Brutal black magic in Tanzania’s election

The more common form of witchdoctor in Tanzania are those who target people with albinism - a congenital condition that makes eyes, hair, and skin paler, and that affects one in 1,400 people here in Tanzania - compared to just one in 20,000 worldwide.

Trapped in their own skin in a tropical country with fierce sunshine and black magic beliefs, albinos in Tanzania are routinely abducted, mutilated, murdered or sold alive to witchdoctors, who charge a small fortune for charms made from their body parts.

Fishermen believe that if they sprinkle the hair of someone with albinism on the water, fish will jump into their nets. Miners think that their blood is a “metal detector” that can help find new deposits. And for those seeking something stronger, like politicians, there are ground-up albino bones.  

“For albino parts, the last person we arrested he had a piece, a hand… We asked him: ‘How much is this?’ He said: 'I was expecting to get 100m shillings ($46,000) from this in Zambia,’” Home Affairs Minister Mathias Chikawe told Al Jazeera.

Many albinos fear going outside in daytime due to cancer-causing sunshine, but they also are wary to leave their homes at night, afraid of attacks ahead of campaign season.

“[Politicians] believe that if you want to become a successful member of parliament, you can use an albino part, and it’s not true,” said Chikawe.

People born with albinism in Tanzania are often targeted by withchdoctors who use their body parts for their 'healing’ activities  "If in 2015 you believe that you will be rich because you have the hair of an albino, or a body part, then you really need to go back to school,“ Chikawe said.