Govt hasn’t paid attention to albino killings, complains Chiti
By Prince Lubanga
ZAMBIA Foundation of Albinism director John Chiti says the lives of albinos are being threatened because the government has not paid attention to ritual killings.
And Chiti says a lot of women with children with albinism are abandoned by their partners.
In his presentation at Livingstone Oriental Swan Hotel during the first conference on addressing and preventing discrimination and violence against women and girls with disabilities, Chiti said many albinos had been killed in Zambia.
“Ritual murders happening in Tanzania have reached Zambia. We are being killed for our body parts and we have records of the killings in Zambia. Should we wait until it gets worse? The government has not paid attention to our plight,” Chiti complained.
He said the ritual killings of albinos due to myths related to the their body parts had forced many families not to reveal the deaths of their relatives with albinism.
Chiti also dispelled myths that albinos do not die but just disappear.
“We are human and we die, but due to the ritual murders for our body parts, most families conceal such deaths to prevent people from digging up the grave for body parts,” he said.
Chiti said society did not easily accept people with albinism, forcing some children to refuse to sit next to albinos in class.
“Some people think our problem is infectious; it is not…we even face a lot of problems when it comes to relationships as we are not easily accepted. I am one of the people who is happily married and has been accepted,” he said.
Chiti praised women who have albino children for not giving up.
“Many women get abandoned when they get to have an albino. Our voice does not matter in society and society has many misconceptions,” he said.
Chiti added that sunscreen was a challenge for people with albinism.
And Sarah Porter, a US peace Corp attached to the Livingstone district medical office, said about 70 per cent of people with mental disorders in developed countries did not receive treatment.