Govt officials shunning us, people with disability claim

Secretary of the Tanzania Federation of Disabled People's Organisation in Tanzania (SHIVYAWATA) in Mtwara, Abdallah Chiwaula, said some government leaders have been shunning activities that it organized.

He was speaking during belated celebrations to mark the Worlds’ Day for the rights of people with Disabilities held at the Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELCT) premises recently.

He said the biggest obstacle for the association in implementing disabled people’s activities in the region is the absence of cooperation from the local government leaders. He said this leads the group to fail in efforts to fight for its basic rights.

According to Chiwaula, one of the biggest hurdles that SHIVYAWATA faces in carrying out its activities and safeguarding its members’ rights is lack of cooperation from officials in the village and ward authorities.

However, he said, the association has continued with efforts to ensure that they get the officials’ cooperation. Further, the association makes sure that it is involved in development activities, he said.

“When I look around this room I feel very sad. We invited many local government officials but only a few have turned up. This shows how our local leaders do not appreciate activities done by our associations.”

Speaking at the same occasion, the SHIVYAWATA chairman, Abdallah Mchindula, clarified that:
“Normally these celebrations do take place on December 3 every year but, because of reasons beyond our control, we were forced change it to different date.”

RC: Designate special areas for the disabled to do businesses


District councils in Dodoma Region have been asked to allocate special areas for people with disabilities to carryout their businesses.
The Regional Commissioner, Dr Rehema Nchimbi, said early in January that people with disabilities needed public support to improve their welfare.

The RC was speaking during the opening of a meeting for the Tanzania Association of the Deaf (Chavita). She said, Chavita and its members must be enabled to conduct its activities at all levels.
“We must assist these people to do what they want for their development and the nation at large”, said the RC.

Members of Youth Parliament in Tanga claim to have received threats



The youth parliament in Tanga region has claimed that there are some officials in the region that impose threats to its members who work tirelessly to counter citizens’ dissatisfactions towards the realm of accountability.  

The youth parliament members claim that threats from political and local government leaders in the region have been hampering their efforts to expose corruption in development projects under their Social Accountability Monitoring ventures.
These allegations were leveled in early January by ‘Speaker’ of the Youth Parliament, Frank Shempemba, at a meeting with journalists. He said officials who threaten them want the youth MPs to reduce their efforts on exposing corrupt practices that are said to be occurring in different development projects.

 “We are doing a risky job, we can even be subjected to forgery cases and get jailed but we will not surrender our objective of making sure that public funds and resources are used properly”, said Shempemba.

According to him, threats were received from some alleged officials in Bumbuli constituency where more development projects have not fully taken off despite the availability of funds.
He said after receiving complaints from citizens on the dillydallying of development projects at village and ward level, the youth parliament normally forms committees to follow up on the matter. 

The Youth Parliament in Tanga is coordinated by the Tanga Youth Development Association (TAYODEA) through the funding from the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS). The funded project aims at developing a mechanism for the youths to participate in decision-making processes and ultimately amplify their voices towards development processes.

People with disabilities criticize unfriendly infrastructures

Visually impaired persons attending a training workshop in Mwanza early in January have argued that Tanzania has not fully implemented the 2006 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities that calls on countries to have in place friendly infrastructures for persons with disabilities (PWDs).

Notable observations that were alleged in the contravention of the UN Convention included the lack of friendly sidewalks, footpaths and toilets designated for PWDs, such that persons with visual impairments are regarded as worst victims. The training on legal rights to PWDs conducted by Tanzania League of Blind (TLB) Mwanza branch through the funding from the Foundation for Civil Society drew a total of 35 visually impaired persons from six districts of Mwanza Region.

Coordinator of Legal and Constitutional Affairs of the organisation, Ms Joyce Charles, said that building planners have not fully considered people with disabilities when designing and building public infrastructures. She called on the government to step up measures and help in changing this anomaly.

 “The government initiative to improve infrastructures countrywide is laudable. But if all people, including persons with disabilities can not benefit from such infrastructure, then development ventures will be incomplete,” said Joyce.

FCS training triggers DC to call for improved transparency and accountability

Kilwa District Commissioner (DC), Abdallah Ulega has condemned the perpetration of holding fewer feedback meetings among village leaders as a major factor behind low scores of transparency and accountability among citizenry and hence reduce trust to the community.


Ulega made the statement during a recent training workshop on Social Accountability and Monitoring (SAM) among community leaders, which was organized by Kilwa Civil Society Network (KINGONET) with the funds from Foundation for Civil Society (FCS). The training was held at the college of social development in Kilwa. 

He said lack of accountability and transparency among village leaders has led many of them to lose trust among citizens hence many development issues are not moving as required.

When citizen elect their leaders they expect cooperation, transparency and accountability. Citizen would like to see their leaders stand for their rights and protect them, otherwise they lose trust”, he said. “You might find a local leader since being elected he has never called for a meeting - to read the budget or to discuss development issues, this is serious”, added DC.


Read more: FCS training triggers DC to call for improved transparency and accountability


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