A Tanzanian court has handed down death penalties to four people convicted of killing an albino woman.
On Thursday, Tanzania’s High Court sentenced four people to death for killing 22-year-old Zawadi Mangidu in 2008 in the northwestern town of Geita.
“The prosecution has proved the case beyond reasonable doubt,” said High Court judge Joaquine Demello, adding that the verdict was issued in consideration of “the escalating killing of people with albinism in the country.”
The convicted people, including the victim’s husband Charles Nassoro, severed her legs and right hand with an axe and machete.
The court’s ruling came despite the fact that Tanzania has called a moratorium on capital punishment for the past 20 years, casting doubts on the verdict’s practicality.
According to reports, 17 other criminals are awaiting execution for a similar offence.
Over 75 Albino people have been killed in Tanzania since 2000 as many people in the African country superstitiously believe that Albino body parts are endowed with magical powers, the United Nation announced.
The reports also said Albino body organs are traded in Tanzania’s market for USD 600 a piece, while the price of an entire Albino corpse amounts to USD 75,000. Currently, 200,000 albinos live in the African country.
Earlier in the week, Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete condemned the killings as embarrassing and disgraceful, vowing to increase efforts to put an end to the atrocities.
“The government has long tried to do everything possible to stop the killings, we are very serious with this. But we still need to enhance our efforts to bring to an end these killings, which are disgusting and a big embarrassment to the nation,” said Kikwete.
“It is a false belief that if someone has the body part of a person with albinism, this will bring success in business, fishing and mining activities. This is what has been fuelling this ongoing evil,” he added.
Albinism is a genetic disease which partially or completely disrupts the production of melanin in the body and thus results in the absence of pigment in the hair, eyes and skin.
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