For bringing shame to his family, a father of nine in Kabale District has been accused by his wife of attempting to kill four of their children. Their crime – they were born albinos.
The mother, Ms Medius Kyarisima, 50, says she had no choice but to flee her marital home in Kinyamari Butanda Sub-county and take refuge at her mother’s place in the neighbouring sub-county of Bufundi.
“Last month, my husband Godfrey Ndabahwerize threatened to kill our four Albino children, saying they were a disgrace to his family,” she said. “When I tried to reason with him, he picked a panga and cut me on the right side of my nose. I packed my belongings and those of my albino children and we went to my mother’s place for refuge,” she adds.
Mr Barnett Champion, the Butanda Sub-county chairperson, who is privy to the family’s misunderstandings, said Ms Kyarisima complained to the authorities and they were still looking for Mr Ndabahwerize. The sub-county boss explained, however, that the husband may be having a mental disturbance.
Ms Kyarisima’s anguish, however, is not just to sustain the four albino children; she has five others to take care of. She is now looking to well-wishers for financial support to help her raise her children.
Ms Kyarisima prays that she raises money to purchase land to grow food to feed the children and be able to take them back to school. The reporter failed to get Mr Ndabahwerize’s side of the story because he was reported on the run after local authorities began looking for him.
On May 22, staff of the National Social Security Fund Kabale branch led by the branch manager, Mr Elvis Natukunda, visited the albino children and their mother at Bushura village at their grandmother’s house. They donated some household items such as blankets, soap, utensils and scholastic materials.
Mr Natukunda said the plight of the children was brought to their attention by Mr Michael Sabiiti, the director of Site for Community Services Project, a local NGO operating in Kigezi sub region.
“We feel extremely touched by the current conditions you are living in. We also feel sorry that your husband has turned violent against you and these children. We thank you for loving your children regardless of their situation and I promise we shall always offer a helping hand every time resources are available,” Mr Natukunda told the mother.
People with albinism often have vision problems and are susceptible to sunburns and skin cancers if they do not protect themselves from direct sunlight.
The family may also need a cow to provide milk to boost the immunity of her children.
Mr Sabiiti said at least 25 albinos living in Kabale and Kisoro districts need special support from government for their education as they are discriminated against by fellow children at school. He asked government to put a sensitisation campaign on the rights of albino children in the country and especially to protect them from discrimination.