Two Malawian men, Vuto Biswick and Emmanuel Robert who killed a 17-year old albino have been sentenced to 25 years in prison. The teenage albino who was killed in Dedza, central Malawi was believed to be killed for rituals as is common with albinos in Malawi.
According to Nyasa Times, the two men pleaded guilty as charged and were sentenced to six years in jail for the first count of conspiracy to commit a crime, 12 years for the second charge of abduction, and 13-year sentences for the third charge of trafficking. First grade Magistrate, Enete Jiya Banda said their sentences would run concurrently.
The prevalence of albino hunters and the gruesome attacks they leave in their wake is nothing new to Malawi. Some Albinos are abducted at night and even in broad day light. Albino hunters even go as far as digging up graves of dead albinos in a bid to get their bones, all for witchcraft rituals.
Albinos who are void of any skin pigment are rumored by witch doctors to be harbingers of wealth and influence. Their bones and other special parts are usually coveted by these witch doctors in order to make potions for their customers that would grant them untold wealth. These brainwashed people fail to see that albinos are not some subspecies of man but have as equal rights to life as the next man.
Last week, UN Human rights spokesperson, Ms. Ikponwosa Ero who is an albino stated that albinos in Malawi face possible extinction if the rate at which they are being killed is maintained.
“Even in death they do not rest in peace as their remains are robbed from graveyards,” she said.
Some Malawians expressed their dissatisfaction with the penalty, deeming it too lenient while others do hope that the Malawian forces wont stop at bringing the abductors to book but also arrest the buyers of the albino body parts.