Kabale Albinos Living in Fear Due to Increased Demand of Body Parts in Rwanda and Tanzania.

7810 Views Kabale, Western Region, Uganda

In short
According to Shabohurira, some of the residents told her to keep the children at home arguing that producing an Abino child in the area is a taboo.

Albinos in Kabale district are living in extreme fear following reports of increased demand of their body parts for rituals sacrifice in Rwanda and Tanzania. The albinos avoid walking alone while others have abandoned school because of fear of abduction by traffickers. 14-year-old Unity Mukyotera is a primary six pupil at Hakahumiro Primary school in Bufundi Sub County. Mukyotera says that even her classmates tease her that her body parts are marketable, adding that she can’t move alone to school or fetch water at the well for fear of being abducted.
The minor says that her motherPatience warned her against walking alone after she received information that there were people planning to kidnap her and traffic herto the neighboring Rwanda. Shabohurira has three other children with a similar condition.  She explains that she has decided to keep all her children at home for fear that people with ill motives could kidnap them and sell their body parts for rituals.
According to Shabohurira, some of the residents told her to keep the children at home arguing that producing an Abino child in the area is a taboo. She says it took the intervention of Site for community services program, a local Non Governmental Organization in the district to enroll her children in school. Sylvia Kemigisha is a mother to a 3 year old albino child. According to Kemigisha she conceived while in school and decided to stay with her boyfriend, however, her boyfriend turned against her after she gave birth to an albino child.

Kemigisha says that a year later her boyfriend came back claiming that he was willing to take responsibility but she was shocked to find out that he had plans of selling off the child. As a result, Kemigisha decided to return back to her parent’s home in Ruhija Sub County, where she closely monitors her child from any danger of abduction. Michael Sabiti is the director Site for community services program, which protects the rights of Albinos children. Sabiti says that two of the Albino children the organization takes care of were rescued from traffickers who were taking them to Rwanda early this year.

He says that many parents in the district with Albino children have decided to keep them indoors for fear of abduction by traffickers. Sabiti says that they have embarked on sensitizations campaigns targeting parents and security organs on how best to deal with stigma and provide security for the Albinos children.
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Bosco Arop, the Kabale district Police commander says they are on the high alert to foil any attempt to traffic Albinos.

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He however, says that the community has bigger role to alert police they cite suspected traffickers. Arop says that the Albinos are normal human beings and are entitled protection.

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Albinism is a rare, non-contagious, genetically inherited condition occurring in both genders regardless of ethnicity, in all parts of the world. Both parents must carry the gene for it to be passed on even if they do not have albinism themselves. The condition results in a lack of pigmentation in the hair, skin and eyes, causing vulnerability to sun exposure and bright light. 


About the author

Anthony Kushaba
For Anthony Kushaba, journalism is not just a job; it is a calling. Kushaba believes journalism is one of the few platforms where the views of the oppressed and margainalised can be heard. This is what his journalism aims to do: bring to light untold stories.

Kushaba is the Mbarara region URN bureau chief. Mitooma, Ntungamo, Bushenyi, Sheema, Isingiro, and Kiruhura districts fall under his docket. Kushaba has been a URN staff member since 2012.

Kushaba is a journalism graduate from Uganda Christian University Study Centre at Bishop Barham College in Kabale. Before joining URN, Kushaba worked with Voice of Kigezi (2008), Bushenyi FM (2010) and later on to Voice of Muhabura.

Kushaba's journalism interests centre on conflict, peace and electoral reporting. Kushaba occasionally writes on tourism, health, religion and education. He describes himself as highly driven and will pursue a tip until it yields a story.