Modern-Day Slavery on D.C.'s Embassy Row? [Afisa Balozi wetu Mzengi na Utumwa mpya?] | JamiiForums | The Home of Great Thinkers

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Modern-Day Slavery on D.C.'s Embassy Row? [Afisa Balozi wetu Mzengi na Utumwa mpya?]

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by Shadow, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. Shadow

    Shadow JF-Expert Member

    Jun 17, 2010
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    Modern-Day Slavery on D.C.'s Embassy Row?

    By E. Benjamin Skinner
    Monday, Jun. 14, 2010

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton discusses the 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report
    Drew Angerer / AP

    In Washington on Monday, Hillary Clinton unveiled the State Department's 10th annual report on modern-day slavery, which evaluates the efforts of every nation to combat the crime. For the first time, State ranked the antislavery efforts of the U.S. alongside those of 174 other countries. The U.S. rated itself as being in full compliance with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). But the report appears to have ignored a new congressional mandate to identify specific cases of countries whose diplomats allegedly harbored slaves within a few miles of Clinton's remarks — even though it indicates that such cases exist.

    The congressional mandate was prompted in part by the abuses of a Tanzanian diplomat named Alan Mzengi, who was Minister of Consular Affairs at his country's embassy in Washington. In a January 2008 ruling, a U.S. district court judge found that Mzengi and his wife forced a 20-year-old woman named Zipora Mazengo into domestic slavery in their six-bedroom Bethesda, Md., home. In her April 2007 lawsuit against the couple, Mazengo, by then 27, said that as soon as she arrived from Tanzania in June 2000, the diplomat confiscated her passport and her employment contract. For the next four years, Mazengo said, the Mzengis forced her to perform domestic work 112 hours per week for no pay. At night she shared a room with the Mzengis' infant, one of three children under her responsibility. (See a summary of the 2009 Trafficking in Persons Report.)

    She claimed that the diplomat taunted her, his wife beat her, and both forbade her from leaving the home unaccompanied — even when her sister was dying in Tanzania. Mazengo's ingrown toenails festered to the point where she could no longer wear shoes, yet the Mzengis denied her medical treatment for two years and forced her to shovel snow barefoot. When they finally allowed her emergency surgery, they ignored her doctor's orders and put her back to work the same day. Finally, in August 2004, Mazengo escaped with help from a customer of the Mzengis' side business, a catering service. (See South Africa's struggle to address a new slave trade.)

    Mzengi's abuses outraged the late Congressman Tom Lantos, a California Democrat who himself was a survivor of forced labor as a young man. In 2007 he demanded that the Tanzanian diplomat "be kicked out of the country" by the State Department. Shortly thereafter, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) faulted State's insufficient response to some 42 domestic workers who between 2000 and 2008 had accused foreign diplomats of abuse on U.S. soil. The number of unknown cases, the GAO found, was likely much higher. The 1961 Vienna Convention shields diplomats and their families from many types of prosecution by their host countries, and some diplomats have used that status to intimidate their servants into silence about abuses.

    Lantos, together with Representatives John Conyers and Howard Berman, added protections for the servants of diplomats to the 2008 reauthorization of the TVPA. This year, Congress used an appropriations bill to press State to go a step further, mandating that "the Secretary should include all trafficking cases involving [servants of diplomats] in the Trafficking in Persons annual report where a final civil judgment has been issued." This year's report omitted such cases.

    Clinton's special adviser on human trafficking defended her record in pressing for greater protections for domestic servants of diplomats. "The Obama Administration has done more than any previous Administration to address the unique vulnerabilities of domestic workers to trafficking in persons," argued ambassador Luis CdeBaca, whose Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons drafts the report and who had previously, as a congressional staffer, worked to add protections for domestic workers to the reauthorized TVPA. He cited new State Department regulations and policies governing how foreign and U.S. diplomats treat domestic workers.

    The annual report itself reflects the Administration's continuing shift toward a more balanced focus on both forced labor and sex trafficking. Though it named no single country guilty of such abuses on U.S. soil, the report featured a generic passage explaining that "worldwide, domestic workers employed by diplomats suffer abuses ranging from wage exploitation to trafficking offenses."

    Also, the U.S. country narrative reported that "there are cases of domestic workers, foreigners on [diplomatic servant] visas, being subjected to trafficking-related abuse by diplomats posted to the United States." Finally, though it made no mention of the Mzengi case, the department downgraded Tanzania as a whole in the report, finding that "understanding of what constitutes trafficking remained low among government officials."

    But some see State Department elites resisting a push for greater accountability on the part of foreign diplomats. "The specialists who deal in bilateral relations would prefer to deal with it behind the scenes. That was not my position," says Mark Lagon, CdeBaca's predecessor as trafficking ambassador. Lagon, now a senior adviser to LexisNexis on corporate social responsibility, had pushed hard to highlight countries with abusive diplomats in the annual trafficking report. "Alleged strategic interests that some argue are the reason for downplaying the abuse of trafficking victims," Lagon says, "are generally a mirage."

    Recently, the Administration appeared to have hardened its stance against such diplomatic abuse. Two weeks ago, State filed a legal opinion in an ongoing civil case alleging abuse by a Kuwaiti official, arguing that diplomats are protected under the Vienna Convention only when engaged in "official acts performed as a diplomat."

    In June 2009, a Manhattan federal judge, citing the same principle, rejected a claim of diplomatic immunity by Lauro L. Baja, the former Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations. A former employee is suing Baja, who twice served as president of the Security Council, for trafficking her to the U.S. and forcing her into unpaid domestic work. Baja has consistently denied wrongdoing.

    But to date, State has not declared a moratorium on visas to servants of Tanzanian diplomats. Mazengo's lawyer, Martina Vandenberg, argued in a November 2009 letter to Clinton that the reauthorized TVPA requires such a suspension in a case in which a mission has failed to punish a diplomat who exploits his servants. (The Tanzanian embassy in Washington did not respond to requests for comment.)

    In 2004, two months after she escaped, Mazengo sent a letter to the Tanzanian ambassador describing Mzengi's treatment of her as "less than human." The tone of the letter was courteous, respectful — diplomatic — but it ended on a defiant note. "I do have rights," she wrote, "and will not hesitate to pursue every available avenue at my disposal for the sake of justice."

    In January 2008, a federal judge awarded Mazengo more than $1 million in damages. Three months later, Mzengi returned to Tanzania without paying. He did not file notice of appeal, and attempts to reach his lawyer have elicited no response. To date, Mazengo has collected only the $2,000 her lawyers could garnish from Mzengi's American bank account. According to his former doctoral adviser at Howard University, Mzengi is currently an adviser to the President of Tanzania in Dar-es-Salaam. (Messages left with the Tanzanian President's office were not returned as of Monday.)

    "I don't understand why they promoted him," says Mazengo, informed of Mzengi's new position. "The government of my country has done something wrong. They have moved on, but I cannot move on. I am still struggling to find justice."

    — With reporting by Lindsay Markel
    E. Benjamin Skinner is a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism of Brandeis University.

    Read more: Trafficking Report: No Mention of Diplomats in D.C. with Slaves? - TIME

  2. A

    Alpha JF-Expert Member

    Jun 17, 2010
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    Absolutely Disgraceful.
  3. J

    Jasusi JF-Expert Member

    Jun 18, 2010
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    This is an old story. And not very accurate.
  4. Sun Tzu

    Sun Tzu Member

    Jun 19, 2010
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    There are many people in the United States who live and work in situation even worse than the one claimed by Mazengo, many people have more than one jobs to survive, some even work more tha 120 hours in order to pay their bills.

    It is unforunate today those who cherished on Traingle Trade (Transatlantic Slave Trade) and the footprints and finger prints of slavery are all over place, today they want to lecture us about human rights and modern slavery.

    My take:

    Huyu binti alikuwa anaganga njaa, na huko ndiyo kunaitwa kujilipua hili apate haki ya kuishi Marekani. Inawezekana alikuwa na script aliyoandikiwa na lawyer au wapambe wake ili aweze kubakia Marekani. Kwani hamjuwi huyo Mazengo ni "Mbongo" pengine alikuwa anatafuta short cut ya kubakia Marekani alipokuwa anaona huyo Diplomat anakaribia kurudi Bongo.
  5. K

    Kiranja JF-Expert Member

    May 1, 2011
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    Huyu bwana baada ya haya yote ameitwa na kupewa cheo kikubwa sana ndani ya idara ya usalama wa taifa letu Tanzania .

    Hebu soma hapa ni balozi analalamika kwa rais lakini rais huyo huyo anamwita na kumpa wadhifa mkubwa tena kwenye idara ya usalama wa Taifa.

    Attached Files:

  6. m

    mambomengi JF-Expert Member

    May 1, 2011
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    Ni katika nchi ya kusadikika tu.
  7. Kang

    Kang JF-Expert Member

    May 1, 2011
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    Barua ya kipuuzi sana yaani hela zetu zitumike kulipa personal madeni ili iweje?
  8. popiexo

    popiexo JF-Expert Member

    May 1, 2011
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    Huyu balozi mwanaidi ana kichwa cha panzi, yaani uhusiano na Marekani uharibike kwa ajili ya deni la mtu binafsi? Na hawa ndio JK aliowachagua kumshauri ama kweli kipofu anamuongoza kipofu mwenzake.
  9. Arafat

    Arafat JF-Expert Member

    May 1, 2011
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    Why call this saga! is this deal a saga! this is just a CCM normal dirty deals. It's normal deal under CCM; Normal Gamba and same gamba unadhani anaweza kuacha kuiibia CCM kura? thubutu! Labda dawa ya Babu iache kufanya kazi.

    Unaonaje kama hayo malipo anayosema huyo mwizi mwingine (Majaar) kuwa ni madogo kama ni mpango maalum kati ya mtu na house maide wake! kwani wakati wa kukata keti lazima wapige vigeregere! Ok sawa hilo ni swali baya la kizushi.

    Swali lingine, 'Ni vipi serikali ilipie mtuhumiwa faini ya kosa lake' Vipi huo mtindo ukianza hadi hapa Nyumbani? tena kwanini serikali hisilipie wananchni wake wote faini za hukumu mahakamani maana itapendwa na itakuwa serikali inayojali sana wananchni wake! safi sana; Pale Kisutu, Mhe. Jaji, Mtuhumiwa ABC na XYZ, Mahakama imewakuta na hatia katika kesi ya wizi wa EPA na hivyo mnahukumiwa Kifungo cha kwenda jela miaka saba (7) au kulipa faini ya Tsh.2,000,000.00, Watuhumiwa kupitia kwa Wakili wao, Tutalipa faini kwa kupitia ule utaratibu wa Serikali wa kulipia wananchni wake wanaotiwa hatiani faini! Kohoooti! kazi imeisha!

    Hatari sana hii nchni ya pembezoni mwa Africa Mashariki sijui Kikwete anaiburuza kuipereka wapi sijajua hadi sasa.

    Maswali yangu ya kijinga yameisha tuendele na mada.
  10. macho_mdiliko

    macho_mdiliko JF-Expert Member

    May 1, 2011
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    Ungekuwa huu ni uwanja wa matusi huyu Mwanaidi Sinare Maajar leo angekufa kwa matusi ambayo ningempa! Huu ni upumbavu wa hali ya juu uliopitiliza kipimo!! Yaani mtu afanye uhalifu halafu serikali imlipie? Hana adabu kabisa na fikira zake zinawaza usawa wa pua yake. Jamani hii misukule inawezaje kufika mpaka ngazi kuwa mabalozi wakati bongo zao zimegandishwa kwenye ufisadi?? Nadhani hii barua ni vizuri ipelekwe kwa hao hao congress ili waona jinsi Afrika kulivyo na watu majuha!
  11. M

    Mkandara Verified User

    May 1, 2011
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    Ama kweli tunakumbatia Mafisadi...
  12. Ehud

    Ehud JF-Expert Member

    May 1, 2011
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    Hii ndiyo tz bana nchi ya milk and honey!
  13. I

    IPECACUANHA JF-Expert Member

    May 1, 2011
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    Am disgusted with how people with low Moral values and Lack of personel Integrity, are being assigned with roles of leadership in Tanzania. Reading between the lines a person who has exposed himself in this situation should be relieved of any duties of public service. It is an imaginable that he has got a promotion despite everything. What output is expected from this calibre of people who are so close to the president????
  14. g

    gwan Member

    May 1, 2011
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    kwa kweli mabadiliko ya kweli yanahitajika nchi hii
  15. f

    fame Member

    May 1, 2011
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    tz zaidi ya tuijuavyo! Mwashangaa nini kama mrs. Maajar ni partner wa rex attorneys, law firm iliyointroduce dowans benki na baadaye kuwa defendant atto
  16. Papa D

    Papa D JF-Expert Member

    May 1, 2011
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    mh! yaani mpaka nimebanwa mkojo!!
  17. LoyalTzCitizen

    LoyalTzCitizen JF-Expert Member

    May 1, 2011
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    I regret to be a Tanzanian! natamani nikafanye assassin course! nitaanza kuua mmoja baada ya mwengine until i cleared all fisadis! i mean it!:crying:
  18. K

    Kiranja JF-Expert Member

    May 1, 2011
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    Ukisoma muhutasari uliotumwa Ikulu kuhusu kikao cha huyu Balozi na hao mawakili wanaomtetea huyu mama aliyefanyishwa biashara ya uharamia utashangaa jinsi ambavyo Mabalozi wetu huko , badala ya kulinda sheria wao wanatetea wavunja sheria sijui kama alifanya mawasiliano kwanza ama ni maamuzi yake binafsi kwani inaonyesha kuwa badala ya kutuma watu strategic kwenye balozi muhimu tunatuma mijitu isiyokuwa na huruma na nchi yetu.....ndio maana sishangai Mapuri kuwa balozi wa Tanzania China (a strategic counrty in the moment)
  19. mwana wa mtu

    mwana wa mtu JF-Expert Member

    May 1, 2011
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    Hii ni moja tu ya madudu mengi ambayo yanaitafuna na kuiharibu vibaya sana nchi yetu inayoitwa Tanzania....poor us
  20. K

    Kiranja JF-Expert Member

    May 1, 2011
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    Kama hujui uliza usaidiwe na sio kuandika tuu.

    Kwa taarifa yako huyu alikuwa ni Afisa mwambata wa Ubalozi wa Tanzania Marekani, baada ya hii skendo huko akaitwa nyumbani na kupandioshwa cheo kwenye idara . Huyu unategemea ataweza kweli kulinda maslahi ya nchi kwa sifa hizi?