20 September 2017

Tanzania: Mbeya Traders Warned Off Witchcraft

MBEYA traders have been told to shun witchcraft practices in running their businesses and instead enrol in entrepreneurial trainings and follow proper financial management.

The Director of Elimisha, a Non Government Organisation (NGO) in Mbeya Festo Sikagonamo advised the traders to be wary of advices on witchcraft powers to protect and boost their business and instead they should focus on learning from established businesses to be able to accurately assess opportunities and benefit from them.

"We are trying to make entrepreneurs see more opportunities in their business to achieve goals, things are not difficult but they find it hard because they don't dare to try and remain in witchcraft beliefs" he said at a capacity building seminar for entrepreneurs held in Mbeya recently.

He said said many entrepreneurs were shunning business trainings because they believe on their own initiatives in running businesses and others, simply, did not want to change with time.

He said for the entrepreneurs to succeed in development they are supposed to use the existing opportunities including business training which associates with opportunities to get fund to expand their capital and business base.

One of the entrepreneurs, Mr James Mwamboghe said the main problem they face is the availability of information where many things happen without having the correct information.

Mr Mwamboghe said there is a need for entrepreneurs to receive training on Information and Communication Technology , "This will help us to go on time and find out opportunities and training through internet, but currently we are possessing smart phones but we use them in non profit things" he said.

Witchcraft or witchery broadly means the practice of, and belief in, magical skills and abilities that are able to be exercised by individuals and certain social groups. Primitive as it is, it remains a big business not just in Tanzania, but in many parts of Africa.

Belief in witchcraft in many parts of Africa dates back centuries as a way of explaining common misfortunes including deaths, failed harvests and infertility.

Mbeya, Tabora and Shiyanga are among the 11 regions of Tanzania Mainland with a high incidence of witchcraft-related violence and killings, according to a state of human rights report in 2015/16 released by the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) this year.

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