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JUSTICE FOR JAMIMAH: How ritualist cut my Albino daughter’s Arm – Zambian Mother

JUSTICE FOR JAMIMAH: How ritualist cut my Albino daughter's Arm - Zambian Mother

JUSTICE FOR JAMIMAH: How ritualist cut my Albino daughter’s arm in our house ; Zambian Mother

 

A Zambian mother has explained how her baby lost her arms to possible ritualist after her husband abandoned her.

 

Read her narration below –

 

“This happens on 19th May 2021

It was just a normal day. At night we went to sleep after having our dinner. Around 21hrs I heard a knock on the door and I wondered who it was. My 2 children were fast asleep and my mother who came to sleep over was also sleeping

 

“ Who is it?” I asked as the knock persisted.
“ Open the door, this is Zambia police, we are searching for drugs” males voices answered outside the door.
Coming from sleep I became confused and continued wondering what was going on.

 

“ We don’t have drugs here “
I shouted back.

“ Open the door before we break it” the voices became aggressive. I slowly walked to the door and passed my mother who was sleeping at the living room.

“ Open the door, this is Police, we are on duty” they said.

 

 


I opened the door then suddenly saw 3 men dressed in black coats with hats and masks on their faces. They had guns and one pointed a gun at me.
“ if you scream we will shoot you” he said as he dragged me outside the house.

 

The 2 men entered the house. In my mind I thought that maybe they were real policemen on duty and my conscience was clear as I knew that no one uses drugs at our place. But still another thought came as I wondered why they were not in uniform. Who are these people? I asked myself.

 

Behind the house the man started asking me questions while holding my hand and still pointing a gun on me.
“How far is the headman’s house from here?”

“ do you know anyone who uses drugs in this village?”

As I was responding to his questions suddenly I heard my 2nd child scream and shortly after my older son shouted.
“ Mommy, they’re cutting the hand of my sister” they all cried.

 

At this point I got the whole picture and understood what was happening.

My 2nd child was born with Albinism and I have heard of how people are after their body parts. I just couldn’t believe it was happening to my 2 years old daughter. I started shouting for help and struggled with the man who was holding me. Sadly no one came out to our rescue. My kids were screaming inside and I was shouting for help outside. My mother was hopeless as one man had his gun on her.

 

 


“Woman if you shout we will shoot you’ he told her as the other one chopped of the left hand of my poor daughter.

 

“it’s done let’s go’ the 2 men came out and called the one who was holding me behind the house.

JUSTICE FOR JAMIMAH: How ritualist cut my Albino daughter's Arm - Zambian Mother
I rushed inside and found my daughter in blood. Her left hand was cut. I was hopeless and didn’t know what to do.
My mother helped to cloth her as I rushed out to find people who can take us to the clinic.
We reached the clinic around 05hrs and my daughter was admitted and Mbala hospital.

JUSTICE FOR JAMIMAH: How ritualist cut my Albino daughter's Arm - Zambian Mother
JUSTICE FOR JAMIMAH: How ritualist cut my Albino daughter’s Arm – Zambian Mother

During the 2 weeks I was in hospital with her. I informed her father and other relatives although I didn’t received much support from them.

 

………………………………………………………………………

Once upon a time I was happily married in Lusaka but life changed when I gave birth to my 2nd baby girl. Her father rejected her because she was born with Albinism so he divorced me and that’s how and why I went to live with my mother in the village. Before I left church people and relatives tried their best to convince my husband that it’s possible for us to have a child with Albinism but to no avail. I just had to go.

 

“You need a man in your life” pressure started coming from people as it is shameful for a woman to be single in the village. After hearing that my husband married another woman I also decided to remarry but it only lasted 3 months. I became suspicious of my new husband that he was just after my child with Albinism not me. I left him for the safety of my child and joined my mother. Farming and doing peace works became my way of survival.

 

After the night we were attacked I couldn’t go back home and thank God the Albinism foundation of Zambia came in to support me and my kids. They have given me another home where I have taken refuge at their safe home in lusaka.

 

 


The condition of my daughter is stable although she still feels pain at the wound. She also lost too much blood. Her elder brother is even more affected by the attack.

 

” Mummy where have they taken the hand of my sister?” He asks me. He saw them chop off her hand and I think this has affected him mentally.

 

I have no kind words for the criminals who attacked my daughter and I pray for their arrest and prosecution”.

 

At least ten albinos are murdered in ritual killings every year in Zambia. Some believe albino body parts bring wealth or luck. Those born with the genetic condition are calling for an end to this madness. There are more than 25,000 people living with albinism in Zambia.

Südafrika Albinismus - Model und Juristin Thando Hopa (Foto: AFP)

Albinism is a genetic condition that results in the absence of melanin, a pigment which is responsible for giving color to the eyes, skin and hair. This lack of melanin means that people living with albinism are more susceptible to specific health conditions, especially skin cancers. Most of them also wear sunglasses and hats to help them see clearly during the day.

 

The Human Rights Commission of Zambia has admitted that more needs to be done to address human rights violations against people living with albinism.

 

Mwelwa Muleya, the commission’s spokesperson, told DW that they were doing everything possible to improve the lives of those with albinism.

 

 


“We have been concerned about the complaints that there’s inadequate support when it comes to the [sunscreen] lotion to protect their skin,” Muleya said.

 

“The Human Rights Commission of Zambia has been engaging the government on this issue, to ensure that there is adequate health and social welfare provided for persons with albinism.”

 

Campaign to end albino killings

Moreso, the Albino Foundation of Zambia (AFZ) has been campaigning for the equal treatment of people living with albinism and for an end to the misconception that their bodies could be used to gain wealth. John Chiti, Executive Director of AFZ, told DW that Zambian albinos are worried about their safety.

 

“We have people who hunt down persons with albinism for their body parts, which they believe can cure certain diseases and make money,” Chiti said.

JUSTICE FOR JAMIMAH: How ritualist cut my Albino daughter's Arm - Zambian Mother

He also said persons with albinism are living in fear and are not really enjoying their full human rights. “All the time they have to worry about who‘s behind them and many of them have lost their lives.”

TEMI BADMUS
Temi Badmus is a Food scientist and an Art enthusiast. Her desire is to give a listening ear to people and to give an opportunity for everyone to be heard. She is a humorous and controversial writer, who believes all form of writing is audible if it's done well. Temi Badmus is research oriented, dog lover; she is currently a mum to three brutal Jack Russell terrier, one male and two female - "Cash, Indie and Tokyo 🐕 🐕 🐕 The future is female... The future is Productive.