Ester Togolai Maganga (70) was attacked by five men around 1930 hrs (07:30 pm) on December 08, 2015, in her home in Mlalo Bongoi Village, Mlalo Ward of Lushoto District, Tanga Region – north-eastern part of Tanzania. The men hacked off her left thumb and disappeared in the darkness on a motorcycle.
Ester told UTSS First Response Team (on December 20, 2015) that on the fateful night she heard people calling her by her name as she was preparing her dinner. The assailants charged into her kitchen and asked her why she was still awake. Ester, a widow who lives alone told them that it was too early for her to sleep.
Suddenly, they attacked her, pinning her onto the floor. Some of them held her legs, another covered her eyes and mouth to prevent her from looking at them and making noise and the other chopped off her thumb. They fled into the bushes.
While bleeding profusely, Ester managed to run out of the house while screaming for help. Neighbours came to her rescue. But the attackers were nowhere to be seen.
Mlalo Bongoi Village Chairperson, Robert Bendera told UTSS First Response that he was called by the villagers to the scene on the crime. He took ester to the police station. The police took to the hospital where she was admitted.
Bendera joined the police team led by Inspector Joram Byamungu to search for the assailants. On the way they met a motorcycle passenger who was a stranger to the village. He was arrested for questioning. The man, Hemed Abbas Hasan admitted that he was one of the five attackers who cut off Ester’s thumb. Another man by the name Hamis Mohamed was also arrested.
Police manhunt is underway for the remaining three attackers who are at large.
Ester has six other siblings, three of whom have albinism. She has five children without albinism.
Ester was recently discharged from the hospital. She now lives with her daughter and son-in-law in a relatively safe area.
The attack has created fear among the Mlalo residents with albinism. They are afraid that they might be the next victims.
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