Tanzania: Human Rights Body Hails Suspension of Village Executive Officer

Dar es Salaam — The Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) has on Wednesday, January 20, 2021, called on the government to take stern measures against citizens suspected of committing offences.

LHRC made a call through its statement to commend the decision made by Mbulu District Executive Director (DED) Harrison Kamoga to suspend the Hydom Village Executive Officer (Veo) Adella Kente allegedly for whipping Ms Rose Danielsen.

Ms Danielsen was struck on January 12, this year allegedly for failure to make village contributions, the incident that was received with strong condemnation from rights activists in the country.

A statement signed by LHRC executive director Anna Henga says the government should act on such incidents through the President's Office responsible for Public Service and Good Governance as well as that accountable for Regional Administration and Local Government.

"Actions should include condemning, suspending and revoking the appointment of such leaders immediately after the incidents. Any allegations of crime should be lodged to the court," reads the statement.

She says Article 13 of the country's constitution gives rights of protection and access to justice to every Tanzanian without discrimination.

"The constitution transparently says the court is the organ mandated to provide justice. Leaders and citizens are obliged to maintain the country's peace by abiding by the constitution and laws governing the country in accordance with their oaths," reads part of the statement.

It further noted that incidents of leaders taking laws into their own hands have escalated in the country despite the deprivation of international standards on human rights and principles of good governance especially the convention on civil and political rights.

Recently, the deputy minister of state in the Prime Minister's Office responsible for the disabled Ummy Nderiananga was blamed for whipping some Dar es Salaam residents accused of humiliating People with Disabilities (PwDs).

In the incident, Arusha DC Kenani Kihongosi slapped three Form One students and traders who were implicated with theft of desks and ultimately selling them to scrapper dealers.

On October 4, 2019, Mbeya Regional Commissioner (RC) Albert Chalamila whipped Form Five and Form Six students of Kiwanja Secondary School in Chunya District for allegedly burning school dormitories. These incidents raised public uproar and called for scrutiny on public officials seemingly overstepping their bounds.

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