LAWMAKERS have been challenged to establish institutions that help vulnerable groups in the community such as youths to fight against drug abuse, unemployment and crime.
The Deputy Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Angela Kairuki, said last weekend, while launching the Catherine Foundation run by the Arusha Special Seats lawmaker (UVCCM), Catherine Magige, that legislators should practice what they defend while debating issues in Parliament.
"Your passion to address problems facing our society is not only testified by the establishment of Catherine Foundation but also your work in the Parliament," Ms Kairuki said.
She further noted that youths who constituted almost half of the country's working population are threatened by drug abuse hence Catherine Foundation's targeting of such a menace in the society is a welcome idea to the government.
"On its part, the government has taken and continues to take measures to address the problem of illegal narcotic trade, but as I pointed out earlier, in order for us to succeed in combating this crime, we need to work together," she noted.
Kairuki further noted that the public is duty bound to report those behind the illicit narcotics trade so that state organs can deal with such culprits who should have their day in court.
The Deputy Minister also commended the Catherine Foundation for targeting orphans saying the initiative will help to address the problem of street children. Speaking during the ceremony, Ms Magige who is also Chairperson of the not-for-profit foundation said it targets vulnerable groups in the community without discrimination on political affiliation, religion, gender, creed or race.
She said that currently in the country, justice is served to the community selectively with the rich wielding excessive powers which deny the poor their fair share of justice.
"No community can flourish without fair justice disbursement and freedom of individuals," Magige argued saying too many children are currently in jail serving sentences resulting from trumped up charges.
Showering praises on Kairuki as an exemplary leader who stands for the vulnerable children and women, Magige underscored her commitment to ensure that all are subject to fair justice treatment before state organs.
"When released from jail, these children are frustrated because their age does not allow them to go back to school while no compensation is paid to them if they were erroneously jailed hence their frustration which forces them to resort to drug abuse," she underlined.
She pleaded to influence Parliament enact a law that will defend interests of vulnerable groups including the disabled, women and children in future.