The Nation (Nairobi)

6 August 2009

Kenya: MP Presents Petition for Albino Law

Nairobi — Kenya will soon have a law to protect albinos.

Following a petition tabled successfully on Thursday by Mr Eugene Wamalwa (Saboti, PNU), the Ministry of Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs is required to report back to the House in 21 days on what measures it will adopt to protect the country's albinos.

The petition from the Albinism Society of Kenya, was signed by 300 people who have the condition. They are asking for a new law to address their needs, or an amendment to the Disability Act, which does not recognise them.

It is not known how many albinos are in Kenya.

The development comes amid reports of ritual killings of albinos in neighbouring Tanzania and MPs on Thursday expressed concern that Kenyan albinos were also at risk unless urgent legal measures to protect them were put in place.

The killings in Tanzania are fuelled by superstition that the use of body parts from albinos in witchcraft can bring prosperity.

Albinism is a rare hereditary disorder characterised by a total or partial lack of skin colour.

Mr Danson Mungatana (Garsen, Narc Kenya) urged the government to quickly ensure relevant laws were put in place to prevent what was happening in Tanzania from spilling over to Kenya.

Sunscreen lotion

Dr Boni Khalwale (Ikolomani, New Ford Kenya) was concerned about the price of sunscreen, which albinos rely on to protect their skin. He urged Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta to waive duty on sunscreen lotions.

Chairman of the Equal Opportunity Committee of Parliament Mohammed Affey said it fully supported the move and recognised albinos as a marginalised population.

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