Maputo — Unknown assailants have murdered a six year old albino child in the central Mozambican city of Chimoio and dismembered his body.
Local residents found what remained of the body of the child, Faztudo Filipe, on Monday morning in the Mudzingandze area of the city. He had been dumped in a sack minus his hair, his arms and his legs.
The head of public relations in the Manica Provincial Police Command, Leonardo Colher, said it was presumed the killers had taken the murdered boy's limbs and hair for superstitious purposes. Mozambique appears to have imported from Tanzania the notion that the body parts of albinos contain miraculous powers, and when used in black magic rituals can bring wealth and power.
“The bandits cut the boy into pieces”, said Colher. “They took the hair, arms and legs with them, and abandoned the rest of the body in a sack”.
He said this is the first murder of an albino citizen reported in Manica. “This crime shocked the residents of Mudzingadze”, he added. “We already have some information from the victim's family and from witnesses. The boy was well known in his neighbourhood. We are working to gather all the clues to neutralize the criminals”.
Colher took the opportunity to appeal to the parents and guardians of albino children to be more vigilant, and to denounce any situation that might put their lives at risk.
“This phenomenon is a reality. It's happening”, said Colher. “People are being deceived and they are killing albinos, thinking this will make them rich. As parents we have to be attentive, and help protect people who have problems with their skin pigmentation. We must denounce to the police and to other authorities if we come across any crime of trafficking in human body parts”.