Teacher arraigned for sodomising minor

WITH cases of violence against children escalating, a teacher at Missenyi district’s Bunazi Secondary School was on Wednesday arraigned before the Missenyi District Magistrate’s Court to answer a charge of sodomising a minor (name withheld).

Prosecuting Senior State Attorney (SSA) Nestory Nchimani identified the accused before the court as Ameir Mustapha (39), a teacher at Bunazi Secondary School.

He told the court that on diverse dates between January and April, this year, the accused (Mustapha) sodomized a 13-year-old boy who is in Standard Six.

He informed the court that at least five prosecution witnesses were listed to testify and prove the offence committed. Missenyi District Magistrate Yohana Miyombo adjourned the case to June 15th.

The same court on Wednesday convicted Francisco Minani (60), a resident of Byeju Village of raping his daughter aged six years old and sentenced him to 30 years imprisonment.

Prosecuting Police Inspector Zakayo Nalekwa told the court during hearing of the criminal case that the convict committed the offense on October 21st, 2022.

Evidence tendered in court revealed that Minani   had been living with his three children after he divorced his wife.

Before passing the sentence, Missenyi District Magistrate Yohana Miyombo noted that the prosecution side had proved the case beyond reasonable doubt. He denounced the accused describing him as a beast who did not deserve to live in a civilised society and sentenced him to 30 years imprisonment.

Article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) 6: states… parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse.

Meanwhile, Minister for Community Development, Gender, Women and Special Groups, Dr Dorothy Gwajima has said that it is high time ill-mannered individuals stopped the hostility against children, calling upon the society to break the silence and stop feeling ashamed to report incidents of violence against children to relevant authorities.

“Concerted efforts from all groups of people are needed in ensuring children are protected. All regional, council and religious leaders, parents and guardians have a role to play in ensuring children are safe and are getting access to education, including stopping the increasing acts of moral decay,” she said.

Minister Gwajima said that the biggest challenge of dealing with violence against children is the silence and the habit of   resolving and ending cases clandestinely at family level.

She said family members have developed the tendency of resolving cases of gender-based violence on their own, a practice that denies victims of their right to access justice from law enforcement organs, as information on the malpractice is not availed to government authorities.

“It is unfortunate that we, the parents, have relieved ourselves from the duty of raising our children, that’s why many acts of brutality happen at our homes. We have left children to raise themselves, that’s why it becomes easier for them to fall into the traps of ill-mannered andbad people, some ending up being raped,” she said.

Giving data, the minister said the Police Force information shows that from January to December 2022, cases of violence against children reported were 12,163, where incidents involving female children were 9,962 and male children were 2,201.

In 2021, GBV cases reported were 11,499, meaning that in2022 cases increased by 664, equivalent to 5.8 per cent,” said Dr Gwajima.

Giving the breakdown of the offences, the minister said acts associated with rape were 6,335, sexism 1,557   and child pregnancies 1,557, with Arusha Region leading with 728 incidents.  Other regions or districts with the number of cases in brackets are Mbeya (710), Kinondoni (681), Tanga (607) and Mwanza (595).

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