initially denied knowledge of her husband’s plan to use Pelumi for ritual, but later admitted to the crime, adding: “She was dumbfounded when asked whether or not she followed them to the bush where her son was buried and the mode of burial of the boy.

“Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, CP Kenneth Ebrimson, has ordered the immediate transfer of the case to the homicide section of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for further investigation and prosecution.”

Source: Ogun: Mum, stepdad kill boy for ritual, bury him in upright position with parts missing

Osun State Assembly okays death penalty for ritual killers and kidnappers (Nigeria)

Recently, on March 2, I posted an article – dated February 26 – on the subject mentioned in the heading: ritual killers and kidnappers who have been found guilty may face the death penalty in Osun State. I added critical comments which I won’t repeat here. Readers are referred my March 2 posting.

Now it has become official. On Tuesday, March 10 the Osun State House of Assembly has passed into law a bill that makes kidnapping, banditry and ritual killing a crime which is punishable by death. Will the capital punishment act as a deterrent? Or will in practice it serve s a means to revenge the heinous crime committed, not more and no less? Only the future will tell. We will follow up on the upcoming events in Osun State (webmaster FVDK).

Osun Assembly okays death penalty for kidnappers 

Speaker Timothy Owoeye

Published: March 11, 2020
By: The Nation – Toba Adedeji, Osogbo 

Osun State House of Assembly has passed into law, a bill prohibiting kidnapping, banditry and ritual killing.

The bill, which was passed into law on Tuesday, was read for the third time, having passed through debates to correct identified grey areas by the committee of the whole of the House of Assembly.

Speaker Timothy Owoeye said that with the passage of the bill, Section 364 of the Criminal Code Cap 38 Law of Osun, which stipulated 10 years for kidnappers, stood repealed and replaced with the death penalty.

He said: “Where the life of the person kidnapped, restrained or seized is lost in the process, the kidnapper(s) is liable on conviction and will be sentenced to death.”

Owoeye said any person who kidnaps another person by any means or instilling fears or tricks or compels another to do anything against his will commits an offence.

Said he: “Where the life of the person kidnapped is lost in the process and the kidnapper is liable on conviction, he or she is to be sentenced to death.

“Not lost in the process, but he is released upon payment of a ransom or performance of a ransom act, the kidnapper is liable on conviction to repay the sum he/she received as ransom and to imprisonment for life and the ransom act shall be reversed.

“Any person who knowingly or willingly allows his premises, building or place belonging to or occupied by him or her and which he has control over to be used for purposes or keeping a kidnapped person, commits an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for 15 years and such building shall be forfeited to the government for public use.”

Owoeye said the passed bill will soon be transmitted to Governor Gboyega Oyetola for his assent as soon as administrative processes are completed.

(…….)

Source: Osun Assembly okays death penalty for kidnappers 

Related articles: 

Osun Assembly passes death penalty for kidnappers 

Published: March 11, 2020|
By: Legit – Rahaman Abiola            

  • Osun state assembly has passed the bill seeking to impose the death penalty for kidnappers, bandits and money ritualists
  • The move became necessary in order to tackle the insecurity concern in the southwest state
  • Explaining the mission of the bill, Osun speaker Timothy Owoeye said the kidnappers will be sentenced to death should the victims die

    The war against kidnapping received a massive boost as Osun assembly completed the passing of a bill which will henceforth tackle abduction and ritual killing in the southwest state.

    The assembly passed the bill on Tuesday, March 10, which will also hopefully tackle the cases of banditry in the state, The Nation reports.

    Speaking at the assembly complex after the bill scaled through the legislative hurdle, Osun speaker Timothy Owoeye said any kidnapper found henceforth will be made to face the wrath of the law and be sentenced to death.

Source: Insecurity: Osun Assembly passes death penalty for kidnappers 

And:

Osun assembly okays death penalty for kidnappers, ritualists

Published: March 11, 2020
By: Blueprint

The Osun state House of Assembly has passed into law a bill that makes kidnapping, banditry and ritual killing punishment by death sentance.

The bill, which was passed into law on Tuesday, was read for the third time, having passed through debates to correct identified grey areas by the committee of the whole of the House of Assembly.

Speaking after the passage, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Timothy Owoeye, said with the passage of the bill, Section 364 of the Criminal Code Cap 38 law of Osun, which stipulated 10 years for kidnappers, stood repealed and replaced with the death penalty.

“Where the life of the person kidnapped, restrained or seized is lost in the process, the kidnapper(s) is liable on conviction and will be sentenced to death.”

“Where the life of the person kidnapped is lost in the process and the kidnapper is liable on conviction, he or she is to be sentenced to death.

“Not lost in the process, but he is released upon payment of a ransom or performance of a ransom act, the kidnapper is liable on conviction to repay the sum he/she received as ransom and to imprisonment for life and the ransom act shall be reversed.

“Any person who knowingly or willingly allows his premises, building or place belonging to or occupied by him or her and which he has control over to be used for purposes or keeping a kidnapped person, commits an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for 15 years and such building shall be forfeited to the government for public use.”

Owoeye said any person who kidnaps another person by any means or instilling fears or tricks or compels another to do anything against his will commits an offence.

Owoeye said the passed bill will soon be transmitted to Governor Gboyega Oyetola for his assent as soon as administrative processes are completed.

Source: Osun assembly okays death penalty for kidnappers, ritualists

Kidnappers and ritual killers to face death penalty in Osun State (Nigeria)

Is the capital punishment a justifiable sanction or a sufficient deterrent to ritualistic murders, money rituals, muti murders, or whatever one calls the heinous crimes which ruthless criminals commit to increase their wealth, prestige or power? In Osun State, Nigeria, legislators contemplate to prescribe the death penalty for kidnappers and ritual killers. See the article below.

The United Nations has voted in favor of a moratorium on the death penalty (though Nigeria was among those voting against the resolution). It is to be doubted seriously if the capital punishment serves as a deterrent to ritual killers. Wouldn’t it be more logical and useful to eradicate superstition – which lies at the base of the belief in juju – by providing the necessary education and to create more job opportunities? (webmaster FVDK).

Kidnappers to Face Death Penalty in Osun

The Speaker of Osun State House of Assembly, Hon Timothy Owoeye

Published: February 26, 2020
By: This Day, Nigeria – Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo

The Speaker of Osun State House of Assembly, Hon Timothy Owoeye, yesterday said the state kidnapping and other related crimes (prohibition) bill 2020 would prescribe death penalty for kidnappers and also compliment efforts of the Amotekun Corps when fully inaugurated.

The Speaker at the public hearing on Osun State kidnapping and other related crimes prohibition bill 2020 stated that it is imperative to have an enabling law to ensure quick and diligent prosecution of kidnappers.

Owoeye pointed out that ever since the issue of Amotekun Corps arose, there has been a downward trend in the cases of kidnapping in Osun and other South-western states.

He held that the seveth Assembly under his watch is reviewing the existing laws on kidnapping which recommended that 14 years would be reviewed to death penalty.

The Speaker added that should the bill scale through the needed stages, those caught with human parts and kidnappers whose victims dies in the process of abduction would face death sentence as against imprisonment obtainable before now.

Owoeye noted that with the way kidnapping is becoming lucrative, it is sacrosanct that laws with severe consequences be put in place to protect Nigerians from kidnappers.

According to him, “Ever since the issue of Amotekun came up, I have noticed downward cases of kidnapping in Osun and other South-western states; however I am more afraid of the surge in ritual related cases.

“The country was saddened at the gruesome murder and dismembering of a 23-year-old 400 level LASU student, Favour Oladele, for money ritual purposes. We the Osun people are sadder that the killing took place in Ikoyi town, in our own soil.

“As parents and community leaders, we must begin to re-orientate our young ones on this prevailing get-rich-quick syndrome. There is no shortcut to success, the only way is preparation, hard work, patience and perseverance.”

Also, the Chairman of Osun Civil Society Coalition, Waheed Lawal, has given reasons for government at all levels to re-double their efforts to create job for employable youths, stating that it would go a long way in reducing the crime rate in the country.

Police Community Relations Committee Chairman in the state, Amitolu Shittu, on his own, commended the seventh Assembly for championing the crusade to bring sanity to the society.

Source: Kidnappers to Face Death Penalty in Osun

IBAHRI denounces death sentence delivered against three in Malawi

Reference is made to a recent court decision to sentence three individuals to death for killing and dismembering a person with albinism in August 2015. See my August 20, 2019 posting for more details (‘Malawi judge sentences three to death for albinism murder.‘) According to research carried out by the Cornell Law School, Malawi operates a moratorium on the death penalty and last carried out an execution in 1992 (webmaster FVDK).

A man was sentenced to death in Malawi for killing an albino teenager

Published: August 23, 2019
By: Our reporter (The Maravi Post)

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) is deeply concerned about the recent decision in Malawi to sentence three individuals to death for killing and dismembering a person with albinism in August 2015. The IBAHRI fully supports the enjoyment of all rights by persons with albinism and recognises the challenges Malawi is facing in curbing the heinous attacks against persons with albinism. Despite this, the IBAHRI maintains that the death penalty is not the solution to preventing such odious crimes and goes against the international trend towards its abolition.

IBAHRI Co-Chair, the Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG, commented: ‘To stop the commission of crimes against human rights, penalties that violate the same fundamental rights cannot be imposed. Attacks against persons with albinism must end, but the punishment that the perpetrators should face must respect international human rights law. We exhort the Malawi government to revise this judgement.’

On Tuesday 14 August 2019, at the High Court in the Mchinji district, Central Malawi, Judge Esmey Chombo passed death sentences on three individuals: Douglas Mwale, Sophie Jere and Fontino Folosani – who were found guilty of murdering and mutilating Priscott Pepuzani, who had albinism, in August 2015. In her ruling, Judge Chombo said the death sentences would send a strong message to other would-be offenders and put an end to such malpractices.

Since 1992, Malawi has had a moratorium on the death penalty, and the mandatory death penalty for murder was eliminated in 2007. African regional standards established by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, including General Comment No.3 on the right to life, Resolutions 42 and 136, as well as the Cotonou Declaration on the Abolition of the Death Penalty in Africa , call on State Parties to move towards the abolition of the death penalty. Nevertheless, this is not the first time in recent years that the death penalty has been imposed for this kind of crime. In May 2019, Willard Mikaele was sentenced to death for the murder of Mphatso Pensulo, another person with albinism.

In the denunciation of this recent judgement, the IBAHRI reiterates its recognition of the difficult situation for people with albinism, which is particularly worrying in Malawi and other countries of the region due to frequent ritual killings and trading of body parts. In its 2018 report ‘Waiting to disappear’ International and Regional Standards for the Protection of the Human Rights of Persons with Albinism , the IBAHRI suggests that the legal protection of the rights of persons with albinism needs to be dramatically improved.

The IBAHRI condemns all attacks against persons with albinism and the violation of their rights, but believes that the imposition of the death penalty infringes the universally guaranteed right to life and amounts to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, contrary to both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

IBAHRI Co-Chair, Anne Ramberg Dr jur hc, stated: ‘The death penalty is amongst the worst of human rights violations, where the right to life and the right not to be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment are completely ignored. The decision to resort to the death penalty is incompatible with a country that supports the rule of law and good governance.’

In 2008, the IBAHRI Council passed a resolution stating: ‘the Human Rights Institute shall in the future actively promote the abolition of the death penalty’.

Source: IBAHRI denounces death sentence delivered against three in Malawi

Malawi judge sentences three to death for albinism murder

File Photo

Published: August 14, 2019
By: Charles Pensulo, Thomson Reuters Foundation

BLANTYRE, Aug 14 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Three people have been sentenced to death in Malawi for the murder and mutilation of a person with albinism, a court official confirmed on Wednesday, a sanction the judge said would serve as a strong deterrent. 

Malawi is one of the most dangerous countries for people with the condition, who are targeted for ritual killings because of a belief that their body parts can increase wealth. 

Douglas Mwale, Sophie Here and Fontino Folosani killed Prescott Pepuzani in 2015, using a metal bar and a hoe handle before chopping off his hands and legs and burying him in Mwale’s garden in Mchinji district, Central Malawi. 

Passing sentence on Tuesday at the High Court in Mchinji, Judge Esmey Chombo said it would act as a strong deterrent to others and help put an end to the crime. 

Another man was sentenced to death in Malawi in May for murdering a teenager with albinism – the first time the death penalty had been handed down in such a case – though he has not been executed. (Also see my May 4 posting – webmaster FVDK).

Malawi operates a moratorium on the death penalty and last carried out an execution in 1992, according to research by Cornell Law School. 

The southern African country is home to up to 10,000 people with albinism, a lack of pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes. 

Their body parts can fetch high sums in an underground trade concentrated in Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania. 

There have been more than 160 recorded attacks in Malawi including 22 murders since November 2014, according to human rights group Amnesty International. (italics added by the webmaster FVDK)

The government has denied accusations by rights groups that it is doing little to stop the violence. 

Overstone Kondowe, who heads the African Union for People with Albinism, said he hoped the sentence would curb the attacks. 

“This is really a big step and we want to encourage the Malawi government to continue (with tough penalties),” he said. 

“Whether they will really be hanged or not, it’s not significant. The public will still get the message.” 

Kondowe urged the courts to take a similarly tough stance with other pending cases, adding that the murders of people with albinism had fallen in Tanzania, which has imposed the death penalty in similar cases.

(Reporting by Charles Pensulo; Writing by Emma Batha; Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit news.trust.org)

Source: Malawi judge sentences three to death for albinism murder

Related articles: 

Death penalty handed down for three albino killers in Malawi

An albino boy and his friend in Luwerezi, Malawi (Wikimedia/janjacob).

Published: August 14,2019
By: RFI

Two men and a woman have been sentenced to death in Malawi after being convicted of brutally murdering a man with albinism in 2015.

The “three were found guilty of (murder and possessing human tissue) and have been sentenced to death” in Mchinji on Tuesday, judiciary spokesperson Agness Patemba told Agence France Presse newswire.

Douglas Mwale, Fontino Folosani and Sophie Jere used a metal bar and hoe handle to kill Priscott Pepuzani, chopping off his limbs and burying his body. Body parts of people with albinism are seen as magical, their limbs used in witchcraft for good luck, wealth, or to win elections.

“This ruling enhances our faith in the judiciary and solidifies our belief that we have them as an advocate in our fight to curb killings and abductions against people with albinism,” Ian Simbota, the head of the Association of People Living with Albinism, said after the ruling.

He added that he hoped it would deter others from attacking people with albinism.

President Peter Mutharika created a commission of inquiry last March after a number of people with albinism were attacked. He had come under fire for not adequately responding to the issue.

Amnesty International released a report in May showing that 22 of the 163 cases reported in Malawi since 2014 have been murders, an indication that little had been done to combat the issue.

This is the second death sentence handed down this year for albino murders. In May, Willard Mikaele, the killer of Mphatso Pensulo, 19, was sentenced to death.

Death sentences are usually commuted to life imprisonment, as Malawi has not executed any criminals since 1994.

Source: Death penalty handed down for three albino killers in Malawi

And:

Malawi court sentences three to death over albino killing

Malawi’s musician with albinism, Lazarus Chigwandali, practices his guitar and drum in front of his children before leaving his home at Likuni to go and perform at Area 3 Market in the capital Lilongwe on May 10, 2019 in Likuni on the outskirts of Lilongwe, Malawi. – Chigwandali is not the usual street musician. He is an albino, releasing a professional album, and the star of a documentary produced by Madonna. Albinos are often targeted in brutal attacks in Malawi and other southern African countries because they have white skin due to a hereditary condition that causes lack of pigmentation. (Photo by AMOS GUMULIRA / AFP)

Published: August 14, 2019
By: MalayMail

BLANTYRE, Aug 14 — A Malawi court has convicted and sentenced two men and a woman to death for killing a person with albinism, a judiciary official said today.

Malawi has since late 2014 seen a surge in attacks on people with albinism, whose body parts are often used in witchcraft rituals to bring wealth and luck.

The court found Douglas Mwale, Fontino Folosani and Sophie Jere guilty of murdering Priscott Pepuzani in 2015 using a metal bar and a hoe handle. The trio chopped off Pepuzani’s limbs and later buried the rest of the body in a garden. The “three were found guilty of (murder and possessing human tissue) and have been sentenced to death,” Agness Patemba, judiciary spokeswoman told AFP. The sentence was handed down in the western town of Mchinji on Tuesday.

This is the second death sentence handed down in the country in the past three months following one in May this year for the murder of 19-year-old albino Mphatso Pensulo in 2017.

Malawi has not carried out any executions since 1994, with death sentences commuted to life imprisonment.

Association of People Living with Albinism welcomed Tuesday’s ruling, hoping it will deter attacks on their members.

“This ruling enhances our faith in the judiciary and solidifies our belief that we have them as an advocate in our fight to curb killings and abductions against people with albinism,” said Ian Simbota, leader of the association. 

President Peter Mutharika in March appointed a commission of inquiry to investigate the spate of attacks on people with albinism after coming under mounting criticism over his response to the attacks.

Albinos are often targeted in brutal attacks in Malawi – one of the world’s poorest and most aid-dependent countries – because they have white skin due to a hereditary condition that causes lack of pigmentation. In many cases, those with albinism are targeted for their body parts to be used in witchcraft.

Of 163 cases reported in the country since November 2014, 22 have been murders, Amnesty International said in May 2019, criticising impunity for the crimes. Just 30 per cent of those attacks have been properly investigated, according to official statistics. — AFP (italics added by the webmaster FVDK).

Source: Malawi court sentences three to death over albino killing

And: 
Malawi: 3 sentenced to death over killing of person with albinism – Second death sentence handed down in recent months related to violence against people with albinism.

People with albinism, of which there are up to 10,000 in the country, are often victims of brutal attacks in Malawi [Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP]

Published: August 15, 2019
By: AlJazeera

Malawi court has convicted and sentenced three people to death for killing a person with albinism.

The “three were found guilty of [murder and possessing human tissue] and have been sentenced to death,” judiciary spokeswoman Agness Patemba told the AFP news agency on Wednesday.

The court found Douglas Mwale, Fontino Folosani and Sophie Jere guilty of murdering Priscott Pepuzani in 2015 using a metal bar and a hoe handle. The trio chopped off Pepuzani’s limbs and buried the rest of the body in a garden.

The sentence was handed down in the western town of Mchinji on Tuesday.

This is the second death sentence handed down in the country in the past three months.

Another man was sentenced to death in May for murdering a teenager with albinism – the first time the death penalty had been handed down in such a case – though he has not been executed.

Malawi has not carried out any executions since 1994, with death sentences commuted to life imprisonment.

‘Big step’

In March, Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika appointed a commission of inquiry to investigate the spate of attacks on people with albinism, after coming under mounting criticism over his response to the attacks.

Overstone Kondowe, who heads the African Union for People with Albinism, said he hoped the sentence would curb the attacks.

“This is really a big step and we want to encourage the Malawi government to continue [with tough penalties],” said Kondowe.

“Whether they will really be hanged or not, it’s not significant. The public will still get the message.”

The Association of People Living with Albinism also welcomed the ruling, hoping it will deter attacks on their members.

“This ruling enhances our faith in the judiciary and solidifies our belief that we have them as an advocate in our fight to curb killings and abductions against people with albinism,” said Ian Simbota, leader of the association.

People with albinism, of which there are up to 10,000 in the country, are often victims of brutal attacks in Malawi – one of the world’s poorest and most aid-dependent nations.

This is because of their white skin resulting from a hereditary condition that causes a lack of pigmentation.

Other conditions associated with albinism include vulnerability to bright light, which can cause legal blindness.

Often, individuals with albinism are targeted in Malawi for their body parts to be used in witchcraft.

More than 160 cases have been reported in the country since November 2014, of which 22 have been murders, Amnesty International said in May 2019.

Just 30 percent of those attacks have been properly investigated, according to official statistics. 

Source: Malawi: 3 sentenced to death over killing of person with albinism

PS The original AlJazeera article contains three additional, interesting presentations, one on ‘What is albinism and what causes it?‘ (Infographic), another called ‘Africa investigates: The spell of the albino’ – 25 minutes), and a third called ‘Killed for their bones – Read their story‘, a lengthy article with lots of photos, and worth reading (webmaster FVDK).  

Oluwo Of Iwo, Osun state, Nigeria: Some traditional rulers behind ritual killings in their domains

An inspiring and powerful speech of the Oluwo of Iwo, Osun state, who is not afraid to say what’s on his mind, even if this may disturb his fellow traditional rulers. I quote: “Sadly, as we speak, no traditional ruler, as far as I know in Nigeria, is speaking against ritual killing, which is gradually becoming a norm in our present day society. If I may ask again, why are all these things going on and no king is talking about them? Are some of our kings part of these ugly game? Some kings justify so many ugly things pertaining to ritual killings in the name of customs and traditions. What culture and tradition are they talking about?

He even goes one step further, by directly accusing his fellow kings: “I know these comments will unsettle many kings, still involved in all manner of ritual killings.” Unquote. 

It is no small talk what Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi asserts – even though we we may be surprised by certain details.

We should congratulate him with his outspoken views and rejection of the heinous crimes which are the ritualistic killings in Nigeria, also known as ‘money-related rituals’.  

“Ritualism is not culture or tradition, as far as I am concerned”, according to the Oluwo of Iwo.

I sincerely hope that many traditional rulers in Nigeria will soon follow his example.

Read below what Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi had to say. 

Thank you Oluwo of Iwo!
(webmaster FVDK),

Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi 
Photo/ Facebook/ emperortelu1/ Taosandphotography

Oluwo of Iwo: some traditional rulers behind ritual killings in their domains

Published: May 19, 2019 – 3:07 am
By: Gabriel Omonhinmin  

On May 7, 2019, at exactly 7.45 a.m., Palace Watch got an SMS from HRM Oba Adewale Abdul-Rasheed Akanbi Telu 1, the Oluwo of Iwo, and the message was “Africans, nay Nigerians are no devils. Yoruba as a people are blessed and our culture and tradition is the best. But what is required now is for all men of goodwill to advocate upgrading of all sectors of our cultural practices to make them more appealing. As a King, I will not stop until I help to make our cultural heritage and traditional values, the envy of the world.”Palace Watch then reached out to Oluwo of Iwo, who shared his thoughts on various national issues.

What brought about the message you sent?
The message arose from the pains I currently suffer over the damming issues of ritual killings, kidnapping and other worrisome crimes, which have continued to unsettle most Nigerians and foreigners alike. For how long will all these crimes be allowed to fester unattended to in our society?

This is not the type of society we inherited, and there is no way I will continue to keep quiet like most monarchs across the country over these very worrisome matters. I have resolved to continue with my advocacy over these issues. I know most traditional rulers, who are involved in all manner of rituals will not be happy with me and will not find my advocacy funny. I am, however, determined to ensure our children no longer die unnecessarily over ritual related matters, due to age-long ignorance of ritual killings by kings and their friends or allies.

The act is not only barbaric, but it is also wicked and unacceptable in any civilized setting. We must, therefore, do all within our powers as traditional rulers to make sure African gods or deities that require only human blood are no longer appeased.Just a little over 100 years ago, it was a great woman called Mary Slessor that fought so hard to stop killings of twins in some Nigerian societies because we ignorantly believed then that twins were devils. All twins in Nigeria should eulogise and celebrate Mary Slessor. 

Nigerians are dying in thousands daily because of ritual killings. The case of Badoo in Lagos is one singular example of this evil. It is a very good example of money rituals, which have become the common practice in our society. Mind you, the practice is all about shedding of innocent blood. The situation has gotten so bad that children can no longer trust their parents and neighbours, due to societal craze and desperation for quick money. 

As if this is not painful enough, most parents, guardians and other relatives are now in the habit of selling their wards and relatives into slavery to places like Italy, Libya, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries. Some of these children are made sex slaves and in the process killed and unaccounted for. 

Other high level crimes are daily committed, due to desperation of seeking greener pastures abroad, which is a mirage. Enough of this. Government must now begin to act and speak up against this type of crime. If not for President Muhammadu Buhari’s quick intervention, innocent blood would have been shed by Saudi Arabian government in the case of little Zainab Aliyu and the 81-year-old man, who were implicated by a desperate drug cartel at Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano. Their lives would have been wasted just like that. 

With this type of crime, what precedent are we showing our children, especially the youths? All traditional rulers of good conscience should henceforth rise up and do all within their powers to rid the society of these elements, especially those residing in their domains. They should deliberately continue to do all within their powers to assist law enforcement agents to arrest these elements, no matter how wealthy they are. They are not good examples to any society.

It might not be palatable to most traditional rulers across Africa,especially Nigeria and Yoruba land. But we must henceforth learn to do away with traditional and cultural practices that encourage these types of inhuman practices. We as traditional rulers need to show love and compassion at any given time. 

We need to change what we met our forefathers ignorantly doing to harm our society. Such acts are not culture or tradition; they are simply evil that we must do away with. And once we do this, Africa will no longer be regarded as backward and evil by others, especially European countries. 

My prayer, therefore, is that any traditional ruler, especially my fellow Obas, who find it difficult supporting this type of noble act of preserving innocent lives, his family members should also experience the pains family members of victims of ritual killings, kidnappings and other violent crimes currently ravaging our society suffer.

The principal reason for placing this curse is simple. There is a common adage in Yoruba land, which says, “The elderly can’t be around and watch helplessly as children go astray or die recklessly in their presence.” Traditional rulers by our customs and traditions, no matter their age, are the elderly in any society. They, therefore, have a role to play to help stem this ugly trend that is not helping our society in any way or form. 

We are kings, so we must see everyone in our society as our children, especially the very young and vulnerable. Sadly, as we speak, no traditional ruler, as far as I know in Nigeria, is speaking against ritual killing, which is gradually becoming a norm in our present day society. If I may ask again, why are all these things going on and no king is talking about them? Are some of our kings part of these ugly game? Some kings justify so many ugly things pertaining to ritual killings in the name of customs and traditions. What culture and tradition are they talking about? 

I honestly expect my fellow Yoruba Obas to have learnt a lesson or two from the Efon Alaye king, who was hanged sometime in the 60s or early 70s for his complicity in the killing of a young child in the name of rituals. Ritualism is not culture or tradition, as far as I am concerned. That particular incident showed clearly that some of our Yoruba Obas are part of this nonsense. The Efon Alaye Oba was caught, but what about other kings, who are still doing these things and have not been caught? Is it right and proper? We are all sitting down looking in the name of culture, while they are busy killing our children.

And some people call such terrible barbaric acts culture and tradition? It was these types of acts that gave impetus to the money rituals that are almost becoming a norm in our present day society. When will they stop?All these happenings around African countries are contributing to our lack of progress. Mind you, any country that does all these things will never be at peace with itself. These are simply natural reactions that come without any curse. These ugly acts naturally recycle themselves and come with karma. People still have the erroneous belief that karma will never come. Then let’s wait and see, if they don’t stop henceforth, what will happen to them and their generations yet unborn. 

I know these comments will unsettle many kings, still involved in all manner of ritual killings. They will hate me more, but I honestly don’t care about how they feel. If this nonsense is not stopped forthwith, what kind of future are we laying down for our children and generations coming after us?

Why do you think Law enforcement agencies, particularly the Police seem helpless?
How can the police uncover the crimes, if people are not willing to cooperate with them? Police need lots of information to work with, and the people are not forthcoming with such information, just because they have been hoodwinked in name of culture and tradition. 

Just recently, an Oba in the Southwest was to be buried, women were particularly warned not to stray into the town during late hours, otherwise they would be killed. Assuming an illiterate lady that can’t read and write get stranded in that town, what is the guarantee that the innocent lady who is just going about her business would not be killed, to justify one nonsense culture and tradition? Which culture or tradition says that a king or his people should illegally take the life of another person they did not help to create?

With this position, most traditional rulers across the country, especially your fellow Obas from the Southwest, will see you as a rebel. Does this not bother you?
I don’t care what they think of me, I am only after the truth. Will I say because of what other Obas, who are mere mortals like me think or say about me, I should not speak against the barbaric acts they are involved in, and which are not helping society? If we choose to keep quiet, what are kings for? What are leaders for? What are the roles of traditional rulers in helping to make society a better place? 

My friend, people are free to use their mouths anyhow they like. I am for the truth and will never leave that path, which is pleasing to the Almighty Allah. Nigeria is just like the personal domain of every king. Once traditional rulers begin to genuinely speak against these evils, people involved in these acts will no longer have the liver to continue with their acts. And with this position, the entire country will become safer for all of us.

What is the way forward and how do we stop all these acts?
Our message goes out daily to the Obas and kings involved in these ugly acts, but they are not ready to change. The few of us that believe in the truth and the betterment of society will force them to quit the acts that do no one any good. Their alibi is that they inherited these customs from their forefathers, but they fail to realise that their forefathers were not living in a civilized and enlightened society, such as the one we have today.

Most of these secret cults that require human sacrifice, which some of our kings and their people cued into, were never founded by kings. The association founded by kings as a group, is the Assembly of traditional rulers, which is called Council of Traditional rulers in states and local government and the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria at the national level. 

Indeed, these groups are voluntary associations of kings across the country, where the welfare and well-being of kings are discussed alongside other issues of national importance. These groups or bodies do not demand any form of sacrifice nor human blood or that of an animal. 

So, I am henceforth advocating that we now have bodies that should be known and called for example, the “Yoruba Council of Oba,” an assemblage where all Yoruba speaking Obas should sit down once in a long while and discuss matters concerning the Yoruba nation generally. Similarly, we should have Ijaw Council of Obas, Igbo Council of Obis or Eze, and the Hausa Fulani Council of Emirs.

These groups should be able to meet separately at different times, compare notes about things happening around their areas that are bothering them, and then bring such before the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria. Please, try to get the point I am pushing here. These Yoruba, Ijaw, Igbos and Hausa Fulani Councils of Kings do not in any way invalidate all other existing councils in the Local Government Areas and the states across the country, which meet more frequently than the one I am proposing, which will only meet in a very long while.

If government wants the security situation in the country to improve drastically, it must henceforth learn to empower traditional rulers and traditional institutions. No security system can impact on the ordinary people without the cooperation and collaboration of traditional rulers across the country. 

Are you comfortable with the level of funding for traditional institutions by government?
Nice to know that efforts are now being made by the Federal Government to channel Local Government Areas’ allocation to them directly. But much as this move is applauded, it will not help the present security situation in the country. The Obas, Obis and Emirs are the Chief Security Officers (CSO) in their domains.

If this is true, then the kings need to be funded. The Federal Government should make provision for a special budgetary allocation for traditional rulers to deal with security needs. This is the way to go. Oftentimes, the kings that are not funded by government are the ones supporting and providing funds and other logistics for the police to fight crimes in their domains.

The Nigeria Police can hardly do anything meaningful without the kings’ cooperation. Honestly, the salaries of Obas, Obis and Emirs are nothing to write home about. If I tell you the monthly salary of a First Class Oba in the Southwest, especially in Osun State where I am, you will be ashamed and scandalised. Yet, so much is expected from these kings. The North is slightly better, but it is still not enough. 

Once the government at the centre begins to offer reasonable resources to kings across the country, and they are legislatively empowered to take some actions and decisions, things will naturally improve security-wise across the country. Most criminals see kings as toothless bulldogs that can do little or nothing. 

When a king wants to correct criminals in their domains, they go to court, saying the king does not have the power to do this or that to them. But if kings are given some legal backing, most criminals will run away from their domains or decide to behave themselves. Criminals are not ghosts, but there is little or nothing a king can do the way things are now.The government should, as a matter of urgency, formulate policies to criminalise some of these practices. Some kings are hiding behind ritual killings to commit all sorts of atrocities. These acts are nothing but cultural corruption.

Source: Some traditional rulers behind ritual killings in their domains — Oluwo Of Iwo

Malawi: Councilor to push for death penalty for killer of people with albinism

End the attacks against people with albinism – Stop impunity!

Published: April 16, 2019
By: Patricia Mtungila – Nyasa Times 

As the debate on whether Malawi should practically utilize the death penalty on convicted killers of people with albinism continues, United Democratic Front (UDF) shadow Councilor for Chibanja Ward Ulia Kaunda has added his voice to the discussion with a suggestion that giving the stiffest penalty in the land is what will end the increasing cases of ritual murders of people with albinism.

Myths that body parts of people with albinism work in lucky charms for fortune and power-seekers have fanned brutal attacks on people with albinism in the country.

Kaunda made the suggestion on Friday at a political debate for ward councilors organized by the National Initiative for Civic Education NICE (Trust) held at New Jerusalem Private Primary School in Mzuzu.

The debate attracted three participants; Lillian Kadango of Malawi Congress Party (MCP), Chimwemwe Mhango an independent candidate and Kaunda.

The shadow councilor promised to lobby for the utilization of the death sentence for those found guilty of killing a person with albinism.

Said Kaunda: “This is a difficult issue. It is not right for a person to be killing other people just like that and these cases have been left for too long without finding the real killers and without any convictions while people with smaller crimes get stiff sentences.

“I will protect all people with albinism in Chibanja, when I am elected. I will also meet the Member of Parliament and ask him to push for the death penalty on anyone who kills an albino.”

Kaunda, a businessman, however, sent people laughing when he failed to articulate himself in English and had to ask the moderator , Emmanuel Lawyer, to allow him to speak in the vernacular Chichewa or Tumbuka.

“Sir, I will not speak English because my supporters do not speak English, they are not English. I will speak Chitumbuka or Chichewa ,” said Kaunda.

Still, independent candidate Chimwemwe Mhango concurred with Kaunda on the need for the death penalty to be applied on albino killers.

But the MCP shadow Councilor Lillian Kadango said that she would focus on strengthening community policing efforts to ensure that people with albinism are protected by the community.

While some activists in Malawi feel that if applied , the existing death penalty law could deter the syndicates involved in the abduction and killings of people with albinism.

Human rights agencies such as the United Nations, through the United Nations Development Programme are against the death penalty saying that such punishments will only lead to further dehumanization of people.

At the close of the debate in Chibanja the three panelists and local leaders signed social contracts aimed at ensuring that the councilors adhere to their campaign promises when elected.

Apart from killings of people with albinism, escalating child-prostitution, mushrooming of illegal bars and high youth unemployment rates are some of the major issues that people in Mzuzu are asking candidates in the May 21 Tripartite Elections to take a clear stand.

The Chibanja debate was part of a series of 21 debates being organized by NICE and other electoral stakeholders in Mzuzu City and Mzimba North aimed at promoting unity and tolerance among Malawians and to offer the electorate a chance to assess the would-be political leaders before polling on May 21 2019.

Source: Malawi: Councilor to push for death penalty for killer of people with albinism

Related article:

Shadow councillor demands death sentence for albino killers 

(….) Myths that body parts of people with albinism work in lucky charms for fortune and power-seekers have fanned brutal attacks on people with albinism in the country.
Media reports indicate that over 20 people have been murdered, hundreds mutilated while many have gone missing since the killings began in 2014. (….)

Catholic priest among 11 charged for killing man with albinism in Malawi

web_photo_priest_02052018

Published: May 4, 2018
By: BRINKWIRE

BLANTYRE, Malawi – A Catholic priest, police officer, and a medical officer are among 11 people facing charges for the murder of a man living with albinism in Malawi, police spokesman James Kadadzera said.

The latest murder of a man with albinism in Malawi – the 22nd in four years – has sparked calls for their killers to be executed to deter a wave of attacks in the poor southern African nation.

Police said the dismembered corpse of 22-year-old McDonald Masambuka was found buried in southern Malawi several weeks after he went missing in March.
Information minister Nicholas Dausi said international rights groups and donors were preventing the government from using the death penalty to deter such crimes in Malawi, where people with albinism are hunted down for their body parts.

“They are stopping us from enforcing capital punishment,” Dausi was quoted by local media as saying at Masambuka’s funeral last month. “Yet in their countries they execute murderers. Is this fair?”

Malawi is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for people with albinism – a lack of pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes – who are targeted so that their body parts can be used in magical potions and other ritual practices.
The United Nations’ top expert on albinism has said people with the condition risk “extinction” in Malawi due to relentless attacks fuelled by superstitions.

President Peter Mutharika has since said Malawi should have an “honest debate” about whether to apply the death sentence to those found guilty of murdering people with albinism.

Malawi suspended capital punishment more than 20 years ago as it embraced democratic reforms. Although the death penalty still exists in law, it has been declared unconstitutional.

Murders

But rights groups said the focus on the death penalty was misplaced and the government should step up its efforts to investigate unsolved murders and protect people with albinism.

“We never have any experience where the death penalty has been successful as a deterrent,” said Overstone Kondowe, head of the Association of People with Albinism in Malawi (APAM), which helps about 3,400 people with the condition.

It has recorded 146 attacks in Malawi since 2014. About one in 20,000 people worldwide have the congenital disorder, with higher rates in sub-Saharan Africa.

Only five of 22 murders reported since 2014 are in court, said Kondowe, with 17 unsolved. (italics by the webmaster FVDK)“We don’t have even have a suspect and nobody has been prosecuted,” he said of the 17 cases, adding that the police should reopen them now that they have better equipment.

“We didn’t have facilities of DNA testing to help with the investigation, so we’re seeking that because the current capacity can help to shed light on who was responsible.”

Rights groups called on the government to establish a commission of inquiry to find out who is behind the attacks, amid claims that they are organised by criminal gangs.

“There is a green light with the recent case where we have seen high profile people involved,” said Timothy Mtambo, who heads the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation, a charity.“We believe a good investigation can open up our windows as to who is behind the trade … We would be able to say we have unveiled the market and done (away) with the roots.”

Mtambo also echoed a UN’s call on the government to implement its own plan to strengthen protection measures, including buying sturdy locks for poor families at risk of attack, and for public education to eradicate superstitions.

“It should invest in preventative measures, not ‘curing’ the problem,” he said. “It needs to understand where we have people with albinism, which can help in drawing security plans. Currently, there is no proper programme.”

Source: Catholic priest among 11 charged for killing man with albinism in Malawi

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