Kenyan albino back home from TZ

August 21, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 21 – Robinson Mkwama, the Kenyan living with albinism who was rescued by police in Tanzania after his friend’s failed attempt to sell him to witchdoctors has arrived back in the country.

The traumatised man was tricked by a long-time friend, Nathan Mutei, to accompany him to Mwanza with the promise of a job as a lorry loader.

The 20 year old was given heavy security escort from Tanzania where he left Mutei serving 17 year jail term.

“I used to be a street boy until I was rescued and taken to school. After high school I got a job at a hotel in Kitale where I met Mutei who told me that there was someone in Tanzania looking for a truck conductor and I believed him,” he narrated on Saturday.

Mr Mutei was on Wednesday sentenced to 17 years in a Tanzanian jail and fined Sh4 million for the offence.

Mr Mkwama who was addressing journalists at the offices of the Albinism Society of Kenya (ASK), said he had no idea what his friend\’s real motives were.

“We spent the nights in a lodging in Mwanza and whenever the said truck owner called he (Mutei) would leave the room to pick the calls. He would then come back to give me updates on when my new ‘employer’ would meet me,” he said.

ASK Programmes Officer Timothy Aseka who received Mr Mkwama at the Kenya -Tanzania border explained the value of albinos to witchdoctors. He said their limbs once harvested were dried and ground and the powder used as charm.

“They believe that if you put the powder, let’s say in a fisherman’s boat, the owner will catch a lot of fish. Or if you put them in the house you will get a lot of wealth. The most treasured parts are the skin, private parts, legs and arms,” he explained.

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights which was also present at the briefing called on President Mwai Kibaki to assent to the Counter Trafficking in Persons Bill to reduce instances of human trafficking.

Commissioner Hassan Omar Hassan claimed Kenya was used as a transit point for human trafficking and asked the government to tighten its security provisions to those with albinism.

“We need to act boldly in this matter and the government must therefore react boldly in this matter. We need to pose heavy penalties for those who violate human rights,” he said. 

On his part, Saboti Member of Parliament Eugene Wamalwa asked the East African states to effectively implement any section of their laws that touched on human trafficking.


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