Tanzania: District Establishes Special Court for Street Children

SUMBAWANGA District in Rukwa Region has established a special court for hearing cases of street children alleged to engage themselves in criminal activities.

Sumbawanga District Commissioner (DC), Dr Halfany Haule, unveiled this step, saying previously street children were busy begging food and other goods in Sumbawanga Town, but recently they had turned violent and engaged in criminal activities.

"Preliminary investigation shows that most of the street children in Sumbawanga Town have parents and relatives, but they have run away from their families to live on the streets on the pretext that their families were poor.

"The district government has tried to reunite them with their families and taken care of them by giving them necessaries, but much to our surprise most of them have returned to the streets," added the DC.

Dr Haule urged Sumbawanga residents to support district efforts by apprehending street children accused of engaging in criminal activities and take them to police stations and subsequently arraign them.

For her part, Sumbawanga Municipal Council Social Welfare Officer Happy Kiasi told 'Daily News' during a phone interview that about 17 street children had been traced, held and reunited with their families after a recent special operation mounted day and night.

She further said that such a special operation had been mounted jointly by team of municipal welfare officials and law enforcers.

"The special operation was took off December 15, this year, and with it 17 street children aged between 10 and 12 years old were traced, held and reunited with their families after staying on the streets for more than three years, while they were between seven and nine years old," she noted.

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