Tamwa-Zanzibar is one of the leading non-governmental associations which advocates for child rights in the Indian Ocean archipelago.
According to acting director of TAMWA-Zanzibar, Asha Abdi Makame, unfortunately the child parents did not take him to hospital earlier and when she reached hospital her case was critical and the doctor identified the course of death as injuries in her reproduction organs that were completely damaged.
“Tamwa-Zanzibar is perturbed by that incident that a young girl has been abused to death due to unprecedented violence.
We are hoping that relevant authority should take relevant actions for following up the case and present it to legal instrument for justice to prevail,” Abdi says.
She says that media reports reveal that almost every day children are molested by being raped or sodomized in Unguja and Pemba and leaving us in an-incredulity as “we wonder why and what happened to our communities.”
Early October, this year in Mwanakwerekwe Unguja West B district, parents filed a case to report on one man (45) who was being molested more than 10 children (boys and girls) after showing them pornographic videos.
The case was reported to a police station; unfortunately, until today no action has been taken. Another incident happened in Konde, Pemba North region whereas more than five pupils were humiliated (sexual abused) by Konde Primary School teacher, the culprit is out on bail and the case is proceeding however it is only one pupil and his parents who were willing to present evidence.
From January to October this year, Abdi says TAMWA Zanzibar has recorded 116 cases of violence against women and children, especially about rape, sodomy, gang rape, beating, arson, abduction, indecent assault and wife and children abandonment.
“Among them,57 are rape cases that happened to children from age 2 to 17, among them 11 cases are defilement whereas an accused person commits at least 10 to 20 children.”
Citing examples, Abdi says in Bopwe, Wete, North Pemba at least 20 children were concealed to be defiled by a person who live near madrasa where the children attended and he used to call them and persuade them to go inside where he will show them a magical rabbit. When the incident revealed, the suspect fled and is nowhere to be seen.
In its follow up, she says TAMWA Zanzibar found that there are many cases that suspects are children under the age of 18 who commit child abuse, but those children who are against the law are not given jailed sentence rather substitute penalties such as fine and parole (to do community work) which are not help in habit alteration.
“TAMWA advises that children who are against the law especially who committed sexual offense should be given a punishment that would make them regret to commit such a crime and if necessary to be sent to juvenile jails.”
She adds: “Another frustrating factor is when a case is brought to court while evidence is already compromised, what is written in the indictment form is different from the original case, for example parents reported a case of their girl who has been raped, but when a file is read in court, the case presented is abduction.
“This problem of violence against children cannot be alleviated if society does not fully participate in the fight against it by reporting, giving evidence and monitoring the case as well as setting aside culture of secrecy since the guy who defiles your child does not deserve compassion.”
Abdi further advises members of the community to preserve evidence and make sure that they have a copy of PF 3 because it will help them in court as an exhibit no 1 and make sure that they are making follow-up of their cases.
“When feeling that their cases have been stuck somewhere they should report the incident to higher hierarchy of police or to Director of Public Prosecutor. We expect that by such measures the complaints of law enforcers purposely destroy evidence will be reduced.”