Searc
h

HOME

Wednesday July 28, 2010

Feature
Albino victim evicted from safe-house

By a
Correspon
dent, 23rd
October
2009 @
22:00,
Total
Comments:
0, Hits:
1070
ONE year
ago,
Mariam
Staford
Bandaba,
an albino
woman
living in
Tanzania,
was
viciously
Ms Miriam Staford Bandaba
attacked by
a machetewielding
gang who tried to kill her and sell her remains for witchcraft. She escaped with her life, but
only just.
The attackers chopped off one of her hands - the other had to be amputated in hospital,
where she spent weeks recovering from her horrific injuries. Traumatised, Ms Staford
Bandaba then took the brave step of identifying her attackers.
She was taken to a safe-house where she lived under government protection. But the
government recently decided she could no longer live there, leaving the 28-year-old
fearing for her safety.
The administrative officer in the village where she was re-housed, Erasmus Rugarabamu,
told the BBC Swahili service that the situation had improved and no albinos had been
killed in her home village in the north-western Kagera region in the past year.
The decision by the authorities comes just a few weeks after a court sentenced three men
to death for the murder of an albino boy. Ms Staford Bandaba is one of thousands of
people with albinism who live in fear in Tanzania.
Her harrowing tale has become commonplace in a country where 53 albinos are believed
to have been murdered in the past two years.
Albinos, who are pale because of a lack of pigment in their skin, have been routinely killed
because witchdoctors say that potions made with their body parts will bring good fortune
in love, life and business to those who use them.
The killings have also spread to neighbouring Burundi where at least 12 people have been
murdered. The victims were mutilated and their body parts are believed to have been sold
in Tanzania to make potions.

Search

Select target paragraph3