Congregation at Mangucha that has built the wall
Mangucha church under construction
Gamasara Parish church under construction
Nyabitocho Parish church under construction
Nyagisya Parish church under construction
Nyakunguru Parish church under construction
Nyangoto Parish church under construction
Congregation at Mangucha that has built the wall
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Wall completed at Mangucha Parish church

A small congregation of 15 or so has completed the construction of the wall of their new church through self help. Commenting on this progress, the Diocesan Bishop, Dr Mwita Akiri said, “This is a great and encouraging achievement not only for the congregation at Mangucha, but for the Diocese as a whole. It is humbling to see what a small group of determined and committed Christians and their pastor can achieve in God’s name and for God’s glory! This and all other church buildings in the Diocese will be used for worshipping God, collecting drinking water through the roof, and for hosting community meetings.”

Bishop Mwita added, “The partnership scheme under which these churches have been built requires that each congregation erects the wall and I raise money to assist with the roofing costs. “The ball is now in my court. I am grateful to people in the Diocese and beyond who have shown interest in supporting these projects and are willing to help”.

Three other congregations have completed erecting the wall too. These are Nyagisya, Gamasara, and Nyakunguru. The fourth, Nyabitocho, has just received financial assistance from their companion parish in the United Kingdom towards the roofing costs. Mogabiri, Bugumbe (Renchoka) and Bunchari parishes have walls going up. Kerende, Buhemba and Rebu parishes have the foundations built already and will soon start erecting the wall.

Pupils during a session
Roselyne Mosamma during a session on reproductive health
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Reproductive Health Education Starts in Tarime

The Diocese of Tarime has launched reproductive health education program in the government primary (elementary) schools in Tarime. The purpose of the program is to sensitize children in school children about the consequences and dangers of female genital mutilation, HIV/Aids, teenage pregnancy and pre-marital sex.

So far, 710 children, aged 11-16, have been reached. Of these, 374 are girls and 336 are boys. The 6 schools where the sensitization program has taken place so far are Mapinduzi and Azimio in Tarime town; Sirari and Nyairoma at border with Kenya, and Keryoba Nyangoto and Matare in Nyangoto near Barrick North Mara Gold Mine.

Speaking at the launch of this program in October, Bishop Mwita Akiri said, “Female genital mutilation is one of the crude and outdated cultural practices in our society here in Tarime that not only violates women’s rights but also spreads HIV/Aids. We must tackle it head on. We must prevent early marriages in our society that come soon after circumcision for most girls. We must defend the freedom and the rights of women and young girls and work with them for a better future. I firmly believe that the primary school is the right place to start this campaign”.

Bishop Mwita added, “I am most grateful to Caroline Honsberger and her colleagues in Canada for helping us to kick-start this program. More resources are needed to continue this campaign. I pray that God will make them available to us.”

Bishop Mwita handing soccer balls to the Regional Police Commander on August 8, 2012
The Police Commander for Tarime-Rorya, ACP Kamugisha giving a vote of thanks
A group photo outside the Regional Police Commander's office in Tarime.
Guest of Honour, Mr Kabohola (in black jacket), Bishop Mwita & Police Commander greeting the soccer players before the inaugural match.
Mr Kabohola (in black jacket), greetings the players of Mafundi FC & Shirati before the inaugural match on 27 August.
Mafundi Club from Tarime (in white) Vs Shirati Club from Rorya (in blue) on 27 August. Mafundi FC won 3-0..
Bishop Mwita handing soccer balls to the Regional Police Commander on August 8, 2012
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Diocese of Tarime Sponsors Soccer Tournament

The Diocese of Tarime has sponsored a peace soccer tournament in Tarime and Rorya districts that started in August and will end in September. The Diocese provided all the soccer balls needed for the competition known as Polisi Jamii Cup, or Community Policing Cup.

In a brief ceremony at the Regional Police Commander’s office on August 8, 2012, Bishop Mwita Akiri said that it is the duty of all citizens including young people to abide by the law at all times and that young people must not provoke the police or take part in any crime. Equally, the Bishop urged the police to uphold high ethical standards when carrying out their duties and refrain from unlawful arrests and excessive use of force that some within the force are often accused of in Tarime and other parts of Tanzania. He said such acts are against human rights as enshrined in the constitution. Moreover, they can alienate good citizens who might otherwise assist the police in identifying and bringing criminals to justice.

The competition is taking place in Tarime and Rorya districts. Bishop Mwita handed the balls to the Police Commander for the Tarime/Rorya Special Zone, ACP Justus Kamugisha. The main aim of the tournament is to promote peace in Tarime and encourage all citizens to be law-abiding without being forced to do so by the police.

A cross-section of clan leaders at the meeting with Bishop Mwita.
Bishop Mwita with ACP Kamugisha, the Regional Police Commander for Tarime-Rorya
Bishop Mwita in a group photo with Community-Clan Leaders in Tarime  after the meeting at Mogabiri Agricultural Centre on 23 July 2012.
A cross-section of clan leaders at the meeting with Bishop Mwita.
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Searching for Justice, Peace and Development – the Bishop Meets Clan Leaders

The Bishop of Tarime, the Rt Rev Dr Mwita Akiri held a meeting with 26 senior leaders of 13 major clans of the Wakuria in Tarime district to discuss justice, peace and development. The meeting took place on 23 July 2012 at the Diocesan Agricultural Centre located at Mogabiri village – some 10 kilometres east of Tarime. Apart from the clan leaders, the Bishop also invited all the clergy and senior elders of the Diocese of Tarime as well as the Regional Police Commander for Tarime/Rorya Special Police Zone.

The meeting discussed ways to reduce and eventually end incidents of land disputes, cattle theft, and the clashes between the police force as well as the frequent clashes between the unemployed youth whose parents have lost farm lands to North Mara gold mine, while getting unfair compensations from the mining company.

The Bishop acknowledged that the highland part of Tarime is densely populated, and land was becoming scarcer by the day. However, he insisted that in most cases, peace is disrupted by acts of provocation by few individuals who encroach on their neighbours’ land, and by those engaged in cross-border cattle theft. This could be avoided if the youth, community members and the security organs embrace the principles of justice for all.

The Bishop urged the clan leaders to ensure that they use their position and influence in society to educate the youth within their clans to refrain from being used by criminals. He equally asked the clan leaders to be sincere and honest when resolving land disputes.

Bishop Mwita also asked the Police Commander to ensure that the police handled cases justly so that they gain the confidence and the support of good citizens instead of alienating the communities by using excessive force. He also urged the police to develop a culture of responding quickly when cattle theft or land disputes occur and offer support to the clan and civic leaders and government officials on the ground.

The meeting made the following resolutions and statements in three main areas in order to maintain peace in Tarime district.

a) Land

We note that land disputes are one of the main causes of conflict in Tarime district. Therefore we resolve that:
i) Clan leaders shall respect and supervise land boundaries for each clan.
ii) Clan leaders of the clans involved in a conflict should meet as soon as possible to resolve a conflict before involving other clans. In the event the two leaders of the clans concerned fail to agree, then the full meeting of all clan leaders in the district shall be convened.
iii) Clan leaders shall continue to uphold justice when resolving land dispute and cattle theft issues.

b) Cattle Theft

We note that sometimes the leaders were slow to respond whenever cattle were stolen. We therefore resolve that:

i) If cattle theft occurs, leaders of the clans involved must meet as soon as possible to find a solution quickly.
ii) The youth involved in tracking the stolen cows must be given the support they need when they reach the place where cattle footprints end.
iii) If the stolen cows have been located in a particular village and have been recovered, they must be returned to the clan from where they were stolen.
iv) Clan leaders in the place where stolen cows have been located must name the culprits and hand them over to the police for prosecution in accordance with the law.

c) Facilitating Meetings of Clan Leaders

We note that clan leaders lack the necessary resources for their work for justice and peace in Tarime.

i) The Diocese and other peace-loving institutions and individuals should offer financial and logistical support to facilitate the meetings and work of the clan leaders in general.
ii) Meetings should be as frequent as possible in order to resolve issues and save Tarime district.

d) Government

We note that there is a need to strengthen the relationship between the government, clan leaders, peace-loving institutions and individuals at all levels in Tarime.

i) Government officials at divisional, ward and village levels should work with clan leaders to resolve land conflicts and issues of cattle theft as soon as possible.
ii) The Government should convene regular meetings between clan leaders on both sides of the two neighbouring countries, namely Tanzania and Kenya to discuss common security issues especially cattle theft.
iii) The district and regional Government leaders should support clan leaders in Tarime district and the communities in general whenever cattle are stolen and taken to the neighbouring country.

Address: PO Box 410 , Tarime , Tanzania
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