Maputo, 25 Mar (AIM) – Unknown individuals have profaned a grave in Moatize district, in the central Mozambican province of Tete, in order to steal the body of a man who had suffered from albinism.
According to a report on Radio Mozambique, the 50 year old albino had been buried about a month ago in the village of Nkame, which borders on Malawi.
Fearing that the tomb might be profaned, at the time of the burial the dead man’s relatives attempted to protect it with a base of reinforced concrete. But this was not enough to deter the grave robbers, who stole the albino’s body earlier this week.
Remane Madane, the project coordinator of the Zé Manuel Pinto Association (AZEMAP), an NGO that works with albinos in Tete, expressed his anger at what had happened.
He said the police have been informed and promised to do all they can to arrest the criminals.
“The cemetery is isolated”, sad Madane. “It’s not near houses, and you have to think twice before going there on your own”.
He had believed that the persecution of albinos in Tete was under control, and feared that grave robbing was a new tactic found by criminals trafficking in human body parts.
The body parts are used in black magic rituals, based on the superstition that albinos have magical powers, and that the use of albino body parts can bring wealth, power or good luck.