Bloke murders his albino brother to sell body parts as witchcraft charms

A man has been convicted of murdering his own albino brother in order to sell his body parts on as good luck charms.

Macdonald Masumbuka, 22, was killed by his brother and four other men in Malawi in 2018.

All of the men received life with hard labour after sentencing at Malawi high court today (June 28).

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Catholic priest Thomas Muhosha, a herbalist, a police officer and two other men received a lesser sentence of 30 years for participating in the sale of Masumbuka's body parts.

The Catholic Church had already suspended Muhosha from priesthood when his involvement in the gruesome ordeal first came to light in 2018.

The victim was reported missing in the southern district of Machinga in February 2018.

His torso and head were discovered a month later but his arms and legs had been chopped off.

Speaking at today's sentencing, Judge Dorothy NyaKaunda Kamanga noted that Masumbuka – slain violently in a graveyard – was betrayed by people close to him.

This, along with how meticulously the murder was planned, where the key aspects of the case she considered when sentencing the men.

Albinos have long been the targets of sick killings in Malawi and other countries in and around the African Great Lakes area.

Witch doctors wrongly promulgated the idea that they possess magical powers, meaning their body parts and bones are used in rituals.

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Albinism is also more common in East Africa than in other parts of the world.

In 2016, UN expert Ikponwosa Ero warned that Malawi's estimated 10,000 albinos face "extinction" if these killings continue, adding that the situation "constitutes an emergency, a crisis disturbing in its proportions".

"Even in death, they do not rest in peace as their remains are robbed from graveyards," Ero added, herself an albino.

Since 2014 more than 170 albinos have been killed or maimed in Malawi.

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