Witchcraft tricks used to rob women of their inheritance

TANZANIA remains committed to address gender-based violence (GBV), through official legal channels aimed at empowering judges, magistrates and other judiciary workers in forming a ‘third eye’ in resolving such cases.

The Minister for Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Prof John Palamagamba Kabudi made the statement when closing a Joint Conference on ‘Gender and the Judiciary in Africa,’ organised by Tanzania’s Judiciary in partnership with with the World Bank.

“I am aware that the meeting has addressed topics related to the role of the courts in Africa especially in addressing gender position within the judiciary; women’s access to justice and GBV and issues of social and economic development,” he said, adding that all these were important in transforming legal entities in the country.

The three-day gathering which was held at the Simba Plenary Hall of the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC) was opened last Monday by the Vice- President, Mama Samia Suluhu Hassan.

Running under the theme; ‘Building an effective, Accountable and Inclusive Judiciary,’ the meeting brought together Chief Justices, Judges, Magistrates and concerned stakeholders to discuss ways in which the judiciary can not only guarantee the fundamental right of every woman to live free of discrimination and violence, but also promote women’s pivotal role in social and economic development.

Speaking earlier, Chief Justice (CJ), Prof Ibrahim Hamis , pointed out that most Tanzanian women start facing serious problems once their husbands die, then relatives pounce onto them targeting to grab property and other forms of inheritance.

“That is when you get to hear about ladies being accused of ‘killing’ their husbands through ‘witchcraft,’ just because they want to smear them with bad names and innuendo in attempt to disqualify the widows from inheriting their husband properties,” pointed out Prof Hamis.

According to the CJ, there comes a time when relatives also snatch away children from their mothers, when they realise that the fathers have bestowed inheritance to their offspring and that the only way to ensure that the properties fall under their charge was to grab the youngsters from their mothers.

Author: MARC NKWAME in Arusha

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