A Malawi High Court has convicted five people of murdering an man living with albinism and three others including a former Roman Catholic priest, a police officer and a hospital clinician of trading in his body parts.
The deceased, MacDonald Masambuka, went missing in February 2018 and when his body was found a month later, the legs and arms were missing.
The 22-year-old man had albinism, which affects the production of melanin – the pigment that gives eyes, skin and hair their colour.
In the last 10 years, Malawi has experienced gruesome attacks and killings of persons with albinism, fuelled by false beliefs that concoctions mixed with their body parts bring luck and wealth.
Official statistics show that more than 170 albinos have been killed or maimed since 2014.
Since the commencement of related convictions at the High Court in Blantyre, these are the first of prominent members of society linked to the attacks.
They are to be sentenced on May 31, 2022.