We are waking up to strange happenings these days. There are rampant killings of people living with albinism. Malawi and Tanzania in particular are in the spotlight for this.
Not that this gruesome act is non-existent in other countries. It exists, but we can take it for now that we have not got news and that culprits have not been exposed yet. Or, authorities wouldn’t want this shame to come to light.
So, it is the cases in Malawi that now catch our attention most. From what we are reading, it looks like albino sacrifice is at its peak in the southern part of Africa. So albinos are hunted down because their body parts are in high demand? This surely throws another vulnerable group into fear, deprived of freedom.
Strange thinking, that body parts are charms or magical. Are a source of success and riches? Falsehoods are now driving people to commit horrible crimes. Yes. We should consider this belief a myth, for which we ought to disregard and discourage. Why not?
The falsehood that albino body parts bring wealth and good luck now-a-days has grown by a fair bit in our world. That is why in rural areas, rituals continue without end. And many such murders never get reported. Albinos are now more insecure and endangered.
On top of being sacrificed, people with albinism are also being subjected to communal discrimination. Verbal abuse, physical attack and exclusion from accessing basic social services and all, they suffer. Women and children, being already vulnerable, are specifically sufferers. Even by close relatives. To the extent that even the dead cannot be allowed to rest peacefully. Strange stuff! Bodies are illegally exhumed with the objective of taking their bones and other body parts.
Whereas now-a-days, we have freedom of faith, you are being called to pause for a moment. And begin to wonder why people know to us, demand from you human sacrifice? They are always going to dictate that you perform such rigorous assignments — bring a head or something of the like. Why, with all the “powers” that they proclaim to have, will they not let there be; human parts, money, success, prosperity, etc?
Instead, they look out for your hard-earned money. Is it not easier that they can use their “powers” to print out money or achieve magical results? These guys want you to go and strangle some innocent kid. You are being hoodwinked.
There is only one way to get a fortune – hard work.
Do not be duped to waylay innocent babies, please! Thus, to ensure that our neighbour’s kids are safe, it will require very specific and deliberate measures. We have to jealously guard kids’ rights to life and security. So let us not stop doing the simple things. Like, village policing and vigilance.
Activate laws that specifically curb discrimination and attacks against vulnerable people. Communities must be sensitized constantly in order to sustain community policing. There have to be education campaigns of people. Force practitioners of sacrifice to depart.
And stop this tendency of the public, of getting hold of the law and exercising mob justice on suspiciously behaved villagers. It will be a deterrent for attackers and discriminators. So that people with albinism can live amongst us without fear of being taken. Let us send exclusion and abuse of albinos to hell. The duty is on us community members to be proactive and protect our loved ones.
Body parts of people have got no magical powers and cannot bring good omen. It is down to evil practices. Therefore, whichever you believe in, life is precious. Nobody has the authority to end it but God who created it.
- The writer is a civil engineer