Zambians are demanding justice for a 2-year-old girl living with albinism whose hand was chopped off by unknown men for the spiritual power people with albino are believed to possess.
In certain African countries, people living with albinism are forced to tread carefully as they are regularly hunted and killed while their body parts are used for rituals.
Unfortunately, 2-year-old Jamimah from Zambia became a victim of these albino hunters.
Her mother narrated to Albinism Foundation of Zambia how her daughter was attacked at their home in the middle of the night by 3 men claiming to be police officers.
She said of the attack that happened on May 19: “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’ male 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.”
She added that the men told her: “Open the door, this is Police, we are on duty.”
She said she opened the door and noticed they weren’t wearing police uniforms.
She 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.
“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’.
“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.”
She continued: “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 at Mbala hospital.
“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.”
The mum says her ex-husband left her because their daughter was born with albinism and she’s had to raise her kids alone while her ex-husband has remarried.
She said: “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.”
She explained that her daughter suffers pains and lost a lot of blood after the attack but is now stable.
She added that her older child “is even more affected by the attack.”
She said: “‘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.”
The mum said she hopes the criminals who attacked her daughter will be caught.
She said: “I have no kind words for the criminals who attacked my daughter and I pray for their arrest and prosecution”.