Butiama. Mama Maria Nyerere has barred reporters and visitors seeking to hold talks with her on various issues pertaining to her association with her deceased husband claiming there was nothing new from them.
In a statement issued by her son Madaraka Nyerere, the widow of the deceased Father of the Nation has this year flatly refused to have any interview with reporters, a move that closed doors to reporters wishing to write the widow’s feelings, assessment and expectations on the 14th anniversary of Mwalimu’s death.
“I am tired of responding to questions from reporters who have been posing the same questions every year,” said Mwalimu Nyerere’s widow in a short message released through Madaraka Nyerere’s cellular phone.
The obstruction she has imposed to reporters seems to officially announce the end of the annual pilgrimage of journalists and Nyerere fans to Butiama, the birthplace of Nyerere.
Once a village that most Tanzanians were proud of, Butiama has, in recent years, become less friendlier and less hospitable following frequent riots, skirmishes and disputes, all disrupting peace and harmony that existed during Mwaimu Nyerere era.
Just three weeks to Nyerere Day, a Pentecostal Church’s Pastor Yohana Jimwaga and four worshipers sustained severe injuries after elders from Zanaki tribe flogged them for allegedly ridiculing rain-making rituals at Byatika Village in Butiama District.
The pastor was rushed to hospital where he was treated and later discharged.
Mara regional Police commander, Ferdinand Mtui, who confirmed both incidents said the elders were angered by the pastor’s decision to fetch water from a bore hole at the time when they (elders) were conducting rain-making rituals.
But the worst of all, as , elderly killings on superstitious beliefs have been widely reported from the district, an ugly situation that forced authorities to issue a strong warning to communal elders who were seen to fuel the killings.
The district’s commissioner, Angela Mabula, ordered the arrest of Mkirira Village chairman and Nyegina Ward executive officer for ‘irresponsibility’ that gave way to violence and killings of innocent people in her newly promoted district.
The district commissioner’s order came three days after an undisclosed gang hanged to death Nyasurura Village resident, Ziada John, 35, and dumped her mutilated body on Mkirira Secondary School farm.
“I am deeply disturbed by the dangerous escalation of violence and killings in Butiama which demonstrate yet again there is no value on human life,” she had said.