Sunday, 7 March 2010


Beggars condemn woman-cat rumours

RUMOURS circulating in Dar es Salaam about a woman said to have disappeared mysteriously after giving alms to a beggar at Salender Bridge in the city has brought mayhem to some beggars and the disabled, saying it has robbed them of their daily bread.

The beggars condemned the rumours claiming that they are malicious and intended to starve them. Speaking on behalf of her colleagues who had gathered outside the department of information (MAELEZO) today, Neema Robert claimed that the wicked reports spreading in the city like wildfire were designed to chase them from city streets.

“People in Dar es Salaam now look at us as evil people who are not supposed to live among other human beings. They have made life difficult for us because we are being abandoned,” she complained.

“Since the incident occurred, we have been facing so many difficulties, apart from being abandoned, we are not given any support by the society and some of us have been thrown out of the houses we had rented”, lamented Ms Neema Robert.

She further said that they believe that the rumours were purposely set off because there was no evidence which could prove that the incident really happened.

One week ago it was reported that a beggar at Salender Bridge asked for money from a woman who was in a car and after she gave him money her hands grew hairs like a cat and could not drive her car.

It was further alleged that the beggar asked the woman to step out of his car and kiss him so that her hand could return to normal but immediately after the woman fulfilled what she was asked to do, she and the beggar disappeared into thin air.

Ms Neema Robert urged the people not to believe the story and instead they should accept beggars and people with disabilities who ask for alms and treat them just like human beings.

“We are human beings just like anyone else. I believe if such a thing happened to well-to do person, it could not affect them the way it has affected us,” she said.

From the Daily News, Tanzania, 23rd February 2010
See also the comment piece on this news story in The East African, 1st March 2010