15 June 2012

Tanzania: Zanzibar Accused of Human Rights Violation

Zanzibar — COURT case delays, misuse of government funds, and clampdown on freedom of expression are some of the incidents violating human rights in Zanzibar as recorded last year, a report says.

Unveiling the '2011 human rights' report in Zanzibar on Thursday, the acting executive secretary of the Zanzibar Legal

Service Centre (ZLSC), Ms Harusi Miraji Mpatani, said although there had been noticeable improvements, stakeholders needed to do more in promoting human rights.

"Although freedom of expression is guaranteed in the constitution, it is not sufficiently implemented in domestic legislation and practices," she said adding that censorship of the media and other interferences still persisted in Zanzibar.

It is mentioned in the report that harassment of some journalists is still a continuing tendency by some authorities in Zanzibar, and poor coverage of public broadcasting media.

At the launch of the report held at Bwawani Hotel, it was pointed out that there was a slight improvement in the enjoyment of civil rights and liberties in Zanzibar in 2011 compared to 2010, but stakeholders need to overcome the challenges.

The report reveals that there was abuse of government money, for example use of 413.6ml/- without proof/accounts last year in the Ministry of Finance, special department - President's Office, Zanzibar State Trade Corporation (ZSTC), Zanzibar Insurance Corporation (ZIC), and Zanzibar Municipal Council (ZMC).

"Abuse of power is also a malady, which is strongly prevalent in Zanzibar. Most people are silent because no system has been built to allow for public voices against officials, who misuse their powers," the report says.

Discussing the report, some stakeholders appealed to the government to make sure that roads and buildings are accessible also to people living with disabilities, freedom of worship, improved judiciary system to minimize mob violence, and promote women participation in politics.

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