Tanzania to hang blood-drinking killer of albino girl

Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:24pm GMT

By Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala;

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - A man has been sentenced to death by hanging for killing a five-year-old albino girl in Tanzania by hacking off her legs with a machete and then drinking her blood, media reported on Wednesday.

The High Court in the northern town of Mwanza on Tuesday convicted 50-year-old Kazimiri Mashauri after hearing he disappeared with the severed limbs and left her to die.

The girl's killing was one of a spate of attacks on the country's estimated 200,000 albinos in the past years, mostly in the remote northwest of the country near Lake Victoria, where superstition runs deep.

Albino hunters kill their victims and harvest their blood and body parts such as hair, genitals and limbs for potions.

Their body parts are prized in some regions of Tanzania, where witchdoctors say albinos -- who lack pigment in their skin, eyes and hair -- bring luck in love, life and business.

Al Shaymaa Kwegyir, Tanzania's first albino member of parliament, welcomed the conviction and praised the government's crackdown on the inhumane killings.

"The court ruling should serve as a lesson for others," Kwegyir told Reuters by phone from Tanga region where she is campaigning for a parliamentary seat.

"This is the second murder conviction for albino killers and I am very happy to say that there has been a notable decline in such killings in recent months."   Continued...

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