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Attackers attempt to chop off albino’s ear, fingers in Vihiga

By Eric lungai | Sep 14th 2015 | 3 min read
National Co-ordinator for the Albinos Empowerment Network Martin Wanyonyi, chats with Enoch Jamenya at Vihiga Hospital on Saturday. Jamenya was attacked by unknown people on Thursday night. [PHOTO: ERIC LUNGAI/STANDARD]

An albino is recuperating at Vihiga Hospital in Mbale after attackers tried to chop off his ear and fingers.

Enoch Jamenya Lugadiru, 36, was attacked at his home in Gavudunyi village, Hamisi constituency on Thursday night. He sustained deep cuts to his ears and fingers. The attackers reportedly wanted his body parts taken to Tanzania.

National Coordinator for the Albinos Empowerment Network Martin Wanyonyi, said electioneering periods in Tanzania have always posed a threat to people living with albinism as their body parts are superstitiously believed to bring success.

“We do not know what cheats the sorcerers that albinos’ body parts will help them win elections. We want the Government to take a decisive decision on this issue because it is a threat to our lives,” Mr Wanyonyi said.

He added: “Since 2009, we have been asking the Government to provide security to people living with albinism but it has been in vain.”

He said the National Assembly should come up with proper and comprehensive legislation to help protect albinos.

“When Tanzania adopted tough legislation that has made it difficult for albinos to be attacked and their body parts used by sorcerers, the sorcerers turned to Kenya where there is no legislation,” he said.

He said if the attacks on albinos persist, those who live in remote parts of the country will have no peace and may not have confidence to come into public limelight due to fear of attacks.

He said they would organise peaceful demonstrations if the Government does not address the issue within the shortest time possible.

While recalling the fateful night, Mr Lugadiru said the attackers asked him to be calm so that they could chop his ear and some fingers to be taken to Tanzania or they would kill him.

“I was asleep and suddenly realised that three people were in my house. I tried resisting and that is when they inflicted deep cuts on my ear, and hand with the sharp objects,” he said.

He said he could not recall any other thing because he fainted only to wake up in hospital on Friday.

Jua Kali artisan

His brother, Nixon Muhole, said they found Lugadiru in the morning and rushed him to Hamisi Sub-County Hospital where he was quickly referred to Vihiga Hospital.

“Lugadiru lives by himself because he is a widower and his children do not live with him. When one of his sons came in the morning to check on him, he found him lying in a pool of blood helpless,” said Mr Muhole.

He said nothing was taken from Lugadiru's house as he was not wealthy.

“He is a jua kali artisan and survives on the little that he gets on a given day. The attackers must have just targeted parts of his body,” he said.

Doctors at Vihiga Hospital said Lugadiru was responding well to treatment and was out of danger.

Last year, Nominated MP Isaac Mwaura called on the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) to come up with legislation that protects albinos in the region.

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