Kidnap horror, murder linked to what’s wrong in social priorities

The Guardian
Published at 06:45 AM Jun 22 2024
 Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa
Photo: PMO
Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa

THERE is faint hope and many expectations that Thursday’s directive from the National Assembly in Dodoma city by Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa’s for effective measures by all concerned to ensure the safety of children with albinism across the country will bear fruit.

Local government authorities have been tasked with carrying out special operations to enhance security for people with albinism. The issue is really how far there will be readiness to notify the relevant agencies on any dangers lurking.

There was some despair seeing the grotesque incident occurring again, after years of an impression that efforts conducted some 20 years ago had changed one or other facet of society.

It is the shock of collective discovery that little progress had been made, that it is still possible to commit such a crime, for little has changed of the social conditions in which such criminality may appear inevitable. We seek to avoid the key issues.

The PM dwelt on the issue in the weekly spot questions hour, with legislators’ concerns arising from the kidnapping and brutal murder of a two-year-old child with albinism.

The ghastly incident occurred on May 20, while on June 19 the child’s mutilated body was found wrapped – minus limbs, hands, tongue and eyes.

Just how far the widespread fear and real anxiety among residents of Lake Victoria Zone regions and beyond will be assuaged by the PM’s directive is a different issue.

While the matrix in which the premier issued those directives may make a difference, it can scarcely affect the core beliefs leading to horrors of this sort.

And it isn’t upon the government to bell the cat on this matter as it is inbuilt, with social beliefs often denied in official circles and in their many varieties, practised by portions of society.

These ills can only end after traditional society is no longer existent in the way we know it, as it leads both to discrimination against people with albinism while some people have no qualms about it.

Add expectations of gain and associated sweeteners to that prospect and there is a climate of consensus on what to do about those targeted with the crude violence.

The matter is so ingrained in society that it is apparent that few people are immune from suspicions of wishing or being potentially involved in arranging a grotesque act – and scene – of the kind under discussion.

In a way, the persistence of these incidents is a slap in the face for authorities who keep declaring that progress in life comes from hard work, which means that they skip two things in one leap.

First is that they ignore religious and ancient convictions that sacrifice facilitates gain, and then skip issues relating to how to relate in society in a non-communal manner, such that no one has to murder to earn respect merely because of social success.

Social cohesion based on tradition and collective respect for status make up an electrolytic pairing well neigh impossible to quenched. But it just must be quenched.