Homes for 100 Kenyan families torched in Tanzania
Published on 29/07/2008
By Oloo Janak More than 100 Kenyan families who settled in Musoma, Tanzania, have been left homeless after their homes were torched in communal violence at the weekend.
The Kenyan immigrants from Nandi in the Rift Valley, who have been living in Musoma for decades, had their homes set ablaze on Friday by their Tanzanian hosts over claims of involvement in cattle rustling.
By virtue of their long stay in the country, many have since become Tanzanian citizens.
Reports by Tanzanian media indicated that the burning was sparked off by an incident in which 200 livestock, including cattle, goats and sheep, was stolen last week.
The Kenyans were targeted after 10 head of cattle were reportedly recovered from the home of an immigrant, Mzee Ondiema Chemonge.
Tanzanian security personnel and local vigilantes later recovered 112 head of cattle and more than 100 goats and sheep.
TBC channel, a Tanzanian TV station at the weekend carried footage of desperate and hungry families fleeing from their burning houses.
Tanzanian government officials were quoted condemning the attack. Local police said they had launched investigations.
“We don’t know where to go now. We have lost everything,” said a middle-aged victim.
Kenyan police said the events were out of their jurisdiction because many victims had become Tanzanian citizens.
Meanwhile, families who fled their homes in Bugumbe West Location in Kuria West District two weeks ago after their homes were burnt are trickling back.
The scores of families from the Kisii community were flushed out over claims of practicing witchcraft.
They camped at the Mabera DO’s office before local leaders convened a meeting at which it was agreed they would be accepted back.