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President Samia Covers Medical Cost for Kidnap Victim, Stakeholders Urge Independent Investigation and End to Abductions

While people have appreciated the gesture, most of them have called for an independent investigation into the abduction cases

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President Samia has paid Tsh. 35 million to cover the medical expenses of Edgar Mwakabela popularly known as Sativa, a 27-year-old who was kidnapped, shot, and left for dead in Katavi.

Mwakabela, in his initial statement, reported that he was taken to a police workshop after his kidnapping and later moved to over 2,000 kilometers, only to be shot in the head and left for dead. Mwakabela was lucky that the bullet hit his jaw instead.

The ordeal mobilized X users, who coordinated the campaign #WhereIsSativa and later organized contributions for emergency medical needs and logistics from Katavi to Dar es Salaam.

At Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam, it was noted that Mwakabela sustained a jaw fracture requiring surgery, costing  Tsh. 33 million. Supporters, including X users, politician Zitto Kabwe, and the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC), came forward to cover the medical costs.

Speaking to the press after visiting Mwakabela, Zitto Kabwe said he had spoken to the President about the issue, calling for an independent investigation. He highlighted that President Samia had shown a willingness to join other Tanzanians in supporting Mwakabela’s medical expenses.

Later on, THRDC Executive Director Onesmo Olengurumwa confirmed that Tsh. 35 million had been received from the President for the surgery.

“We are grateful to the President for fulfilling her promise. We have received payment confirmation for Tsh. 35 million for the Aga Khan Hospital. Let’s pray all goes well and there won’t be additional costs going forward,” Olengurumwa said in an X post. He added, “The President’s involvement sends a strong message to those responsible. We hope our call for an independent investigation will be heeded.”

READ MORE: Shocking Revelation: A 27-Year-Old Man Who Was Kidnapped, Shot in The Head, and Dumped in the Wild, Says He Was First Detained in a Police Workshop In Dar

Olengurumwa’s call for an independent investigation and an end to the abduction cases was also echoed by Zitto Kabwe. “These abduction incidents are terrible; they damage our country’s image and take us back to times we thought we had left behind. The only way to stop these incidents is through a thorough and independent investigation, with appropriate measures taken against those involved,” Kabwe said, noting he had shared these views with the President.

X users who have been following the issue have had mixed reactions to the news of the medical bill clearance, with many urging the President to ensure the culprits behind the kidnapping are apprehended. “Madam President, you have all security apparatus under you. Tanzanians want to know who is kidnapping people,” opposition politician John Heche said in an X post.

Popular musician Ney Wa Mitego also called for a statement from the President condemning these incidents. He wrote in an X post: “The President covering medical expenses is commendable, but if she is truly displeased with these incidents, she should issue a statement and condemn these kidnappings.”

READ MORE: Hope is Truly a Dangerous Thing: Is Tanzania Going Back to the Dark Days?

Activist Martin Maranja Masese, who coordinated emergency efforts for Mwakabela on behalf of the family, urged the President to form a judicial commission for abduction incidents.

“President Suluhu Samia, we want a judicial commission with a court-like structure where evidence can be presented to revisit these cases. Many people have been abducted, tortured, and disappeared during your time in office. We want to hear your statement.”

He added, “Sativa said before the press and RCO-Katavi that he was arrested and taken to Oysterbay police station in Dar es Salaam. This implies that the Police are the prime suspects. We expected to hear from the Minister of Home Affairs, Hamad Masauni, and the Chief of Police, IGP Camillus Wambura. But they have remained silent as if the victim is not a Tanzanian.”

Kidnapping and disappearance cases have surged recently, with security apparatus often suspected. Notable cases include Kombo Twaha, a CHADEMA official taken from his home in Handeni on June 15, 2024, by individuals identifying as security officials, and trader Lilenga Lilenga, who disappeared on May 11, 2024, under similar circumstances.

Social media users have continued to highlight cases of their loved ones going missing under unusual circumstances.

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One Response

  1. “President Samia has paid Tsh. 35 million to cover the medical expenses”
    Did she pay from her pocket? Please stop this nonsense of the President paying for everything, from roads to school toilets. It is not only illogical but also naïve

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