5 December 2017

Tanzania: MCL Journalist Reported Missing in Kibiti

Photo: The Citizen
(file photo).

Dar es Salaam — A freelance Journalist affiliated with Mwananchi Communications Limited (MCL), Mr Azory Gwanda has been reported missing since November 21 this year.

Based in Kibiti in the Coast Region, Gwanda was last seen in company of unidentified people who picked him up in the trading centre over unspecified reasons and has not been seen.

His family reported him missing on November 23 at the local police station.

A statement issued yesterday by MCL Managing Director Mr Francis Nanai said Gwanda's wife, Anna Pinoni, 35, informed the management about her husband's on November 30.

According to Ms Pinoni, four men driving a white Toyota Land Cruiser arrived at Mr Gwanda's working station in Kibiti at about 8am and took him away, telling those who were with him that they wanted to speak to him.

At about 10am on the same day, Ms Pinoni said occupants of the vehicle and Gwanda arrived at their farm where she was working.

Through a window, she said, her husband inquired where she had kept the key to their house. Ms Pinoni said she was allowed to speak to Gwanda who was seated in the back of the vehicle. He told her he would be a way on an emergency trip and that he would be back shortly.

The car then left farm and headed to the direction of Gwanda's house. And when Ms Pinoni arrived at home later, she found books and documents scattered on the floor, signalling that some sort of inspection had been carried out in the house.

"Initially I was not worried but when he failed to return as stated and all his mobile phone lines were not reachable, I became alarmed," Ms Pinoni told The Citizen.

According to Mr Nanai, Gwanda's wife then reported the incident at the Kibiti police station and was given RB No. Kibiti/1496/2017. The Police promised to investigate but so far no information about his whereabouts has been released by the police.

The MCL MD said Gwanda last communicated with his editors on November 20 over normal duties.

"MCL management is working closely with the family on this matter and would like to call upon security organs to speed up investigation on the whereabouts of the journalist," Mr Nanai said in the statement.

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