Government Denies Arresting and Detaining Old Man of Loliondo
Where is Mzee Oriais Ole Ng’iyo?
The High Court of Tanzania Ruling on the case of the 85-year-old man who has been missing for nearly ten months now, comes up on May 10, 2023.
The Government Denies having had anything to do with the old man’s disappearance.
Oriais Oleng’iyo was reportedly shot, wounded and enforced to disappear by security forces from Ololosokwan village during the violent evictions in Loliondo on June 10, 2022.
Family and relatives filed a habeas corpus case in court.
The High Court of Tanzania later summoned the Inspector General of Police to appear before its Arusha Registry on March 30, alongside his subordinates
The IGP happens to be among the list of respondents being accused of the Enforced disappearance of Mzee Orias Ole Ng’iyo, an old man and resident of Loliondo.
Filing additional claims, Lawyer Simon Mbwambo appealed to the High Court to apply its constitutional powers in ordering the release of the old man feared to have been taken by security organs while badly wounded.
Ole Ng’iyo is a resident of Engong’u Nairowa area in the Oloolosokwan Ward of Loliondo Division in Ngorongoro District, Arusha Region.
Mzee Oriaisi Pasilange Ole Ng’iyo went missing more than nine months ago, during police operations in the former Game Controlled Area, on 10 June 2022.
Mzee Ng’iyo, was allegedly shot during chaos that ensued near his home, during the exercise to erect beacons to demarcate the 1500 square kilometers of land which later became the Pololeti Game Reserve.
That is according to Advocate Joseph Ole Shangay one of the lawyers representing the missing person’s family.
Villagers claim they were dispersed by the police as they were trying to carry the badly wounded old man.
Some claim to have even seen the cops picking up the old man, bundling him onto a Police Truck.
From that time however, Mzee Ole Ng’iyo was never to be seen again.
Fellow villagers say he was arrested by the police alongside other residents.
Hundreds of villagers were displaced during the chaos while 20 others got arrested following the chaos in Loliondo.
The arrested residents were later acquitted after their charges got dropped by the United Republic of Tanzania.
But as fellow Oloolosokwan villagers walked free, Mzee Orias Ole Ng’iyo who was initially also said to have been arrested and detained with them was conspicuously missing.
Concerned Members of Ole Ng’iyo family sought legal assistance. His name was among the suspects in the police list of arrested persons of Ngorongoro.
Lawyers have filed the Miscellaneous Criminal Application No. 68 of 2022 on Enforced disappearance, before the Tanzania High Court, requesting the top judiciary entity to task security organs in Arusha to reveal the whereabouts of the old man who is still missing.
Respondents in the case include the Tanzania Attorney General, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Arusha Regional Commissioner, the Arusha Regional Police Commander, the Police Officer in Charge of Ngorongoro District (OCD) as well as the Ngorongoro District Commissioner.
They were summoned to appear before the court and tell the public where Mzee Ole Ng’iyo is.
The case was initially scheduled for hearing before the judge of the High Court, Justice Mohammed Gwae, on March 22, 2023 but the respondents did not show up and had to be postponed to March 30.
On March 30, the case was read before the same High Court Judge upon which the respondents, being represented by Attorney Peter Mseti denied the charges of shooting and keeping in custody Mzee Oriais.
He argued that, there was no evidence that the Police either shot or whisked the old man away from his home during the Loliondo conflicts of June 2022.
Lawyer Mseti also challenged the son of the missing old Man, Ndoloi Oriais who claims to have witnessed the police taking his father by force, to at least reveal the number plates of the truck and identify any of the suspected cops.
Defending Lawyers however insist that in the middle of the unrest and pandemonium it wouldn’t have been easy for the young man to record all details.
These are said to have been in-charge during the demarcation exercise in Loliondo and should bear the responsibility.
In addition to the summons, the court has directed that the son of the missing person, who testifies to have seen the police picking up his father, should also present himself on March 30 during the case.