By David Odongo
An albino was having dinner at around eight in the night when he heard a cry for help outside his house and rushed out to investigate.
Outside, he met three men who held him down and quickly chopped off his leg and ran off with the limb, leaving him bleeding and in pain. That is how bad the Tanzanian witchdoctors need albino body parts.
According to a research carried out in 27 African countries, Tanzania is a leader of sorts with over 60 per cent of its population listed as firm believers in witchcraft. Rwanda scores the least with only five per cent of its population practising the dark arts.
Kenya, shockingly, scored only 16 per cent, which could suggest that there is rampant unemployment in Nairobi’s witchcraft sector. However, now that elections are round the corner, the number of consultations is expected to rise significantly.
Anyway, following the attack on albinos, the Tanzania government launched a crackdown on witchdoctors and the BBC reports that so intense was the heat most of them fled to Uganda.
In Uganda, they found a culture more open to their practices. Some Tanzanian witches openly advertise on Ugandan radio stations to attract wealthy customers.
Like many African countries with such deep-rooted cultural practices, the Tanzanian witchdoctors have become the doctors for every kind of diseases.
Not surprisingly, child sacrifice in Uganda has risen by 800 per cent, according to the BBC. One expert, Ugandan witchdoctor Uri Mabiriizi, says the influx of Tanzanian witchdoctors is fostering ritual killing of children in Uganda.
“In Uganda, we had no witches sacrificing children, traditionally speaking. It was introduced to us just recently by witches from other countries such as Tanzania. Ugandan witches do not believe that they are strong enough to perform child sacrifice. Only Tanzanian witches have the ability to perform child sacrifice and make someone’s garden dry in a few days. Ugandan witches can’t do that,” he said in an interview.
A few years back, the only major thing people with albinism had to worry about was the sun, while the only thing children worried about was being caught playing in the sun.
But that was before the era of the fearsome Tanzanian witch.