Friday, May 01, 2009

Vicky Alice Ntetema, BBC Bureau Chief in Dar es Saalam and the Endless Story of Cruel Albino Killings and Threats against her Life

In 2008 Vicky Ntetema did a story about Albinos being murdered. Their body parts are used for witchcraft.

The pice is to find at the BBC webpages including an undercover video podcast Vicky did:

This is a huge story in Tanzania and was covered throughout the world. Business men, politicians and even police were reportedly on the customer list. A lot of witchdoctors were arrested but so far there are no trials - as it is commonly the case in Tanzania, when politicians, police, clergy or "donors" are involved in wrong doings.
Vicky received threats but it seemed to subside, however she recently ran another story about how witchdoctors were still operating and in connection to that a police commissioner mentioned to another Tanzanian journalist:

“Tell Vicky to abandon the news on witchdoctors, they will kill her. They are desperate now. She should not ‘joke’ about this. I heave heard that she returned to the witchdoctors to ask them why they are continuing with their practices while the Prime Minister has banned them. Why can’t she ask us, the police? Warn her"

Vicky was again adviced to hide.

Vicky is a very brave, kind, courageous and caring women. She is one of my best friends.

In 2005, she was doing voluntary work for HIV/AIDS victims in Makete and worked with me in co-operation with the Lutheran Church of Tanzania, in order to save lives of People Living with HIV/AIDS.
This co-operation with the church came to a sudden end, when it was found that this church ( is stealing money from the poor (donations, grants, tax payers money) since many years.
Vicky reported and the bishop of the very diocese went on air with the BBC and admitted that the thefts of several 100.000 Euro occured under his eyes. It is well known that criminal vices are not a “single case” in the Lutheran Church of Tanzania.
Vicky wrote to the donor missions in Germany in order to ask them to support the move towards accountability and human rights. She did not get any reply.
The Lutheran donor missions and the Lutheran World Federation know since decades that corruption and lack of accountability are rampant in their church.

Africans, People Living with HIV/AIDS and many local community members decided to protest against the thieving Lutheran Church and demanded justice. Instead of clearnig the situation as a consequnece, the well working HIV/AIDS clinic in Bulongwa - the diocese where the theft occured - was violently an forcefully shut down by the Lutheran Church of Tanzania and since then dozens of human beings died because of inadequate treatement. Nobody needs to die from AIDS in this world.

Surprisingly, there was no solidarity with HIV/AIDS patients in the church. The ELCT and German Lutheran Missions decided to let the victims die by denying them their proper treatment.
The criminals within the church, who are responsible for the thefts and the death of hundreds are still not held responsible. In Europe, German missions are intentionally misinforming the public about the use of the donated monies. They obviously do so in order to keep the donation business and money flow running without any accountability and transparency.

Grand corruption, stealing of funds by the lutheran clergy in Tanzania is reportedly known to the Lutheran Church in Germany since about 30 years.

As in many corruption burdened countries, it often happens in Tanzania that threats against the messengers and journalists happen, instead of solidarity with those victims of fraud, corruption, killings and human rights abuses. The fight agains these evils is obvioulsy lead by president Jakaya Kikwete and supported by most of the Tanzanian media. However, up to now only very few of the people behind the major corruption and criminal cases in government were brought to court.

The big shots in political parties and government always go free. In the Lutheran Church the same pattern is seen.

This background can explain, why Vicky Ntetema and other brave journalists have many enemies in Tanzania. Many would rather like to see her dead.

However, there are obviously journalists in Europe, who are bold enough to speak out and call for solidarity with their colleagues in Africa. Dr. Thomas Seiterich seems to be one of those journalists. Journalists who are using their skills in order to fight for the rights of the oppressed.

Mr. Seiterich calls for solidarity in his article. The links at the end in his piece lead to the mail adresses of the German govt. representatives. We are asked to get active in favor of Vicky Ntetema. Tanzania as a former German colony still suffers under German money which feeds corruption and criminal elites in the Lutheran Church of Tanzania.

It would be fair to protect Vicky Ntetema as a sign of solidarity with those Africans who went back to their countries in order to serve development and to foster the creation of a fair society which is based on African ethics and values. These values of accountabiltiy are frequently undermined by uncontrolled donor money. These monies end up in the pockets of the corrupt and increases their criminal power.

A long report of Vicky and the Albino story can also be found on this blog:

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