Sunday, June 7, 2015

From a nun to a private investigator

JANE MUGOH always thought she would make a great nun but after six months in the convent, she realised it wasn't her calling. She talks to SYLVIA WAKHISI about trading that for a career as a private investigator.
It is a job many deem as a risky affair and would rather not take part in. They view it as an occupation that puts one’s life on the line.
But one woman decided to take a calculated risk and venture into this male-dominated field which has earned her fame both locally and internationally.
Jane Mugoh is a rarity in the sleuth world. On a rain-soaked Friday afternoon, we got to meet and interact with her at her office situated in Ngara. She informs us that she had just come back from an official trip in Tanzania.
Her office is a beehive of activity as clients make their way in and out. She offers us some refreshments and asks us to allow her give some instructions to one of her staff who is handling a crucial assignment.
One minute after the other, she is disrupted by the sound of her cell phone ringing, offering a peck into her busy world of work.
“Don’t worry,” she tells us.” This is what my typical day entails. I have become accustomed to it and try my best to respond to any call that comes through. You just never know where your services are needed,” says Jane.
In 2007, Jane made a decision to venture into the risky business of private investigation.
Strict values
“Back then, it was a market that people had little knowledge of and the prospects of making anything out of it were slim. But in as much as I received a lot of backlash from some of my friends when I informed them of my intentions, I saw a lot of potential in it and decided to explore it, “she says.
Jane who is in her 30s is the founder and director of Trimo Security and Private Investigators Limited, a private investigation, debt collection and security organization.
Hers is a story of courage and ambition; a tenacious, creative and personable woman who has defied all odds to realise her dream. Her entrepreneurial journey to the top has not been a walk in the park.
Born in Gichugu, Kirinyaga County in a family of ten (four are now deceased), as the seventh born child, Jane says her upbringing was pretty much a regular one. Her parents valued hard work and at the same time saw the importance of raising their children to achieve the best education that they could provide.
“My mum was a teacher hence you can imagine the discipline and strict values that she instilled in us. Many are the times she helped us with our school work simply because she wanted us to achieve the best grades possible. My dad on the other hand was in the public service. Ours was a polygamous close-knit family and we treasured every moment we spent together,” she says.
After completing her high school education at Karoti Girls in 1997, she decided to become a nun.
“It is something that I hadn’t really prepared for but just decided to give it a shot. I was a staunch Catholic hence felt everything would go on well for me but I was wrong. After six months I quit. I guess it just wasn’t my calling,” she says.
In 1999, she secured a job at a hardware store in Embu. She used to sell building materials and later opened her own hardware in Mururi, a shopping centre situated in Gichugu.
The nickname
She would later come to Nairobi to pursue a senior course at the Criminal Investigation Department.
She points out that there was increased crime in her home area something that prompted her to lobby for a police post to be set up in her Gichugu home area.
“I was in charge of security in my home area. There was an increased rate of crime in the area and when I came to Nairobi, I started receiving calls from people back at home complaining about the security situation which had gone from bad to worse. I felt there was something I could do. With the help of Hon. Martha Karua and other senior police officers, a police post was set up,” she says.
She recalls an incident that would change the course of her life.
Jane says: “There was this young boy whose father had beaten and cut off his finger for stealing Sh10 to buy a pencil. However, after being arrested the man was only charged with assault, an offence which is lesser than causing grievous bodily harm. I couldn’t stand the thought of such injustice committed to a young boy hence decided to lead a protest that would see to it that the culprit would be punished. We stormed Gichugu law courts demanding withdrawal of the magistrate, prosecutor and OCS.”
Off to prison
However, as she sought justice for the boy, she had to pay a hefty price.
“I made sure the charge was corrected but ended up getting arrested and was locked up in Embu prison for several days with other members of the public. I thank God for the intervention of Hon. Karua and other senior police officers who saw to it that we were released from prison and the corrupt officers were sent home. That incident saw me emerge much stronger,”says Jane.
That is the case that earned Jane an award from the Kenya National Human Rights Commission through CRADLE, a children rights organisation. From then on, she purposed to fight for the rights of both children and adults, and help them get justice for whatever crimes that may have been meted on them.
In 2003, she was hired by a former CID director who had left the force to open his own investigation firm as a security officer and was later promoted to become the chief investigator.
“He recognised my talent and even inquired on the prospects of setting up my own private investigation firm. I hadn’t thought of it but told him that was a challenge I was willing to take up,” says Jane.
It’s now been eight years since Trimo was started and according to Jane, it is the best decision she ever made. The company has grown in leaps and bounds with a clientele base comprising of Equity bank, Chandaria Industries, Simba Pharmaceuticals, Keroche Industries, Europa Healthcare Limited among others.
“We started with two staff but now we are eight. We deal with criminal and civil investigations, debt collection cases as well as executive VIP protection. We collect plausible evidence and present it to clients. We also investigate cases of cheating spouses,” she says.
She offers: “Suspicious spouses ask us to investigate the whereabouts of their partners. I have women and men who call me in the middle of the night asking me  to investigate their cheating spouses. Sometimes, those considering divorce want evidence to present during court proceedings. Our mission is not to break up peoples’ homes but to confirm their fears. We have also employed a counsellor whose main role is to sit down with the concerned couples and try to establish why either of them is cheating on the other and offer professional solution that could help them get their marriage back on track.”
Risky business
They also work hand in hand with the police in some cases.
“There are some instances where you find that the public reports a case to the police, for example, a car or phone has been stolen. We look through the OB in the respective police station where the matter has been reported, investigate and once we have any leads we call the police to come and arrest the culprits,” she says.
But Jane is quick to point out that being a Private Investigator (PI) is a risky job that calls for a lot of sacrifice.
“I get a lot of threats from people. I don’t just hang around anywhere. Some time back, I almost lost my life when a group of gangsters spotted me on my way home and pointed a gun at me threatening to shoot. I somehow challenged them and overtook them. I only fear God. If I have to go out to a social place or a territory where I am carrying out some investigation, I always make sure that I am accompanied by my bodyguard or in some cases delegate some of the assignments. There are people out there who are not happy with my work,” she says.
Getting people to believe in her capacity to deliver was perhaps the greatest challenge.
She cites other challenges such as being underpaid for services rendered which sometimes involve a lot of expenses on her part as well as clients not being patient when their matter is still being investigated.
“Prayer has worked wonders for me. I am a prayerful woman and I believe that it is through those prayers that God has kept me safe. I also have a group of women friends who always remember to pray for me.”
Jane now dreams of setting up a college which will offer courses in the field of private investigation.
“I want to leave a mark in this industry. I would love to see more people break into the private eye world, people who love honesty and justice,” says Jane.
It's not easy to succeed in a male dominated field
Jane a single mother of one says it is not easy to succeed and attain goals in jobs that are seen as a preserve for men.
“It takes lots of courage, hard work, determination and God’s guidance to keep us on top,” she says.
According to Jane, it is hard to predict her workdays since one moment she could be in the office doing her reports and gets a call informing her that a suspect she has been trailing for sometime has been spotted somewhere. This forces her to leave anything she was doing and rush to the place.
She adds that the nature of her job has affected her social life since she broke up with her son’s father because he felt he was always being tracked. She has also lost some of her close friends. Initially, she had a hard time convincing her family that what she was doing was a job like any other.
“When I started out, my dad was okay with it but my mum and some of my siblings thought I was getting into a dangerous zone. But after some time, they learnt to support me.”
Since her job involves a lot of travelling-she has been to countries such as Turkey, Rwanda, South Africa, India, Tanzania-she hardly has enough time to spend with her 13-year-old son but always strives to make it up to him whenever she is home.
“We enjoy watching investigative and detective movies and series together. Sometimes he accompanies me when I am going for an assignment and will even carry the cameras. He loves what I do and supports me,” she says. If she is not chilling with her son, she is either swimming, horse riding or in the gym.
She holds a degree in Criminology from Kenyatta University. She serves as the Director of Baraka Children’s home in Kayole which is another way of her giving back to society.

Revealed: Crazy rules from local campuses that you knew nothing about.

“Masturbation in the showers and the bathroom stalls is a violation of the Kenyatta University Housing Code,” goes the first part of a notice from the Kenyatta University accommodation office. As a point of emphasis, the notice further states: “Our drains are not built to withstand semen.” The students are not however, left without an option as the notice clearly indicates: “Please, masturbate in your bedroom. And just in case you have a question regarding the enforcement of the masturbation policy, feel free to direct your concerns to the housekeeper.” The university gives sufficient reason for the enforcement of this policy: “Every year, Kenyatta University spends thousands of money in maintenance because of excessive amounts of semen stuck in the pipes. The repair costs will be directly reflected in your fees requirement next academic year. The cost cannot be charged to the university’s finance office as the repair is done through independent contractors, not KU personnel.” Such are the strange rules that meet new students in institutes of higher learning. In Zetech College, you are not allowed to have best friends around you to avoid ‘groupism’ and cliques. In what seems to be Kenya’s holiest university, Baraton, students and residents are expected to attend church service every single day with the exception of Saturdays, when church is to be attended four times; at 7am, 9am, 10am and 12noon, in obedience to the commandment in the Good Book that states, ‘Keep the Sabbath day holy’.

Every student is issued with a church card to keep track of how often they attend church. Missing more than 21 church services in a semester earns you a two-semester suspension. “People have been known not to graduate as a result of non-attendance of church,” says a Baraton alumnus. Being a school run by Seventh Day Adventists (SDA), students are not allowed to eat meat on campus and one would not graduate unless they have  completed the Christian Belief course, regardless of their denomination. The school does not believe in competitive sports hence does not compete in any tournaments, and is not signed to any university sports activity. The school has two different deans, for male students and another for females. The deans authorise and issue leave-out sheets for the students. Each student is allowed only three leave-outs per semester. Before you graduate, you need to go through a ‘candle lighting’, where you light a candle in the dark and are prayed for by a priest. Above the knee Documented in Strathmore University’s student handbook is a conclusive list of what one can and cannot wear to school. On the list are jeans and any form of slippers, sneakers and rubber shoes. Ladies are not to wear any skirt or dress where the hemline rises above the knee once the wearer is in a sitting position. ‘Loosely fitting,’ is the guiding principle for outfits. No funny hairstyles are allowed. Funny here, refers to Afros for guys and dyed hair for girls. Sleeveless tops are a definite no-no as they are thought to be a distraction to the opposite sex. The school has employed fashion cops at each entry point to ensure that ‘law breakers’ are not allowed access into the campus. Your school ID will be confiscated as you go home to change clothes. The school argues that all this is in preparation for the workplace environment. In its bag of stringent rules is the policy that all public displays of affection beyond hand-shaking is prohibited. Incidents of hand-holding or hugging caught on camera earn you a direct two-week suspension for ‘unsuitable interaction’ between students. Hugs between the same sex are allowed but only for a four-second maximum with no bosoms touching. Kissing is unheard of. It is a no-no. You can save the kiss for your wedding night since any pregnancy out of wedlock results in immediate expulsion from the university. No drinks other than water are allowed into lecture halls. Playing poker and cards is not allowed due to the association with gambling, which is also banned. If you intend to graduate, ensure you have seen your ‘mentor’, who is assigned to you at the beginning of your stay at the university, at least twice in a semester. Born again

Daystar University also has a dress code. Tight clothes are not allowed. If caught, you are summoned into the dean’s office for disciplinary action. To gain admission into this university, you need to write a personal testimony declaring that you believe in God or indicating that you are saved, that is to say, you accept Jesus as Lord and saviour. Failure to stick to this results in the school still admitting you, but also enrolling you in a theology class to impart the knowledge of the Bible. African Nazarene University also has stringent laws on jewellery. One is not allowed to wear any form of dangling jewellery as it is considered a distracting accessory. In Baraton, you are not allowed to have dreadlocks. At the Kabarak University, male students are not allowed close to the women’s’ hostels, but women were allowed to visit male students between noon and 3pm. Moreover, the women are only allowed within the hostel compound and not inside the hostels themselves. Not surprisingly, the ban on visiting hostels is not limited to Kabarak alone, but is a trend that seems to be spreading across all campuses. At Moi University, they observe the ‘10 to 10’ rule where visits to the men and women’s hostels by members of the opposite sex are only allowed between 10am and 10pm. 

In the hostels, every room is allowed to have only two chairs even if the room has four occupants. In case of fire, you are to shout “Fire, Fire!” and attack the fire. No cooking is allowed. In the same university, students are banned from speaking to the media unless authorised by the university. You are not allowed to park your automobile in the hostel area unless you have special clearance from school security.  Rules are rules The same curfew policy applies to the University of Nairobi. No male student is to be spotted around the ladies hostel past 10pm but the men’s hostels have no such curfew. At Baraton, one cannot get into the school compound past 6pm; whether you had permission to be out of school or not, and no one is to be seen walking around school premises beyond 11pm. Class attendance is taken seriously at Strathmore. You cannot sit exams if you have not attended 75 per cent of the classes and sat two continuous assessment tests. While Google may be your best friend, you are not allowed to cite Wikipedia – the collaboratively edited online encyclopaedia – as a source, as it shows how ‘unserious’ you are. Signing the class register for an absent classmate is an offense punishable by suspension.

 As a Nairobi University student, one has to swear before a commissioner of oaths or magistrate to uphold the rules and regulations as stipulated in the student hand book. Cooking in the hostel is also prohibited, according to the rules. At St. Paul’s University, there is an elaborate dress code rule too. Female students are not supposed to dress in skirts that go above the knee. In simple words mini-skirts and shorts are out. You should not be caught in body-hugging trousers, dirty or torn jeans, navel-grazers, see-through dresses, low-riding trousers, hot pants and any clothes that have obscene wordings or graphics. Leave your nose rings at home and don’t be caught with a bare back. Male students should not let their trousers sag or have braided hair or dreadlocks. They should not display tattoos, wear jewellery, necklaces, studs and rings, hats or caps, head scarves or torn jeans. Women cannot wear strong perfumes and should exercise modest use and application of lipstick.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Kenya must respect the human rights of Somali refugees

In the wake of the Garissa University College shootings that left nearly 150 people dead, the Kenyan government has threatened to close the world's largest refugee camp. In response, US Secretary of State John Kerry promised an extra $45m to the United Nations to cope with their refugee crisis, presenting an opportunity for Kenya to support over 600,000 refugees from Somalia and South Sudan in a way that not only empowers those refugees, but also enhances its own security and prosperity.
Lately, the Kenyan government has not proven itself to be a paragon of a host country for displaced people. Its treatment of Somali refugees after the Garissa shooting has shown the government to be an understandably nervous one, looking for a scapegoat for increasingly common terrorist attacks. With the threat to shut down the Dadaab camp, they risk further displacing an already traumatised group of people. They can - and must - do better.

As a refugee and as someone who has worked with refugees for over 16 years, I know that not only can Kenya do better, but it can also create a model for how other countries can deal with a constant influx of displaced people from various conflicts.
Loss of identity
After escaping unrest in Sierra Leone in March 1991, I learned that when you start to run at a young age, one of the things you lose is your identity. National identity is something most people take for granted, yet to this day, I still have a difficult time knowing how to tell people where I'm from.
My family was displaced for so long that some of my siblings were born while we were refugees in Guinea and have never seen Sierra Leone. It remains difficult for my family to make sense of who we are. I am not "Guinean" or "Sierra Leonean" or "American" but "a refugee".
When we lose this sense of statehood, we try to find other places to belong. We can lose our self-worth and sense of social responsibility. This lack of ownership in a country is often what leads to extremism. The Garissa shooters may not have been refugees, but the current hostile treatment of displaced Somalis in Kenya will only lead to further attacks.

I was 16 when I became a refugee. At a time when I should have been imagining an exciting future for myself, I had to focus on survival and started to feel hopeless.
This, combined with a loss of identity, made me strongly consider joining an armed group in the Sierra Leone war; it was only the intervention of my family that stopped me. The programmes in the refugee camps, though useful in caring for immediate needs, failed to address my long-term needs as my stay dragged on. I felt like I was just another statistic.
Radical groups
Today, many radical groups like al-Shabab, ISIL, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram and others are indoctrinating youths by providing something to believe in. They offer what many of us sorely needed: an identity.
The leaders of these radical ideologies are finding more and more recruits as unemployment and poverty grow, justice systems fail, and discrimination that undermines human dignity flourishes. Refugees become easy prey under these conditions.
However, we can change that by helping refugees maintain their sense of connection to a positive community. Part of that $45m must go towards addressing the long-term needs of refugees rather than just immediate problems.
With refugees often displaced for months and years, educational, employment and skills programmes for youth help keep their dreams alive for when they are able to return home. Host communities must also build on the social bonds that they share with the refugees.

In 2009, Mercycorps established a project in Eastern Ethiopia that demonstrated the power of peaceful cohabitation. They created common market locations for cattle farmers and supported a school between two rival nomadic communities who previously had never interacted.
In the end, the communities started to work together. Think about the effect that a shared educational institution, health facilities, sporting centre for kids, or common worship locations could have on the stability of both host and refugees.
New reality
We need to find ways to help both displaced people and their hosts live peacefully within their new reality. There are many opportunities to stabilise communities, including helping refugees contribute to the development of their host nations.
The truth is that the refugees or displaced persons around bordering nations often share a lot in common with their host. Some have the same languages, religion, and culture. Others share healthcare and educational systems, and social norms. We need to use these connectors to promote peaceful cohabitation and minimise the frustrations among host nations and the refugees.
As a host country, Kenya must respect the human rights of Somali refugees, uphold the rule of law, and engage with the refugees. To start, there needs to be a deliberate move to involve influential Somalis such as imams, youth leaders and business elites in the fight against al-Shabab. Without this, we will see an increase in radicalism.
The war that chased the Somali refugees from their homes is physical, but Kenya has an opportunity to influence the mentality that they live and leave with.
There was a time when Somalis saw Kenya as a safe haven. They didn't just see it as a host community, but a place they could belong. Kenya, along with other host countries, must protect the dignity of refugees and we must all support the Kenyan government in finding better ways to manage their well-founded fears.
With these moves, Kenya has the opportunity to serve as a model for preserving the identity and dignity of displaced people who temporarily make their homes within its borders.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

How Devil Worshiping is Spreading Fast in Kenya through High Schools and Primary Schools

We shy away from mentioning it by name. Not even head teachers would dare face the students who are said to be members, for the warnings to those who try to delve into their activities are as chilling as the graveyard. On the few occasions where brave head teachers have taken the menace head on, they have been accused of jumping the gun, that they have no facts to prove the allegations.

When the authorities talk about radicalization, we are often quick to think of radical Muslim teachings that breed terrorism. Nobody is ready to face the fact that Illuminati is another form of radicalization sweeping across our schools like bush fire from the 90s. A silent but very lethal religious doctrine has taken root and now seems to have built shrines in our schools yet we are all silent about it, occasionally dismissing it as the usual hysterical neurosis (hysteria). That radicalism is in the form of illuminati and devil worshiping in our boarding primary and secondary schools is real.

An encounter with such students paints a gruesome picture of a world apart from the real world, a realm of spirits and macabre activities that go beyond the graves to limbo and to the deep sea rituals. They feed not on our everyday table but under the sea at night and come back full! They boast of being involved in freaky accidents that claim lives on our roads and perform s3xual orgies akin those of Sodom and Gomorra.

At first  when you sit down to listen to the stories, you might dismiss them as concocted tales by some juvenile minds out to scare others, but the reality hits home when you see them writhing like snakes on the ground during pastoral programs that scare away even the bravest of the Christian Union  members.

Most of these children explain that they were recruited into the groups while in primary particularly boarding primary schools by their standard 7 and 8 peers. Some get into it in form 1 and 2 through biscuits and all those things the rich bring to their children during visiting days. That is why most boarding secondary schools have banned snacks during visiting days.  And because majority of the parents have decided to let the responsibility of raising their children in the hands of teachers, primary boarding schools is a fertile ground for the seed of devil worship and illuminati to germinate and thrive.

Early child development experts will tell you that between the ages 1-13, a child is best nurtured under the wings of her parents. At that age his/her mind is susceptible to any kind of doctrine good or bad.

These children are rebellious in school, they have all sorts of excuses not to go to class or prayer meetings. They mostly exhibit illnesses related to chest problems, constant fainting and convulsions especially during Christian union programs and prayer meetings (this doesn’t mean all those who have chest problem are in illuminati, far from it).  But whenever you take them for medical check-ups, they are often found to be as fit as a fiddle. Some have indelible tattoos on their bodies with girls having them at the back down towards the waist, the most notorious being the ‘Tomb Stone’ symbol. They identify each other by signs; the scariest one is where one gets cut marks as if someone has cut them with a sharp razor blade when they encounter a fellow member.

One child recently shocked  everyone including her parents and the Pastor when she bluntly told them that she was  not ready to change unless she got her ‘chain’ which purportedly  got lost  mysteriously as she was transferring  from her former school.

Just after one term, the whole class would fall under the influence of their powers’ , ripple effect would be felt  when they start recruiting new members in the new schools they get admitted to, as one by one the pastoral programs start losing its lustre and vigour.
Finally, the performance of the other students starts going south as laziness creeps in and takes hold of the class.

The problem is compounded by the fact that while the school may be struggling with the situation, the parents seem unaware and if they are, they never tell the school administrations unless they are confronted by the school authorities. Matters are made worse by the education policies since there is no clause that explains how to deal with such issues.

A report by a presidential commission of inquiry in 1999 remained just that, a report, with nothing implemented from its recommendation; in fact, it was like an authorisation of devil worshiping in Kenya.

“Satanism is not forbidden by any law,” the chairman of the commission, Archbishop Nicodemus Kirima, said when he released the findings of the report which has never been made public to date. Now that was the final nail on the coffin.

The kind of guiding and counselling panels we have in our schools are ill prepared to handle issues of such magnitude given that they are not experts on spiritual matters. And because our churches have all started opening their own banking societies, (pun intended) the schools are left to fight the battle alone.

 In June 2009, Hart Research Associates conducted a national survey on 1,615 American parents with children aged between zero to three and found out that there is a wide rift between what child development research shows and what parents think. Now imagine what goes on between 9 and 13 year olds who are away from their parents. The same can be said of Kenyan parents, a number of whom have no clue as to what their teenage children are up to when out of sight.

It is imperative therefore that parents’ take a lot of care on the formative stages of their children to manage their children when they grow up. They should also stop assuming things, and follow up on their children’s development at every stage.

Concerted efforts are needed to help schools deal with the silently but deadly religious radicalization taking our children hostage and that are out to destroy our youth under the guises of quick riches, pleasure and new world order.

Janet Jackson released her first album in 7 years this fall!

As sweet to our ears ...
BMG announced Wednesday they will release the first album of Janet Jackson in seven years. The international partnership with BMG Jackson Rhythm Nation said they planned to release the album yet untitled fall.
Jackson talked about his comeback plans by Twitter on May 16
"Janet is not just a sublime artist is a unique cultural force whose work resonates around the world," said the CEO of BMG, Hartwig Masuch, in a statement. "We are honored that she has chosen for BMG released his new album awaited. We look forward to working with her on all platforms."
Jackson, who has sold over 160 million albums worldwide, is delighted to start this new phase of his career. "Thanks to the BMG talented team, my new artistic home," said the interpreter of "Love Will never Do". "The opportunity to be creative in music and all forms of entertainment has immense potential here."

Jon Cohen, executive vice president of recorded music at BMG Chrysalis US looks forward to working with Jackson in their new agreement. "Janet is a cultural icon and a pop single star. The release of his new long awaited album will undoubtedly be one of the musical highlights of 2015. It is an honor to work with her."
Zach Katz, President of Creative BMG Chrysalis US service, praised Jackson, saying: "The list of achievements and accomplishments Janet is truly breathtaking is an international artist whose career has affected all areas of. popular culture. His new album will undoubtedly have a significant impact. We look forward to working with her Rhythm Nation and to encourage a new generation of artists. "
Jackson released his latest album, Discipline, in 2008.
Three albums of the singer of "Getaway" - Control, Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814 and janet. - Are in the top 100 albums, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. In addition, Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814 album The Velvet Rope and were classified in the list of "500 best albums of all time" of Rolling Stone magazine in 2013.

8 arraigned over albino attack

The government admitted recently that politicians could be behind the increasing attacks and killings of people with albinism in the country. The accusation came in the wake of reports that linked the country’s political power pursuit with attacks on albinos.

Eight men have appeared before Mpanda Resident Magistrate’s Court in connection with an attack against a woman with albinism, in which the latter had her hand chopped off.
The woman, a resident of Mwamachoma Village in Mlele District, Katavi Region, was identified as Ms Remi Luchumi, 30.
Those who were arraigned include Alex Manyanza, 24, Nogele Maliganya, 40, Galula Nkuba, 45, Shile Jilala, 27, Masunga Kashinje, 34, Maiku Punga, 27, Koga Silanga, 32, all residents of Maji Village and a resident of Meatu District in Shinyanga, Salumu Sawa.
Reading charges in the court, the state attorney, Ms Hongera Mwakifimbo, told the court that the defendants committed the offence on May 14, this year at around midnight at the victim’s home.
The prosecution stated that on the fateful day the suspects raided the victim’s home where she was asleep, attacked her using machetes, chopped off her hand and disappeared with it to an unknown destination.
Responding to the charges, all the defendants denied involvement in the grisly act and requested the court to grant them bail.
Their application was, however, rejected by the court after the prosecution said releasing them would jeopardise the ongoing investigations.
Presiding over the case, magistrate Odira Amworo, postponed the hearing until July 15, this year when it will be mentioned again. The defendants were therefore taken back to remand prison.
The grisly incident in which a person with albinism was attacked was the first in Katavi Region since it was split from Rukwa Region a few years back.
According to an NGO that advocates for the rights of people with albinism, albinos elsewhere in Africa are misunderstood, disadvantaged, and even attacked and killed.
There is a misbelief that body parts of people with albinism possess some magical powers that those who use them can obtain power and/or wealth. As a result, some witchdoctors are the ones who are after these body parts which they sell to their clients. 

Ngeleja: My record in govt speaks for itself

Mwanza. Sengerema MP William Ngeleja said yesterday he was qualified to run for the presidency on account of his track record when he was a Cabinet minister. 
Announcing his bid for the CCM ticket for the presidency, the former minister for energy and minerals also declared he was free of any scandal despite having been dropped from the government.
He said he was seeking the highest office in the land to form a government that would fight poverty, ignorance, corruption, disease and moral decline.
“I acknowledge that a great percentage of Tanzanians are poor.  I’m therefore seeking this position so that I can fight poverty, ignorance, disease, corruption, embezzlement, laziness as well as the prevailing moral decadence,” said Mr Ngeleja. 
Mr Ngeleja announced his intention at a packed Bank of Tanzania (BoT) hall in Mwanza to join a growing field of aspirants eying to succeed President Jakaya Kikwete through CCM.
He said a majority Tanzanians were eager to get a president who would walk the talk.
 “I have a comprehensive strategy to clean up the Police Force, Tanzania Revenue Authority, Judiciary, PCCB and other agencies that are being accused of corruption. I will make sure we get a lasting solution to our most pressing problems,” he said.
Mr Ngeleja was in the company of his wife, Blandina, and Magu MP Festus Limbu. His supporterss filled the hall.
 The former minister said considering the things he accomplished when he was deputy minister for energy and minerals between January 2007 and May 2012, and later a full minister, he had no doubt that he was “presidential material”.
“We initiated the Mtwara gas project in 2009 whose completion will help our nation save over Sh1.6 trillion currently being spent on fuel to generate electricity,” he said.
“The completion of Mtwara gas project will mark the end of power blackouts in our country.”
Mr Ngeleja also said he was  involved in the establishment of the Rural Energy Agency (Rea) whose budget he raised from Sh27 billion to Sh137 billion by 2011.
“We started so many power projects including that of Kinyerezi in Dar es Salaam, Somanga Fungu in Kilwa, Nyakato in Mwanza, with a combined target of 3000MW by 2016,” he said.
He also said he was among the originators of the idea to connect all regions to the national grid through the North-West Grid-from Shinyanga, Geita, Kigoma, Katavi, Rukwa to Mbeya, Makambako to Ruvuma as well as the North-East Grid-from Dar es Salaam to Kilimanjaro.
He said he had reduced power connection charges for the rural people to just Sh27,000 .
Mr Ngeleja, who is a lawyer said, he was involved in drafting of the new Minerals Act in 2009 which was passed by the Parliament in 2010 to empower the State to own free shares in all the mining firms on behalf of the public.
His priorities he said would be a strong economy, good leadership, improved social services as well as infrastructure.
“Since independence, Tanzania has not enjoyed a strong economy. We have remained dependent on donors. Our country has now become a dumping place of foreign made goods because of a poor manufacturing base. This situation is detrimental to Tanzanians who have remained without jobs,” said Mr Ngeleja.
Mr Ngeleja vowed to ensure that both farmers and pastoralists are allocated surveyed land to undertake their activities and secure bank loans.