Namibia Too Experiences Killing of Albinos for Muti

Namibia too has experienced incidents of people killing albinos for their body parts that are used in muti or witchcraft, New Era has learnt.

The chairperson of Support in Namibia of Albinism Sufferers Requiring Assistance (SINASRA), Dr Peter Stoermer, last week told New Era that last year three albino babies were killed in Namibia for muti purposes.

Stoermer was however reluctant to share more information with New Era, saying the matter is sensitive.

Stoermer nevertheless said although incidents of stigma against albinos have generally decreased over the years, there is need to create constant awareness on albinism because there are cases where albino children are ridiculed because they cannot read primarily as a result of poor eyesight.

Stoermer noted, however, that persecution and stigma cases in Namibia are nothing compared to those albinos face in Tanzania or Kenya. He stressed that apart from poor eyesight and the absence of melanin which makes their skin susceptible to the ultraviolet rays of the sun, albinos are normal people.

“Their intelligence is the same as that of anyone else. The problem is they are marginalised and stigmatised but it is better here (in Namibia),” said Stoermer.

He said in Namibia, there is better legal protection for albinos. The OvaHerero tribe treats albinos differently compared to other tribes, Stoermer noted.

“For the Hereros it’s a God-given gift while in other tribes it’s a curse,” said Stoermer.

He added that there needs to be “awareness for normal people to not see albinos differently. They are normal people, they just require protection from sunlight.”

Source : New Era