Near a sugar factory life has become sweet again

Immaculata Mwigane, right, played a crucial role in helping Daines Joseph, left, and her children rebuild their lives following a tumultuous family life. They are seen standing in front of the house that Daines ensured was built allowing the family to live under their own roof in Newland, Moshi Rural. 



The village of Newland borders sugarcane plantations just outside the town of Moshi, and this is one area that Immaculata Mwigane, a paralegal, also serves providing legal aid and education to women, men and even children.

After picking her up by the roadside, where she was waiting for us, she told us many interesting, real-life stories about the area as well as about Paralegal Children’s Club, an initiative she spearheaded to help children understand their rights early and inspire them to become better citizens in future.

“I’m very passionate about children, and I made a decision to work with them because there are certain crucial aspects of child development that parents around here aren’t paying attention to, so I figured out that, I had to start taking action,” she told us.

Mwigane also described how readily-accessible justice has changed the community allowing people of all walks of life to understand their rights and refuse to see them being trampled upon.

She said that, through the Access to Justice Program that LSF implements around the country, the residents of Newland many of whom engage in small scale agriculture or work in the sugar factory and nearby plantations have somewhere to run to for help and legal awareness.

“People around here work hard to beat poverty and these services are a necessary element of that effort,” she said.

In extending legal education, she and her colleagues also reach out to local women’s groups and after speaking on women’s and children’s rights to one of these groups, Daines Joseph, a member, approached Mwigane and narrated her story desperate for help.

Daines repeated the story to us, “I’m a married mother of four children. We lived a very normal life pretty much like any other family and we were one very happy, close family, however, my husband’s deportment took a drastic turn and he began to abdicate his family responsibilities and even went so far as to subject me to physical abuse. I soon learnt that he was maintaining an extra-marital affair and that, he had purchased a house, where he had put up his lover, while we lived in a rented house”.


She explained that, whenever she brought up the issue he would turn on her violently and that’s when she sought legal help, “There were times when her husband would throw her out of the house at night,” a former neighbour, Rachel Minja, told us.

Daines recalls one incident, where while the couple was together inside Mwigane’s office, he hit her in the presence of paralegals, which prompted them to threaten him with legal action causing him to apologize profusely to his wife and them.

The bone of contention was that, house which he bought without his wife’s knowledge leaving his family to live in a rented house, and the fact that, he denied having bought it claiming that, he only loaned money for the house to a close friend, and under their agreement his name would appear on the title deed until such a time that his money was paid back fully.

Daines refused to believe the claim, she said, because she knew a title deed is a legal document, and for that reason, it had to bear the rightful owner’s name.

“We returned to the paralegal office and after being pressed he admitted that, he was the owner of the house. Not only that but we also had four motorcycles, and at this point, he had already sold three, and was about to sell the last one. So with the paralegals’ help, I began to make arrangements to have the house sold, and use the money to buy another plot, where we would build a family house;

“He was reluctant, however, further procedures followed and with the threat of absolute legal action hanging over his head he finally gave in, moved his lover out and sold the house,” Daines told us.



She told us this story when we visited her at the house that money from the sale of the contentious house built, and she now lives with three of her children as the other one is away at school.

“It’s a different atmosphere now because he pays school fees for all the children, provides for every need and to a great extent calm has returned. He doesn’t live here anymore, but makes a point of visiting every now and again. Women shouldn’t suffer in silence, help is accessible and there are ways out of difficulties such as what I went through. I ‘m deeply grateful for the help I received because my children and I now live in our own home, and not renting anymore,” Daines said with an air of satisfaction.

Reached over the phone her husband, Matthias Kiula said that, he is glad the turmoil is over now and that, the air of animosity that existed for quite some time has subsided.

“The children are going to school and have their needs taken care of and these are the most important things in addition to having a roof over their heads. I’m able to focus more on my business and so life progresses,” he said.