Malawi Police in Kasungu are hunting for unknown criminals who over the weekend exhumed remains of a person with albinism from a graveyard at Mnyanja Village, Sub-T/A Chitanthamapiri in the district.
Kasungu Police Deputy Public Relations Officer Constable Harry Namwaza confirmed the development.
Namaza said the suspected criminals dug out a grave of 14-year-old Martha Banda who died on 7th January, 2004.
He said some people from the area discovered that late Martha’s tomb was dug out when they went to prepare another grave for a 16-year-old boy who had just died from the same Village.
“CID officers visited the graveyard and it was discovered that the remains were taken by unknown criminals,” he said.
Albinos in Malawi are killed for their body parts, which are sold for witchcraft.
Belief in witchcraft runs deep in Malawi and albino body parts are often used in rituals. Even the bodies of dead albinos are sometimes exhumed and sold.
Body parts reportedly sell for around $600 and an entire corpse fetches $75,000.
People with albinism face “grave danger” in Malawi, Deprose Muchena of Amnesty International, said in a statement.
According to the international human rights’ organization, two people with albinism have been killed in Malawi so far this year, and five others are missing.
In April, Malawi’s inspector general of police ordered his offers to immediately shoot anyone who appears to be abducting albinos in order to protect them from “dangerous criminals.”
“Shoot every criminal who is violent when caught red-handed abducting people with albinism,” Lexen Kachama said.
“We cannot just watch while our friends with albinism are being killed like animals every day. We do realize that these people are ruthless, have no mercy and therefore they need to be treated just like that.”
Albinism is a hereditary genetic condition that causes a total absence of pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes. –Additional reporting by Judith Moyo, Nyasa TimesFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :