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Saturday, February 28, 2009

President Jakaya Kikwete spells out Strategy to stem Albino Killings

In his customary end of month television address to the nation, President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania has today informed the nation of a new strategy, by the government, to stem the killing of albinos in the country.

He has said that, due to the enormity of the issue at hand, the government has decided to step up efforts to bring albino killings to an end. He has added that albino killings have sullied the image of Tanzania internationally and that, if nothing is done about it, things will spiral out of control.

The president has said that the strategy will be to engage the nation [which will be sub-divided into zones for this exercise] in a secret ballot in March this year. This means that the people will, secretly, write the names of the principals in the albinos’ body parts trade on set dates which will be announced to the public soon.

This strategy, he says, will involve all regions of Tanzania and will start with the Lake Victoria region where most of the killings have been reported. Albino body parts trade is also rife in this part of Tanzania.

Mr. Kikwete believes that this will be a sure-fire way of getting to the root of this problem. He says, too, people who will be involved in the exercise of naming names will not fear retribution from people they name because they will not know who named them when they are apprehended.

[People who will need help in writing the names of people they know to be involved in this “murky business”, will be assisted by people who will be put on standby for such eventualities. These people will be sworn to secrecy].

Of late, the Tanzanian government has come under considerable pressure, from international quarters, to bring albino killings to an end.

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