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Malawi teacher arrested over trying to sell albino girl

Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:7AM

An African woman carrying an albino child on her back (file photo)

An African woman carrying an albino child on her back (file photo)

The Malawian police have arrested a teacher on charges of trying to sell an albino schoolgirl for thousands of dollars.

On Tuesday, Phillip Ngulube was detained in Mzuzu, the capital city of Malwai’s Northern Region, while trying to sell an albino high school student to a Tanzanian man.

A 12-year-old Malawian albino girl sits at her home in Nkole, Machinga district, on April 17, 2015. (AFP)

Ngulube was “caught by police on his way to selling the girl to an alleged Tanzanian businessman for six million Kwacha (USD 10,000),” said Malawian police spokesman Maurice Chapola.

Chapola added that the girl would have most probably gotten killed for her body organs if the police had not intercepted the suspect.

The photo shows an albino child from Tanzania, attacked and dismembered in his homeland, receiving surgery and prostheses at a hospital in Philadelphia, US, August 27, 2015. (AP)

Ngulube, who has been accused of abduction with intent to murder, denies the allegations, saying the albino teenager is his girlfriend.

Reports say several people are to stand trial in the African country over kidnapping, mutilating and murdering albinos whose body parts are superstitiously believed to be endowed with magical powers.

Women carrying their albino children in the Tanzanian city of Dar es Salaam, May 5, 2014 (AFP)

Back in June, the United Nations voiced concern over the excruciating plight of albinos in Africa, urging the continent’s leaders to adopt serious measures to stop atrocious crimes against the marginalized group.

Two Tanzanian albino children, attacked and dismembered in their homeland, play card game in New York, US, July 28, 2015. (AP)

“Hundreds of people with albinism – a majority of them children – have been killed, mutilated or otherwise attacked in at least 25 African countries, because of the belief that their body parts confer magical powers,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said in a statement on the occasion of the first International Albinism Awareness Day on June 13.

Young children with albinism recite a poem to mark the International Albinism Awareness Day in the eastern Tanzanian city of Arusha on June 13, 2015. (AFP)

“More cases remain undocumented because of the isolation of the victims, the secrecy surrounding ritual practices, and indifference. Shockingly, such crimes have seldom been investigated or prosecuted,” the statement added.

According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, an entire Albino corpse is traded for USD 75,000 in different African countries.

Albinism is a genetic disease that partially or completely disrupts the production of melanin in the body and thus results in the absence of pigment in the hair, eyes and skin

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