Tanzania: German Reiterates Apologies Over Killings of Chiefs

GERMANY has reiterated its apologies following atrocities done during its colonial rule in Tanzania more than 100 years that included killing of tribal leaders.

The apologies were made again over the weekend by the German State Minister Ms Katja Keul during the 124th anniversary of the brutal killings of Mangi (Chief) Meli and others in the Old Moshi area, Moshi district, Kilimanjaro Region.

Mangi Meli is the former Chief of the Chaggas in the Old Moshi area.

“124 years ago on March 2, 1900, a total of 19 chiefs of the Chagga and Meru tribes were brutally killed by German colonial soldiers; so far we do not know the names of these victims; the truth we have is that others besides them also died before and after the killings of those leaders,” she said, adding, “we are deeply sorry for the incidents which occurred at this (Old Moshi) place we are today.

“It is important for me and my country to agree that the evil was done by the colonialists from our country and today I am here to talk about that truth,” she said.

While in tears, Ms Keul continued to say that, history shows that, on January 1900, during the war between the German colonial forces and the Meru and Arusha people, the Chiefs of those tribes (Meru and Arusha) were arrested and sent to Moshi; then it followed the arrest of the Chagga Chiefs, later on, they were all brutally killed on March 2, 1900, in front of their family members.

“As if that was not enough for the colonial soldiers chopped off the heads of the chiefs; this means, during these brutal acts, the German colonists not only killed their opponents but also denied their families to offer their loved ones proper and respectful funerals as per their cultures,” she said.

“We Germans of this generation cannot exclude ourselves from these mistakes; there are important questions that we have to discuss together and find answers; that is why I am here to listen to your opinions so that we can reach an agreement, including how to give your forefathers a proper burial according to your traditions,” she added.

“It is also important for me when I return home to raise awareness among my fellow citizens about what happened here more than a century ago, and this is due to the real fact that for a long time, the Germans have ignored or forgotten about the atrocities committed here by the colonists from our country,” she noted.

Speaking on behalf of Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner (RC) Mr Nurdin Babu, Moshi District Commissioner Kisare Makori said that the commemorations provided an opportunity for the leaders of the current generation to see the importance of being patriotic while serving their citizens.

“Let these commemorations give us a spirit of working patriotically for the interests of the nation and its people”, he said.

He thanked the German government through its Minister Keul for agreeing to cooperate with the Tanzanian government in ensuring that the remains of the chiefs and other ancient assets of Tanzanians are returned to the country.

DC Makori said that President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan has already formed a special national committee that will work with other stakeholders to ensure that the remains and other traditional belongings that were transferred to Germany are returned to the country.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *