Nani anawatetea watoto wakiwa?


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Fundi Mchundo

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Fundi Mchundo

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Shattered by a `Wicked` Uncle

2008-02-24 10:37:16
By Darius Mukiza


The tale of 13-year-old Suzan Reuben is depressing. As the only child in her family she had a promising life, but this was suddenly shattered.

Suzan has lost both parents, the property they left behind has been seized and recklessly sold, and she is now a pauper, to say the least.

Despite being outwardly cheerful and mixing easily with fellow pupils at Zanaki Secondary School in Dar es Salaam, where she is a Form One student, Suzan conceals inside her heart some deep consternation. She looks upon every man with suspicion, mistrust and anger.

She says: ``Despite the sound economic base left behind by my deceased parents, my uncle John Magina, the man who was to supervise the inheritance on my behalf, crafted a scheme.

He first sold a Nissan Patrol vehicle owned by my late father Reuben Magina before resorting to selling a house in Dar es Salaam. Both sales were at give-away prices.``

``The proceeds from the sales were never given to me, and I have no one to pay my school fees, no one to look after my interests, and no secure place to shelter,`` she almost burst into tears as she narrated her agony, precipitated by none other than her father�s brother who was supposed to be closer to the teenager.

Through his mobile phone John Magina who said that he was in Shinyanga, admitted without remorse to have sold the vehicle and the house to settle a debt his late brother had left behind.

He also admitted to have consulted no one over the issue because he believed he was the sole stakeholder on this issue regarding his late brother.

John Magina said that the contents of inheritance included the vehicle, a house and household items but his brother Reuben had not left a will as he died suddenly.

``I opened the inheritance proceeds at Mindo Primary Court in Shinyanga about seven years ago because I am the executor of the bequest,`` said Magina over his mobile phone.

``My brother had left a debt of 2.5m/- and a civil case was filed in a court (he declined to name it). So I had to do the needful: Sell the vehicle and later the house to settle debt. It was that simple,`` he said curtly.

How much did the motor vehicle fetch? He would not reveal the amount. About the house! Magina said it fetched 4m/- but independent valuers who have seen the house, say it could fetch as much as 20m/-.

What has happened to the balance? Magina says he used it to meet costs related to transport between Shinyanga and Dar es Salaam and accommodation during the settling of the debt.

However, he says he does not remember how he spent the money accrued from selling the Nissan Patrol.

Suzan speaks out
``My late father, Reuben Magina, was an officer with the Tanzania Peoples Defence Forces (TPDF). He died in 2000, three years after the death of my mother Anifa Vakolavene in 1997.

Before my father died he took on another wife, my stepmother. Following the death of my father my grandmother Bertha Seme took me to her place at Rombo Kimara (in Dar es Salaam), after my stepmother was chased away by uncle John on grounds that she did not bear a child for my father.

``I was enrolled at Mlimani Primary School where I finished last year and passed the national examinations which qualified me to join Zanaki Secondary School.

``Grandmother Seme tried in vain to convince my uncle that he had no reason to sell the properties as they legally belonged to me. To our amazement the uncle told her that his brother (my father), had no children.

He also said he held the power over the wealth or property of my father. I am also informed that uncle Magina has sold two other properties of my parents.

``The uncle says under Sukuma customs and traditions women only get married to men but are not entitled to inheritance. In 2005 my uncle gave me 2,500/- and I took it as a gesture of love!\"
``The buyer of the unoccupied house that was initially fetching around 900,000/- in rent has threatened us that we should not take any action because he is a powerful man known even to high ranking officials``.

``He once told us: Even if you go to court you will not win because even the President knows me. Both I and my grandmother know the face of the buyer of the house but not his name.``

``I think the Nissan Patrol vehicle was sold at 2.8m/- but I am sure the house and other household stuff were sold at higher prices``.

Grandma Berth says
``If the house was rented, the proceeds would sustain the basic needs of my granddaughter.

I live by selling buns. I cannot afford to pay fees, buy uniforms, and other items. I am old and my own children, seven in number, some married, sometimes look after me. But they have their own families to look after.

``I ask you people of the media to assist me so that Suzan gets back her house and other properties.

She should not suffer a double tragedy: losing her parents and having her property snatched by greedy relatives.``

Views from neighbours
They saw the ripping and swindling of Suzan�s properties. They say Suzan had an assured future which was derailed by the relatives of her father who took everything the girl would have inherited.

``What I saw tempted me to think that nobody is good in this world. I didn`t believe at all that one day Suzan could live a life of destitution.

Please help her to recover her legally bequethed properties. She is alone in this world,`` said one Mrs Mwandu, whose family provides the student with clothes and money for bus fare.

Her teachers
Teachers of Mlimani Primary School where Suzana took studies for seven years said she was an intelligent, cooperative, and socialising pupil who struggled hard to achieve her goals.

�We knew she was an orphan although she lived as if she was not. She never missed classes. We helped her with everything she needed academically.

And by the time she was finishing Standard Seven we recommended for her to get assistance from Kinondoni Municipality in terms of fees in case she passed the examinations, said head of the academic department, Mathias Shayo.

Other relatives
Simon Magina, the younger uncle of Suzan, who stays in Dar es Salaam sympathises with Suzan`s plight, but has no means to help her apart from small things like pens and exercise books.

My brother should be held responsible for the plight of the girl. He should also be made to return the property.

The car that was sold by my brother could have generated enough money to finish the debt left by Suzan`s father. Really I don`t know how much it was sold for. What I know is that it was driven to Shinyanga where it was sold.

``My brother must come to Dar es Salaam to ensure that the house is handed back to Suzana.``

Suzan has appealed to Legal and human rights activists to take up her case, so that she recovers her swindled properties.
Najua wengi mmeisoma hii habari. Hivi kweli vitendo hivi vinaweza kuendelea kufanyika with impunity? Hao mawakili wetu mashujaa kwa nini wasiichukue kesi hii pro bono na kumgeuza huyu Suzan kuwa Rosa Parks wa haki za watoto wakiwa? Hivi hakuna sheria inayolinda haki zao na kumsimamia msimamizi wa mirathi ili asiwadhulumu watoto wa marehemu? Watu kama hawa wanatakiwa watolewe mfano ili wengine wote wenye uchu wa fisi wa namna yake waogope kufanya hivyo. Hatuwezi kama jamii kukaa na kutingisha kichwa tuu wakati unyama kama huu unatendeka. Ni wajibu wetu kudai kuwa hawa waliokuwa wanyonge (watoto yatima, wajane, wazee, wenye ulemavu n.k.) walindwe na sheria.
 
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MzalendoHalisi

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MzalendoHalisi

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Mchundo
Hata mimi nimeisoma..good that you have brought it up!

Mimi personally yalishapata kunifika kufiwa na dada na shemeji in 1990s na waliacha watoto wawili wadogo- basi kwa vile mila zinasema Mdogo wa Kiume Marehemu awe Msimamizi wa mali za Marehemu.. basi tukashughulika kweli tukafanikiwa kupata kama laki 8 pesa ya mirathi ilyokuwa ktk Account ya Marehemu dada kwa cheque ambayo iliandikwa kwa huyu shemeji ili kulipia malipo ya shule ya hawa watoto!

Hutaamini.. shemeji yule alipotea na zile pesa na watoto wa dada tumewachukuwa na kuwasomesha hadi sasa! Naskia alijapatikana miezi mitatu akioomba msamaha kwa wazazi..sema hatukuwa na mda wa kumpeleka mahakamani kwa yule hakimu aliyesimamia mirathi!

Haya mambo ya aibu ktk nchi na taratibu za sheria zetu. Mimi nashauri mzazi akifariki mali ipigwe mnada iweke ktk Account ya Elimu Watoto kama CRDB .. na hakimu ndo awe signatory kulipia shule za watoto wa marehemu! Hili swala kuwaachia ndugu wenye njaa naona ni usumbufu mtupu wakati mwingine baadae!

Mimi sii Mwanasheria..ila mtu wa sheria aweza kutoa mwanga zaidi

Mzalendohalisi
 
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Fundi Mchundo

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Fundi Mchundo

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Mchundo
Hata mimi nimeisoma..good that you have brought it up!

Mimi personally yalishapata kunifika kufiwa na dada na shemeji in 1990s na waliacha watoto wawili wadogo- basi kwa vile mila zinasema Mdogo wa Kiume Marehemu awe Msimamizi wa mali za Marehemu.. basi tukashughulika kweli tukafanikiwa kupata kama laki 8 pesa ya mirathi ilyokuwa ktk Account ya Marehemu dada kwa cheque ambayo iliandikwa kwa huyu shemeji ili kulipia malipo ya shule ya hawa watoto!

Hutaamini.. shemeji yule alipotea na zile pesa na watoto wa dada tumewachukuwa na kuwasomesha hadi sasa! Naskia alijapatikana miezi mitatu akioomba msamaha kwa wazazi..sema hatukuwa na mda wa kumpeleka mahakamani kwa yule hakimu aliyesimamia mirathi!

Haya mambo ya aibu ktk nchi na taratibu za sheria zetu. Mimi nashauri mzazi akifariki mali ipigwe mnada iweke ktk Account ya Elimu Watoto kama CRDB .. na hakimu ndo awe signatory kulipia shule za watoto wa marehemu! Hili swala kuwaachia ndugu wenye njaa naona ni usumbufu mtupu wakati mwingine baadae!

Mimi sii Mwanasheria..ila mtu wa sheria aweza kutoa mwanga zaidi

Mzalendohalisi

Pole sana kwa yaliyowakuta. Mimi naona imefika wakati social workers wetu waanze kuwajibika. Msimamizi wa mirathi awajibike kutoa ripoti kwao kila mwaka hadi hapo watoto wanapofikia umri wa kujitegemea. Nakala ya ripoti hii na ile ya ufuatiliaji wa hao social workers ikabidhiwe kwa mahakama iliyohusika katika kuamua mirathi. Msimamizi atakapoonekana anakwenda kinyume cha mahitaji na manufaa ya wafiwa, hawa social workers watoe taarifa katika vyombo husika na hatua za kisheria zichukuliwe ambazo hazitaishia kwenye kumnyang'anya usimamizi. Pale social worker atakapoonekana ku'collude' na msimamizi wa mirathi na yeye achukuliwe hatua za kisheria. Watoto wafiwa wachague mtu ambae wanaoona ataweza kuwatendea haki zaidi ya huyu msimamizi wa mirathi. Huyu nae ataweza kushitaki kwa social worker au mahakama kama ataona kuna tatizo lolote. Najua hii inaweza kufanyika katika sehemu chache nchini mwetu lakini ni lazima tuanze mahali.
 
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Fundi Mchundo

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Fundi Mchundo

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Suzan`s plight stirs outrage, positive action

2008-03-02 10:02:23
By Staff Reporters


Dr. Lucy Nkya is shocked. So is Clarence Kipobata. Genoveva Kato, Victoria Mandali and Faustin Mzahula are also shocked.

Their shock was registered after reading the story about Suzan Reuben, a Form I orphaned student in Dar es Salaam who has lost property left behind by her dead parents to an uncle, administrator of her inheritance.

They read the story. They digested the contents. They fitted themselves into Suzan`s proverbial shoes. They asked for God`s mercy as they were troubled with inner feelings.

All of them felt Suzan�s double tragedy: Loss of parents, bitter as it is, compounded by loss of her legally binding property. Worse, to an executor of her inheritance!

``We must learn to leave a will. Even if you own a chicken, please write a will on it. It is the property you have that must go to the intended inheritors, ``pleads Dr. Nkya, Deputy Minister for Community Development, Gender and Children, angered by the negative events related to the 13-year old girl, twisted into a pauper although she had a potentially bright, happy future.

Without mincing words the minister notes: �The government is against all those administrators who snatch the rights of inheritors.

They misuse their responsibilities. They are a mistrust taking advantage of the already aggrieved children whose dead parents left not behind a will.

The country is finally waking up to the plight of the likes of orphaned Suzan Reuben.

A week-long nationwide campaign will be launched this week to sensitize the public on the importance of leaving a will, to allow legitimate inheritors get the properties and at the same time force inconsiderate and greedy executors of inheritance away from assuming inheritor`s positions.

Anifa Vakolavene and Reuben Magina are the dead parents of Suzan. Mother Anifa died in 1997 to be followed by the death of husband Reuben in 2000.

Both parents never left a will for their only child, and instead the executor of inheritance John Magina, sold off the properties of the deceased, proceeds of which he ostensibly used to settle debts left by his brother Reuben.

Legal and Human Rights Centre
Clarence Kipobata, Monitoring and Outreach Services Officer of the Legal and Human Rights Centre, says: ``It is criminal under the law to use inheritance meant for someone else.

In this particular case it is worse as it involves the man entrusted with the administration of inheritance.``
The centre is readying to help the girl to ensure that her wealth falls back into her hands.

The provision of legal assistance can be in the form of advocates to fight for Suzan�s rights in court proceedings.

Tanzania Women Lawyers Association
Director of Tanzania Women Lawyers Association, Genoveva Kato, says: ``It is sad and appalling. I am very shocked by such sad news about Suzan. This is a criminal case.

Please bring that child to us so that we provide her the necessary assistance.``
TAWLA chairperson Victoria Mandali, also annoyed by the sad story, says: ``Because of the prevalence of the problem from March 8 to 15 this year our institution will be launching a national campaign to educate people on the importance of writing a will while they are still alive. This will help children to inherit wealth left by their parents.``

She adds: ``Executors of inheritance do not own the properties but are supposed only to control them on behalf of the inheritors.

We have been receiving many similar cases from women and children whose properties have been taken over by the administrators. I suppose such administrators should be taken to court to answer charges``

Profession Centre Advocates
Lawyer Faustin Mzahula of the Profession Centre Advocates, Notaries Public and Commissioners of Oaths, Tax, International Trade and Investments Consultants, echo the legal framework that using inheritance meant for someone else is illegal and cr�Properties of Suzan are likely to go back to her hands if law experts exert their muscle.

This is a challenge to us. It is also illegal to sell property at a price below its value,`` he notes in reference to the observation that the house estimated by independent valuers to cost about 20m/- sold at only 4m/-.

The Government
The ministry responsible for children is cooperating with local government authorities to ensure that parents are writing wills.

``I am sure that the exercise will yield fruits since local authority officials are nearer the people. It will be easy for the policy to be enforced,`` says Deputy Minister Nkya.

She adds that her ministry is working with the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs to allow female children to inherit the land and other properties left by their parents.

Kutoka the Guardian.
Naona kuna watu wamesikia. Ningependekeza huyu binti afanywe mfano katika siku ya wanawake jumamosi. Hao wakina Kato wasingoje waletewe Suzan, wamfuatilie. Kama nilivyopendekeza, awe Rosa Park wa hii ishu na wao wawe wakina Thurgood Marshall. Hi lazima watu kama hawa wakina Magina washikishwe adabu irrespective ya kuwa wazazi waliacha will au la! Tusiishie kutoa machozi ya mamba, tufanye kweli.
Aluta Continua!
 

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