CSOs argued to train communities on Good Governance

Civil Society Organisations in Ruvuma region have been requested to train community members on good governance and monitor the implementation of the Public Procurement Act in the periphery areas that are economically poor and have unsound governance – leading to the intimidation of the people. This call was made by Mkongotema Ward Executive Officer, Polycarp Malekela when opening a training workshop on Good Governance and monitoring of the Procurement Act to 50 participants conducted at Mkongotema by Youth Cultural and Women Development Centre (YOCUWODE) through funds from The Foundation for Civil Society.

The training coordinator, Margreth Melkion, said that the training had targeted six wards whereas four wards have already been covered at Peramiho and Maposeni centers - with 100 people reached by the training - involving both ordinary people as well as village and ward leaders.

“The training is conducted following the realization of challenges facing the community on the ignorance of the Procurement Act and the ongoing corruption acts that resulted to the Songea District Council getting unqualified opinion,” she said and added that there is a need for the community to be trained and getting the knowledge so as to protect the country’s resources from being plundered by the corrupt officials

Citizens of Mkuranga urged to participate in village meetings

Citizens in rural areas have been challenged to take full advantage of participating in village meetings as a means through which they can be able to influence development processes at village and ward level.

Apart from this, it has been noted that limited knowledge among citizens in rural areas, is a key factor behind poor attendance in village meetings.

This unfolded in mid March during a capacity building training to the citizens of Mkuranga, village leaders, smallholder farmers as well as ward officers - conducted by a network of farmers in Mkuranga (MVIWATA) through the funding from the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS).

While opening the training, Sada Mwaruka, who is the Executive Director of Mkuranga District, Coast Region urged participants of the training to make maximum use of village meetings as a means to increase their knowledge and even disseminate the best practices to others.

“If village leaders do not hold regular meetings, then they should know that they are denying citizens the opportunity of discussing issues of their development, and/or even identify priorities that can resolve their grievances.

“Village leaders have a mandate of calling meetings, and more importantly, make sure that citizens get an opportunity to see periodic accounts of revenue and expenditures in their localities and discuss on them – in accordance with the Local Government Authority (LGA) laws and procedures,” said Mwaruka.

Giving up is not an option among People with Disabilities


Some People with Disabilities (PWDs) in Tanzania have been advised to work harder and hence overcome their seemingly tough social-economic challenges.


This was said in early March during a dialogue that brought together PWDs in Dar es Salaam to discuss rights of PWDs as well as advocacy measures to include PWDs’ rights in the country’s development plans.
Speaking his mind, one participant of the dialogue, Ally Ngurungu, said apart from giving views for the new constitution and calling for the protection of rights of PWDs, there is a need for some PWDs to stop begging and look for something to do.


“Amongst us PWDs, there are many individuals who have the ability to do great things in this country, it is better to use our skills and talents so that we can run away from poverty and over dependence.


On her part, Community Social Welfare Officer in Dar es Salaam region, Flora Masue, who opened the dialogue, has asked PWDs to make sure that their issues are included in the new constitution.  She said, time has come for PWDs to fight for their rights so as to reduce stigma and to give the group an opportunity to contribute in country.


She also mentioned issued that PWDs should put an equal emphasis for inclusion into the new constitution as: education, health and agriculture.
At a later stage, Secretary of the Association for the PWDs in Dar es Salaam, Mohammed Chazi, heaped praise on the dialogue, which was organized through funds from the Foundation for Civil Society - saying that it would help amplify their voices to concerned authorities.


He said during the period of collecting views of the first draft of the constitution, FCS enabled more than 48,000 PWDs across the country to give their views, and 70% of their views were included in the first draft of the new constitution

Required: guidelines to implement 2008 HIV Act

There is now a definite quest. The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has been asked to speed up the passing of standard guidelines for implementation of the 2008 HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Act so as to help reduce stigmatization and new HIV infections in the country. 

Along with this call, People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) want more sensitization to be given to the community with regards to the pandemic so as to enable the country reach its targets of having zero new infections, as well as having reduced stigma and deaths related to HIV/AIDS come 2015.

Speaking in Dar es Salaam in mid March at a two-day seminar to the PLWHA, together with other stakeholders in the 2008 HIV/AIDS Act, facilitator of the training, Japhes Baitan, said the law can hardly be implemented because as up to now there are no standard guidelines that have been passed.

“For this law to be implementable, it has to be returned to the PLWHAs and the entire community, then a Minister responsible has to look at it and preside over the implementation guidelines formulation. The goal is to attain zero new HIV infections, related deaths and stigma,” said Baitani.

He said the law has some very good provisions that prohibit unfaithful people to declare that they can cure the virus, disclosure among married couples of their HIV status and so on, but it has ironically not targeted a person who is yet to be infected – especially on how best to protect oneself. This is what the training participants observed as one of grey areas in the law, he said.

On his part, Juma Garaba who is the Secretary to a CSO on the fight against HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis (Maukita) said the PLWHAs need to understand the law so as to know clearly theirs rights and obligations, and hence take ownership in the fight against stigma. Maukita are the ones who organized the training workshop through the funds from the Foundation for Civil Society,

In different occasions, training workshop participants and people who declared to be living with HIV, Maimuna Hamis (49) and Athumani Mwirangi (40) said stigmatization to PLWHAs is still a big problem in the country and have called for more education to be given to communities and even sensitize more people to go for voluntary counseling and testing.

Since 2008 when President Jakaya Kikwete signed the law, the Ministry of Health has been giving updates that it is in process to formulate the guidelines.

 

 

Citizens of Rufiji called upon to participate in PETS exercise

Citizens of Mjawa ward in Rufiji district Coast Region have been challenged to participate in monitoring development programs under the health sector as well as take initiatives to report key challenges facing them so as to enable the government and other stakeholders to play their part in resolving their problems.

Speaking at the official opening of a seminar ahead of the implementation of a Public Expenditure Tracking System (PETS) project in the health sector, Mr. Daudi Said, who is a coordinator of Chem Chem ya Mabadiliko (Chechema) said the people have the right to make follow-ups on all public related projects, especially on the health sector. 

“The people of Mjawa do not know the importance of participating in these projects, so as to enable those who are responsible to be aware of the challenges facing this sector”, said Saidi.

He said even village leaders are not fully aware of their roles and responsibilities in the public expenditure tracking systems – leading to poor health services in their areas. He said the PETS exercise on health sector will be conducted in five wards of Mjawa for the period of three months and will cost TZS 7 Million, being the funds from the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS).

He further said that Chechema decided to unveil the project following complains that the health services provided in the area were not adequate despite having a dispensary in place. Mr. Saidi added that the dispensary has a big deficiency of diagnostic equipment, medicine and the personnel.

 

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