An upcoming public and policy engagement non-profit consultancy focusing on Social, Political and Ecological Justice issues in Afrika. We work and stand in solidarity with communities in mineral rich areas in Afrika and other global south environments.
“Mayo nacha” – Mother I am dying! Was the only cry of the 13 year Old girl when Barrick Gold Corporation Employees in Sengerema at Barrick’s own exploration camp decided to take the little girl’s innocence away by giving her for sexual pleasure to a dog. Justice is assumed been met through the legal system in Tanzania but is this enough is this the justice we desire? Read on…
Allies in Crime
“Canada has always spat on the face of Tanzanians!” read a line on a mail from one of my friends after I circulated the article which publicised the deportation of Canadian diplomat who spat at the police personnel in Tanzania. But spitting on one’s face does not equal the untold story of the 13 year old girl who was forced to have sexual intercourse with a dog in the hands of Barrick Gold Corporation in Sengerema District – Tanzania.
Following this wicked act from Barrick Gold Corporation in Sengerema, the local community members seem not to be so very happy with the way the whole case was handled with claims that, “the white man who was in charge and who owned the dog was shipped out of the country secretly aided by the security forces in Tanzania” so claimed one of the locals. This has a little similarity with the exit of the diplomat who spat on one of us and then was left to go scot-free. But here we must take note of all the diplomatic immunity issues involved.
A Crime Well Planned
The accounts recorded on the judgement of this sad happening in the life of this little girl leave much truth to be sought for. From the accounts of the three accused persons to that of the veterinarian who attended the dog after the act there are traces that would suggest that this was a crime well planned from a layman’s point of view.
With a drink and a bath, the accused persons dialogued in a language the young girl could not understand save the words, “tumpeleke sasa” (let’s take her now – in Kiswahili) forcing the girl to enter into the fenced area, took off her clothes and forced her to bend.
“He pulled me and took off my clothes and held me on the back of my head and bent me, there was a board. Job and Shija held me crying; mother I am dying (“Mayo Nacha” in her mother tongue – Sukuma). The dog went around and came and held me by its legs and inserted its long thing in my vagina…” reiterated the Girl – according to the printed Judgement copy.
After the act the dog named Badya is reported to have been taken to the veterinary doctor for check up where it was found to be ‘safe’ having no transmissible disease. In his statement before the court, the veterinarian, “Dr. Yohana David Segenge testified under oath that on 3rd April 2009 he examined the dog… the dog was brought to him by the employees of Barrick and the dog was already vaccinated at South Africa against any disease that can be transmitted to human being. That in his conclusion at the report he recommended the victim be examined and given treatment by a medical doctor.”
What is most confusing is when the veterinarian, Dr. Segenge said (according to the judgement) that, “the dog was brought to him almost two weeks after the alleged incidence and his report was of the date of examination only. Not before examination. He added that he don’t know and could not know if the dog was injured and heal before being brought to him for examination.”
Delivered on the 23rd March and 4th May 2009 before Hon. G. E. Mariki, RM; the court house woke to a solemn statement pronouncing how an innocent girl was forced “to have sexual intercourse with a dog.”
“This judgement arises from a very sad story of inhuman act of forcing a human being to have sexual intercourse with a dog. Apart from being a human being the victim was a child aged 13 years old” reads the opening paragraph of the judgement.”
In this court – the Resident Magistrate Court of Mwanza at Mwanza the three accused persons were faced with three (3) counts, namely; “sexual exploitation of a child c/s 138 B (1) (e) of the Penal Code Cap 16 R.E.2002, sexual exploitation of a child c/s 138 B (1) (a) of the Penal Code, and sexual exploitation of a child c/s 138 B (1) (d) of the Penal Code.”
Beyond the Judgement
The judge made his verdict and delivered the sentence but there are still questions, myriads of questions being posed by the local people in Sengerema; is there any other action beyond the sentence of the three accused? What will the legal system of Tanzania, the government of Tanzania and the government of Canada do to bring the other ‘missing’ accused from Barrick Gold Corporation who is claimed to have been “escorted secretly out of the country after the incidence in Sengerema took place?” Is 20 + 20 + 15 concurrent jail term on the Tanzanians justice enough for the 13 year old Girl; and even for the trio?
Just as in the case of the Canadian diplomat who had to be deported back to Canada for ‘misconduct,’ we have not heard of the Tanzanian government demanding that all the diplomatic immunities be uplifted and the then diplomat be returned to Tanzania to face the law.
The legal system in Tanzania should liaise with the Central Government to bring about the justice that is extremely needed by this 13 year old girl. We have seen a great measure of dragging feet on all the other cases against Barrick Gold Corporation on the part of the government. Is this what your fellow Tanzanians voted you in for; protecting the interests of foreigners at the expense of your own constituents?
Stretched to the Limit
The Tanzanian population is tired of these crimes against humanity in our very soil. People are tired with systems that do not work but since we are such a ‘peace loving population’ we accept the slap on the other cheek.
There are already words going around Sengerema of Barrick Gold Corporation’s human resource manager going around looking for the girl, “…she came here the other day asking us to tell her where the girl is and that Barrick wants to help her. What we need is justice.”
At first it was the Bulyanhulu case, the never stopping toxic sludge spilling at the North Mara Mine, the container carrying weapons bound for North Mara, the poorly built houses and low or no compensations at Buzwagi and now a little girl’s innocence taken by being forced to be known carnally by a dog. What next should we expect from Barrick Gold Corporation?