Message from Chairperson Nigussie

Many of you will already know through friends, media, and social media that our friend and community member Alem was the victim of a shooting on Saturday night while working as a taxi driver in the suburb or Miramar. The police are taking this very seriously and investigating the incident with the assistance of the community and media. We sincerely hope and trust that the criminal who is responsible will be brought to justice quickly and punished to the full extent of the law.

Naturally we are devastated, heartbroken, disbelieving, shocked and confused by this dreadful incident. However, I am very happy to say that Alem has been discharged from hospital and is recovering at home where many of you from our community have already visited him. Of course he is badly shocked and traumatised and will continue to need the support and help of his community while he continues to recover. Alem is lucky to come from a community where our religion and culture tell us that we have moral obligation to support him through this difficult time. It is impossible to say when, if ever, Alem will be able to return to work and we must join together as a community to help him through this time. Please go and offer him your help and support. You can contact him through Facebook or other networks.

We are also fundraising for Alem, please give what you can, donations can be left with me (Nigussie Fenja) or deposited directly into his bank account; ANZ bank, Alem Tesema, 06-0577-0142572-00. Please put your name as a reference on any bank deposits.

Although we are hurt by this dreadful incident we must not lose faith our future in our new home of New Zealand. New Zealand is mostly a safe and peaceful place and I have every faith that the Police and courts will punish the offender. We must move forward in unity to get past this disaster, just as we have moved past so much pain in the past. Be careful but don’t panic. If you feel threatened or see suspicious activity contact the Police and use your networks to be aware of and avoid danger. Taxi drivers are especially vulnerable and easily targeted so please keep in close contact with each-other and let each-other know of any hazards or dangers and how to avoid them.

So be safe, be happy, look after each-other but be careful. I will keep you informed of developments. Please join me in wishing Alem a speedy and complete recovery and enjoy the summer.