Tanzania: Fake Marriages Disrupt Nurses, Teachers' Allocation

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Fake marriages between female teachers and their partners has adversely impacted on the provision of health and education in the country as female teachers and nurses use such a fraudulent practice to dodge work in rural areas.

A survey is yet to be conducted across the country to establish the magnitude of the problem.

The 'Sunday News' this weekend witnessed the issue featuring prominently in a full council meeting in Sumbawanga Municipal Council, with Sumbawanga Urban Member of Parliament (MP) Aeish Hilaly and council-lors raising concern.

According to Mr Hilaly, almost all schools and health facilities in Sumbawanga Rural District have no female teachers and nurses after the majority of them processed fake marriage certificates and were subsequently transferred to teach in urban areas.

The MP said absence of female teachers in schools had started causing adverse effects on girls as most of them felt shy to reveal their problems to male teachers.

"Nearly, all female teachers, who were posted to work in rural areas in the municipal council have marriage certificates some of which are doubtful, but were transferred to teach in urban areas after joining their spouses," he said.

This shortage of female teachers from public schools in rural areas has triggered a high rate of schoolgirl pregnancy and school dropouts.

I call upon the relevant authorities to address this challenge by relocating female teachers to rural public schools," added the MP.

For his part, Regional Administration and Local Government Officer from Rukwa Secretariat Albinus Mgonya said it was of significance importance for female teachers to be left to teach in rural schools for the benefit of schoolgirls.

Mr Mugonya gave an example of Nkasi District in which 27 schoolgirls had dropped out of school in a month after being impregnated. "All 27 schoolgirls were impregnated, while they were on holiday between June and July this year.

The rate is alarming," noted Mr Mugonya.

Speaking on how the shortage of female nurses was detrimental to members of the public, Mr Hilaly said pregnant women opted to stay home because they felt shy to be attended to by young male nurses if they visited health facilities.

Sumbawanga Municipal Mayor Justin Malisawa admitted that there were reports of female teachers cheating on marriage certificates so that they could join their spouses working in rural areas in the municipal council.

He urged all civil servants to abide by the civil service agreement, which required them to work wherever they were posted.

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