Malawi Government Outlaws Witch Doctors to Save Albinos

The Malawi government has finally acted to help protect albinos by outlawing witch doctors. Criminals have been kidnapping albinos to sell to witch doctors for parts.

Edna Cedrick is a mother of albino twins. She recently recalled the night one of her nine-year-old twin boys was taken from their home, despite efforts to stop him. The criminals had come into her home in the middle of the night, and she tried to keep hold of one twin while protecting the other behind her back. The kidnappers hit her over the head, dazing her, so they could kidnap the one  boy. Cedrick had to identify her nine-year-old by only his head because the rest of his body had been sold for black magic rituals, according to The Daily Mail.

The attack is just one of many that have occurred over the years. Since November 2014, 18 albino people have been killed, with many others going missing, according to CNN. Many killings and kidnappings go unreported, so the number is likely to be much higher. On the day of the interview with Cedrick, 38-year-old Fletcher Masina was taken. His body was found later with his limbs missing.

It has been a devastating part of the African culture that activists have called on the Malawi government to do something. The Malawi government says the number of killings and kidnappings increased after January 2015, when Tanzania imposed strict measures against the trade of albino body parts.

The Malawi government has now acted on activists’ wishes and banned witch doctors from the country. All alternative healers have been banned from practicing their black magic rituals, through an order approved by Mzuzu senior judge Digiswayo Madise. All adverts are banned, along with all fortune tellers and charm producers. There is hope that it will curb the abductions of albino people.

This law followed President Peter Mutharika explaining how witch doctors’ practices were based on superstition and how he would consider tougher prison sentences on the people who attacked albinos. It has also followed criticism against the police force by Amnesty International.

Featured image from tweet included above.

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