Police in Central Province have picked up a body of a 42-year-old UTH employee who was living with albinism, at MA 22 Lodge in Kapiri- Mposhi district.
And Albinism Foundation of Zambia (AFZ) Director, John Chiti has expressed sadness at the mysterious death of his organisation’s member, saying his death has injected fresh fears among people living with albinism across the country, as they are targeted for ritual purposes.
In an interview, Central Province Police Commissioner, Chola Katanga confirmed that his office received a report of sudden and unnatural death of a person identified as Lewis Chola from MA 22 Lodge Manager, Morris Chewe to the effect that one of the guests, who booked a room on the 10th January, 2019 around 19 hours and the following day was found dead at 21 hours.
“The police visited the scene and found the body lying, the body of a male Albino person age 42, lying on the bed facing upwards. The body was inspected and no physical injuries were seen. When the room was inspected, some documents were found which included an ID [Card] of the same [dead body] as Lewis Kenny Chola, telephone operator, Ministry of Health, Cancer disease hospital at UTH, the body was then deposited into the mortuary.” Katanga explained.
He further explained that postmortem was done on Monday and it was found that Chola died from suffocation.
“Preliminary finding are that he dead from acute respiratory failure due to suffocation” said Katanga.
And AFZ Director, John Chiti said Chola’s death was suspicious.
“He used to work at Cancer department at UTH; he went missing a few days ago and was found died at a lodge in Kapiri. We [AFZ] wanted to know if it was a ritual attack but body was intact. It is a sad development that our members are living in fear because they are targeted for ritual purposes,” Chiti said.
He lamented that people living with albinism were losing their freedom of movements.
“We are not enjoying human rights; some of our colleagues cannot go to school freely. People think by using albino body parts in rituals you can get rich. However, we are starting community sensitisation programs to raise awareness on albinism countrywide, starting this weekend,” said Chiti who is a revered singer in Zambia.