28 December 2017

Tanzania: Rethink These Strategies

Photo: Marry Sanyiwa/The Citizen
Tandahimba's District Commissioner Sebastian Waryuba.

Some decisions by public leaders can be most dismaying - and must be revisited urgently. For example, Tandahimba district commissioner Sebastian Waryuba has directed the arrest of 55 secondary schoolgirls impregnated while schooling, together with their parents and the men who impregnated them!

Another distressing example is the 'plan' announced in Mwananchi (Dec. 25, 2017) by Sumatra director Johansen Kahatano to steeply hike upcountry bus fares during national festivities from next year. This is ostensibly to discourage travel out of Dar at Christmastide - thus (hopefully) 'avoiding' congestion at the Ubungo Bus Terminal!

Both decisions are as asinine as they're counterproductive, missing out on the desired effects.

'Artificially' hiking bus fares so that they discourage travel on familial grounds at X-mas may be forced to work for impoverished Tanzanians; but it's desultory, divisive, un-comradely, and narrow-minded.

Ditto for school pregnancies - all of which are usually beyond the ken and control of schoolgirls; they're the victims of the malady, largely owing to factors like abject household poverty and uninformed traditions. So, routinely punishing the girls is barking up the wrong tree. Worse still is that school pregnancies are a countrywide national issue that can't be solved by regional measures as the Tandahimba DC seeks to do! They need rethinking.

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