Kagera RC declares ‘war’ on perpetrators of violence against children

KAGERA: WITH cases of violence against children escalating in the country, Kagera Regional Commissioner (RC) Ms Fatma Mwassa has directed leaders in the region to ensure that all forms of violence against children end in the region.

Launching the Law Week celebrations at the Bukoba High Court premises recently, Ms Mwasa appealed to family members to take necessary steps to protect their children and make sure that they get a proper upbringing which includes enrolling them in schools.

“Data indicate that cases of violence against children are escalating in the country including Kagera region. Leaders including District Commissioners (DCs) in the eight councils should leave their offices and go to the people to make violence against children end,” she said.

She explained that the government was committed to ensuring that acts of violence against children are brought to an end, and calling for joint efforts from all stakeholders to end the vice.

“Some of the children were neglected, forcing them to live in the streets begging, while others were not attending school and some of them were raped. Investigations revealed that major perpetrators include relatives and neighbours,” she said.

She said several studies show that 60 per cent of acts of violence against children occur at home and the culprits are family members.

“The highest challenge of dealing with violence against children is the silence and the habit of resolving and ending cases clandestinely at family level,” she said.

She appealed to the Judiciary to print brochures and distribute them, especially in rural areas, where most Tanzanians live to educate members of the community, especially parents and guardians, on the vital documents needed to be presented in court when a child is reported to have been raped.

“Many cases involving violence against children fail to materialize resulting in suspects being acquitted for lack of enough evidence. Similarly, parents and guardians do not report rape cases immediately when such incidents happen while some of the parents report the cases to police after seven days. This often results in miscarriage of justice,” she said.

She also noted that land-related cases were increasing in the region calling for concerted efforts to control them. “Some of the complainants with land grievances waste their time by reporting their cases to village chairmen, Ward Executive Officers (WEOs) and Street leaders who issue them with letters and they (complainants) mistake the letters for land titles,” she said.

Meanwhile, Bukoha High Court Judge In-Charge, Immaculata Banzi has said ethics was a core pillar in the provision of justice without which the fairness dispensed would be uncompleted.

She appealed to members who form district and regional judicial ethics committees to educate the citizens on the functions of the committees and how to fully utilize their services.

“Science and technology development has increased citizens’ understanding of justice issues thus increasing their ability to judge and criticize decisions made.” We need to be accurate in our decisions to avoid unnecessary criticisms,” she said.

She commended the government for supporting the judiciary adding that through the E-Filing system, many cases which were pending in court had already been determined.

“The sixth-phase government under President Samia Suluhu Hassan has made efforts to increase the budget for the judiciary and also by constructing more primary courts in the country. These efforts should be supported,” she said.

She called upon government organs entrusted with the investigation of criminal cases including the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), police and prisons departments to utilise Information, Communication Technology (ICT), including forensic identification technology to have positive results in case management.

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