2 December 2012

Tanzania: Kagera Man Chops Off Wife's Ear

AS the world marks 16 Days of Activism Against Gender violence, 18-year old Jane Jacob, a resident of Rulenge village in Ngara District, Kagera Region, lost her left ear after it was allegedly chopped off by her husband.

Jane is now admitted to Rulenge Mission Hospital where she is undergoing treatment. Dr Magnus Banyekela of Rulenge Hospital told the 'Sunday News' in a telephone interview that Jane's condition was improving. However, he said she had lost almost half of her hearing capacity due to the impact of the injury.

Narrating the grisly incident from her hospital bed, Jane said she married Pendo Jacob (26) last year and was blessed with a baby boy. She said for unknown reasons, on November 16, at around 4.00 p.m. Pendo returned home and started accusing her of having an affair with another man.

"He subdued me, tied both my hands and feet with a rope, and chopped off my left ear using a sharp knife," she narrated amid tears running down her cheeks. When contacted to comment on the incident, the Kagera Regional Police Commander (RPC), Mr Philip Kalangi, confirmed the incident adding that police were looking for Jacob, who had gone into hiding.

A cross-section of men interviewed by the 'Sunday News' said that most men in Kagera Region are ignorant of Gender-based violence (GBV) and violence against children. Idrissa Abubakar (26) from Kashai Ward, said he was married for seven years with two children, but he does not know what gender violence is all about. "I don't see how anyone should tell me how to handle my wife (Khadija).

After all, I paid dowry for her," he said. Jacob Mushaijaki (45) from Buhembe Ward, is married with four children. He said the idea of sitting down together with his wife (Odilia) and discuss family issues was good.

However, he said he wasn't sure his peers would not take him for a fool. Abela Kamala (32) from Kibeta Ward, in Bukoba Municipality noted that by educating men on Gender Based Violence (GBV) and violence against children (VAC) the rate of crime would be put under control.

A national survey conducted in 2010 revealed that 45 per cent of women aged between 15 and 49 years had reported GBV, while another seven per cent had reported sexual violence. Data from Kagera Region, on the other hand, revealed that 49.4 per cent of women and girls aged 15 years old had reported GBV while 29.2 per cent were sexually exploited.

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