Monday, March 9, 2015
An envoy warns Tanzania over albino killings, saying the trend will tarnish the nation
THE Swedish Ambassador accredited in the country has expressed his grave concern over the continued killings of people with albinism saying that the continued trend would tarnish a good image Tanzania has on the reputation of peace and harmony at the international level. Ambassador Lennarth Hjelmaker said yesterday in Dar es Salaam that, the government needs to take serious actions over the matter which has surprised the international community and finds ways on how to stop the escalating phenomenon. He said in an exclusive interview at a climax of a forum for youths and children with disabilities which his country had organized for three countries including Sweden, Tanzania and Rwanda. The Friday’s forum was attended by the Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office Christopher Chiza as a Chief guest for the occasion which started on Tuesday this week in Dar es Salaam under the theme, “Come together to fight cruelty on children with disability” . He said the issue of the bad fame of albino killings in Tanzania has widely spread at a global community since such incidences broke out in the year 2000, an aspect which has brought chock to peace keepers as the action is so terrible and that cannot be tolerated at all. However, Ambassador Hjelmaker has also thanked the government for the steps it has taken so far over the matter which has ensured the apprehension of the suspects and their trial before the High Court on murder charges.
Swedish Ambassador Lennarth Hjelmaker in Tanzania
Stakeholders at a forum discussed about the basic rights such as education for children with disabilities and called for urgent attention from governments to defend their rights wherever possible. This is the first ever congregation to be held in the country and was organized by the Swedish government through its international organization which is concerned with the welfare of the people with disabilities in the world popularly known by its acronym FUB. Earlier in his opening remarks, Minister Chiza assured people with albinism in the country of the safety measures which the government has intensified for their safety, and has called on the general public to join hands in the exposing people who are directly involved.“A joint cooperation among good citizens is one way to win the war which to a greater extent has caused fear of living for the affected people with albinism”, he said. On his part, a consultancy and a defendant officer for people with albinism with Free Pentecostal Church of Tanzania, Josephat Torner expressed his disappointment over how the government is looking at the matter and how it responds to the regular demands of the affected groups in the demand. He said in an exclusive interview that, no any efforts is seen to be seriously by the government to fight the trend, he queried as to why such killings are going on year after year and more worse when the elections are approaching. “Suppose a soldier could have been killed in such a manner, you could see how the armed forces undertake their cover in the search for the culprits”, he remarked and noted that it becomes less serious for albinos which the government takes their fate for granted.