By Mlondolozi Ndlovu
Harare, June 17, 2016 – ZIMBABWEANS living with albinism have implored their government to guarantee their safety following a recent increase of cases where people with their condition were being killed for ritual purposes in Malawi and Tanzania.
The founder of Albino Charity Organisation of Zimbabwe, Loveness Mainato told a United Nations organised meeting in Harare on Wednesday that their members are living in fear that this may come to Zimbabwe.
“The authorities should intervene at a regional level to ensure the safety of people living with albinism. Most albinos are afraid of travelling into the neighbouring countries because of the prevalence of ritual killings,” she said.
The discussion was held as the country celebrated the International Albinism Awareness day.
Last year over 89 albinos were killed in Tanzania past few years at the instigation of superstitious witchdoctors and traditional healers amid beliefs their body parts could be used as charm for bringing wealth or for healing purposes.
Some 18 were also said to have experienced similar killings in Malawi in the past two years.
A female participant narrated how albinos were being looked down upon by the Zimbabwean society saying there was need for change of attitude.
“The ritual killings in Tanzania have instilled fear in us. We are now afraid of crossing into neighbouring countries because we do not know what they think of us,” said one of the participants.
Women living with albinism are being sexually abused by people who are HIV positive in the belief that they could be cured of the disease. Living with albinism is quite difficult because you suffer different kinds of abuse,” she added.