Kidnap horror: Prime Minister tasks RCs, DCs, on PwAs' lives

By Paul Mabeja , The Guardian
Published at 06:43 AM Jun 21 2024

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa pictured in Dodoma city yesterday having an audience with representatives of persons with albinism.
Photo: PMO
Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa pictured in Dodoma city yesterday having an audience with representatives of persons with albinism.

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has directed local government authorities to carry out special operations to enhance security for people with albinism.

Responding to MPs in the weekly spot questions hour in the National Assembly yesterday, with MPs concerns arising from the kidnapping and brutal murder of a child with albinism.

Asimwe Novath (aged two) met with the horror in Muleba District, Kagera Region late last month, whereas unidentified individuals came to the victim’s household in Bulamula village, Kamachumu ward.

Assailants snatched the child from the mother, Kebyera Richard by strangling her and disappearing with the toddler, and nearly three weeks later Asimwe's body was found wrapped without limbs, hands, tongue and eyes.

In the wake of widespread fear and anxiety among residents of Lake Zone regions in particular, the premier said that in order to address such killings, there was a need for local government authorities to take up specific responsibilities.

Regional and district commissioners must immediately launch operations to protect people with albinism, he said, explaining that such operations must involve security agencies.

They must take a leading role in the exercise, while local government authorities need to involve the society in protecting the rights of people with albinism, he stated.

He urged religious leaders to unreservedly condemn evils in society, especially the killing of people with albinism, intoning that it was sad a preacher in the village was cited among the suspects to be enabling the crime.

"This act must be condemned by all and I use this opportunity to ask our religious leaders to help in the fight against this malpractice,” he appealed, asking clerics to use their platforms to insist on the right to live of people with albinism.

He tasked the Council of Traditional Medicine and Alternative Medicine to register traditional healers and their centers in line with the type of service they provide to their clients, suggesting that this will control arbitrary services discounting principles of personal dignity and human rights.

The council needs to reject and exclude healers who use superstitious methods, contradictory fortune-telling, including providing conditions for killing people with albinism in order to meet the needs of their clients, he stated.

"Similarly, give information to the relevant authorities so that strict legal measures are taken against them," he said.

He said due to their unique position, traditional leaders, who are on every corner of Tanzania can actively participate in condemning the killing of people with albinism.

"I am asking our traditional leaders to work with the government by providing information to the security agencies when they find rumours of plans or acts of killing people with albinism in the areas where they live," he further appealed.

“Local officials and state agencies must work to arrest all those mentioned in the recent issue and in any similar suspicions so that the entire network of these criminals is brought to book,” he stated.

The responsibility of parents is to give their children the best upbringing that will enable them to become good people in the society, the premier added.