Hunted down like animals and sold by their own families for $75,000: Tanzania’s albinos hacked apart by witch doctors who believe their body parts ‘bring luck’ in sick trade ‘fuelled by the country’s elite’

Pendo Sengerema, 15, pictured right with campaigner Vicky Ntetema, was one of three people attacked in 11 days last August

It is believed albino body parts will bring a person wealth, or luck – and for that, people are willing to pay as much as $3,000 or $4,000 for a limb, or as much as $75,000 – about £50,000 – for the ‘full set’, a whole body.

Children and adults are kept behind high walls in special centres, hidden away from the people who want to kill and maim them.

Most of the time, limbs are taken – but the report notes there have been cases where victims were beheaded, genitals, ears, and bits of skin were removed; tongues were cut out and the eyes and the heart gouged out.

Prejudice is such in Tanzania that children like Verdastus, pictured, are often unable to attend school

Possibly most shockingly, some believe the louder the screams while the limb is removed, the more potent the charm.

Human body parts including a femur and what appears to bestack of skin tissue

Witch doctors claim albino body parts are capable of bringing riches, power and success, if used in potions, while a UN report report into the trade revealed miners used the bone as amulets, or would bury them where they are drilling for gold.
Fishermen are said to weave the hair into their nets to help them catch more fish.

A typical witch doctor

The most recent case saw four-year-old Pendo Emmanuelle Nundi abducted from her home in December.
Her father and uncle were both arrested in connection with her disappearance, but – despite rewards offered of £1,130 and promises of swift action from the police – she has not been found.
Charities working in the area do not hold out much hope she will be returned safely, but – listening to survivors’ stories – it is likely her end is, or will be brutal.


Fishermen believe that parts albino hairs woven into fishing net get good catche.

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