23 November 2012

Tanzania: No Albino Killing Incidences in Three Years - Official

Photo: IRIN
An Albino boy carries a baby.

EFFORTS by the government and other stakeholders to stop killings of people living with albinism are paying off as findings revealed that in the past three years, no incident was reported.

However, researchers and other concerned parties have warned that the problem is not over yet as some cases of body mutilation have been reported.

For example, research done by the Legal and Human Rights Centre showed that 54 albinos were killed between 2008 and 2009 whereas since 2010 to-date no one has been killed. The research findings were presented by Mr Pasience Mlowe from the Legal and Human Rights Centre during a dialogue organised by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) and held in Dar es Salaam yesterday, making an assessment of the prevailing peace in the country.

The important dialogue drew participants from different areas and institutions ranging from political party leaders, representatives from the police force, religious leaders, schools and many other government and non-governmental organizations.

Mr Mlowe also noted that apart from albino killings, deaths resulting from mob justice also decreased in number last year. "Victims of mob justice killed in 2011 stood at 673 and declined to 300 until October 2012, while the number of people who lost their lives as a result of extra-judicial killings by the police in 2011 stood at 25, this year the number stands at 24," he said.

The Deputy Minister for Home Affairs, Mr Pereira Silima, reminded the general public of the need to obey laws of the land by avoiding clashes with law enforcers, to allow growth of peace and democracy. "The presence of police at any location is meant to maintain peace.

In case law enforcers ask a mob to disperse, people should respond accordingly to avoid mayhem. The police are peace-keepers," he said. He further added that the media should continue to cooperate with the government to make sure that news reports are always accurate, objective and clear to avoid misleading the society.

"The media should tell the people about efforts by the government to maintain peace and avoid painting a wrong picture, for example, that the presence of police officer is meant to suppress the masses," he said.

Commenting on the relevance of the forum, the Resident Representative of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Stefan Reith, said recent events that threatened peace in the country prompted the need for dialogue to restore peace and understanding among various social groups.

The Registrar of Political Parties, Mr John Tendwa, said that in recent months there have been misunderstandings in political and social perspectives and this is not a good thing, adding that there will be no compromise on actions that jeopardise peace and stability.

"Some of the latest misunderstandings include the chaotic scenes created by Uamsho group members in Zanzibar. The nation worked hard to attain peace and every citizen has the obligation to help maintain it," he said.

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