Dar es Salaam. Ten children aged between three and six years have been brutally killed and some had their organs chopped off in different occasions this month in Njombe.
Reports reaching The Citizen revealed yesterday that the killers were also chopping off the children’s reproductive and respiratory organs in the killings that are linked to superstitious beliefs.
Saddened by the killings, the chairman for defence and security in Njombe, who doubles as the Njombe Regional Commissioner, Mr Christopher Ole Sendeka, ordered the immediate arrest of all witchdoctors who are linked to the brutal deaths of innocent children.
The deputy minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr Faustine Ndugulile, said he was saddened by the killings and that while those dealing with defence and security were working on it from the criminal point of view, his ministry was working on the same issue from the development of children and traditional medicine angle.
“With the help of the Regional Commissioner’s Office, we have invited all traditional healers to a meeting. Those that we have been able to meet with say they have nothing to do with killings. There could be some people from outside the region who are doing this. We have to find a way to end this problem,” he said.
The Minister of Home Affairs, Mr Kangi Lugola, said he was aware of two incidents and that police were handling the issue.
The parents have called for the government’s intervention to ensure that children are safe.
According to Atupele Sanga, a resident of Chaugingi Village in Njombe, since the schools were opened three weeks ago, each parent has been escorting his/ her child to and from school as part of the ways of protecting them.
“We have less hours of work nowadays because of escorting our children to school in the morning and picking them back home in the afternoon. The situation is worse because we even fear leaving our children at home for the killers are still at large,” he said. Another villager, Mr Nicolaus Mhando, said the killings have shocked parents, children and guardians.
He said three kids were recently abducted from the hands of their parents and one of them was later found dead with his body parts removed while others were still missing.
“Children are no longer sure of their safety. We have heard that some suspects have been arrested, but I think the problem is still big,” he said.
One of the teacher at one of the school in Njombe town who did not want to be mentioned, said this is major challenge as parents have remained in a crossroad.
Njombe District Commissioner Ruth Msafiri said a total of 10 children dead bodies have been discovered in different parts of the town, some being slaughtered and their body parts removed.
She said six children, who were killed, four are from Njombe town council and the rest were reported in different districts.
She said one of the children had his throat chopped off and another body was recovered from river Hagafilo in Njombe.
The district commissioner has, however, called for religious leaders, local government authorities, the community and councillors to ensure that they stem the tide of killings.