Obama’s ill-advised visit to Tanzania


washwa washwa

washwa washwa

JF-Expert Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2012
Messages
1,601
Likes
291
Points
180
washwa washwa

washwa washwa

JF-Expert Member
Joined Jul 21, 2012
1,601 291 180
[h=1]Obama’s ill-advised visit to Tanzania[/h]
By Dana Milbank,June 09, 2013
When President Obama goes to Africa at month’s end, the first African American president will have a rare opportunity to spread U.S. values to that continent. It would be a shame if his trip instead validated slavery.
By selecting Tanzania as one of the three countries that will receive a presidential visit on that trip, the Obama administration is honoring a government that has been in a multiyear diplomatic dispute with the United States over human trafficking.
Specifically, a U.S. court in 2008 issued a $1 million judgment against a Tanzanian diplomat stationed in Washington because he and his wife held a young woman against her will as a domestic servant at their Bethesda home, refusing to pay her and abusing her for four years until she escaped. The diplomat, Alan Mzengi, didn’t contest the civil lawsuit and, instead of paying the default judgment, returned to Tanzania, where at last report he served as an adviser to President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete — the very person Obama will meet with.




The State Department has tried to pressure Kikwete’s government to get the judgment paid and to sanction diplomats who engage in human trafficking. But the efforts have produced nothing but a derisory settlement offer, and the State Department has not moved to punish Tanzania.
Now Obama is rewarding Tanzania with a presidential trip. “An official visit from the U.S. president is a gift that is utterly inappropriate after a Tanzanian government official committed horrifying human rights violations just a few miles from the White House,” said Martina Vandenberg, a human rights lawyer who represented the victim, Zipora Mazengo, pro bono. Vandenberg, a Washington lawyer I’ve known for years, said Obama “would undermine all credibility on trafficking.”
A spokeswoman for the State Department’s African Affairs bureau said that the case “continues to be of significant concern” and that “we are again engaging the government of Tanzania to do what is necessary to see that this matter is addressed.”
Obama has made human trafficking a centerpiece of his foreign policy agenda, saying in a speech to the Clinton Global Initiative last year that “it is a debasement of our common humanity” that “must be called by its true name, modern slavery. . . . When a woman is locked in a sweatshop, or trapped in a home as a domestic servant, alone and abused and incapable of leaving — that’s slavery.”
Unfortunately, the administration’s actions haven’t always matched its high-minded words, as has been the case with targeted assassinations, Chinese dissidents, Guantanamo Bay, domestic surveillance and other challenges to human rights and civil liberties. The Tanzania case appears to be an instance of business interests trumping human rights. The Chinese president visited the East African country a few months ago, and U.S. businesses are eager to get in on the region’s petroleum supplies and other natural resources before China becomes dominant there.




Beyond that calculation, the administration has been reluctant to use the few tools it has to combat human trafficking by diplomats, who are protected from some prosecutions. After federal authorities said they were investigating a possible case of human trafficking in McLean by a Saudi diplomat, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry, citing the Mzengi case and questioning why State seldom seeks waivers of diplomatic immunity for offenders and has not used its power to block visas for servants of diplomats from offending countries.
In the Mzengi case, a federal judge found that the diplomat and his wife confiscated Mazengo’s passport and forced her to work 17-hour days. They refused her medical care (she couldn’t wear shoes because of an untreated ingrown toenail and was once forced to shovel snow barefoot) and wouldn’t let her leave the house without an escort. After the $1,059,349 judgment, the woman said she would accept a settlement that included only her back wages of $170,000; the Tanzanians eventually offered $22,000 with an iffy promise of small future payments from Mzengi.
Mzengi returned to Tanzania a few months after the judgment and got a position advising Kikwete, according to a 2010 Time magazine report, citing an academic adviser of Mzengi. Embassy officials didn’t return my phone calls.
According to cables released by WikiLeaks, U.S. officials formally told the Tanzanians that diplomats such as Mzengi should “face appropriate sanction.” The Tanzanians were also told the matter could call into question Tanzania’s “commitment to combating human trafficking.”
The U.S. officials wrote that they made it clear “that the Tanzanian government cannot ignore our requests for information and assistance.”
Or can it?
Twitter: milbank
Read more from Dana Milbank’s archive, follow him on Twitter or subscribe to his updates on Facebook.
Read more from Opinions:
Martina E. Vandenberg: Why are diplomats free to abuse in America?
Holly Burkhalter: The U.S. should use its ability to pressure Russia to end orphan trafficking
Gordon Brown: Helping the world’s poorest children requires radical reform
The Post’s View: India’s government, impelled to action on rape

Source : Obama?s ill-advised visit to Tanzania - Washington Post

 
Last edited by a moderator:
Fugwe

Fugwe

JF-Expert Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2008
Messages
1,680
Likes
244
Points
160
Fugwe

Fugwe

JF-Expert Member
Joined Aug 21, 2008
1,680 244 160
If Obama will cancel his trip to Tanzania his counterpart Chinese President will do. We must know what is driving Obama to visit Tanzania or china President? We have a huge reserve of Oil and Gas, we hope both will come, why not. Obama you're welcomed home
 
Root

Root

JF-Expert Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2012
Messages
29,723
Likes
17,352
Points
280
Root

Root

JF-Expert Member
Joined Jan 23, 2012
29,723 17,352 280
Nani kasema trip inakuwa cancelled
 
Tulimumu

Tulimumu

JF-Expert Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2013
Messages
10,854
Likes
7,419
Points
280
Tulimumu

Tulimumu

JF-Expert Member
Joined Mar 11, 2013
10,854 7,419 280
Wamarekani wanatakiwa wajue kuwa rais wetu hilo la kusafirisha na kumtumikisha binadamu halimsumbui na ndio maana kamfanya mhalifu huyo kuwa ndiye mshauri wake. Sasa kama anawapandisha vyeo makamanda wa polisi kama Michael Kamuhanda wanaotuhumiwa kuamrisha na kusimamia mauaji ya raia wasiokuwa na hatia kama mwandishi wa habari Daud Mwangosi kule Iringa, itakuwa huyo Mzengi? Kwake sio issue!
 
N

Ngekewa

JF-Expert Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2008
Messages
7,725
Likes
28
Points
145
N

Ngekewa

JF-Expert Member
Joined Jul 8, 2008
7,725 28 145
Nahisi kama nakala ya huyu mama haina maana kwa Watanzania.
Mbona kuna mengi tu ambayo sisi Watanzania tungemuunga mkono dhidi ya Serikali yetu, yale mambo yanayotuhusu.
Ujinga wa mtu mmoja kukubali kuchukuliwa kwa ridhaa yake na kufika Marekani na kujidai kuwa ni kinyume cha matakwa yake, labda wao wazungu wana akili hiyo lakini haiingii akilini kwa Mtanzania.
 

Forum statistics

Threads 1,273,558
Members 490,428
Posts 30,484,982