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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Kupasuka kwa Vyama na Hatma ya Demokrasia

Tanzania na Afrika Kusini ni nchi zenye mambo mengi yanayofanana. Nyimbo zetu za taifa hazina tofauti sana. Hali kadhalika bendera zetu. Na hata baadhi ya lugha zetu.

Vyama tawala vya nchi hizi mbili navyo vinaendelea kushika hatamu licha ya kukua kwa vyama vya upinzani toka miaka ya 1990. Hata historia ya mipasuko ya vyama nayo inafanana kiasi.

Baada ya tofauti za kimtazamo na kimbinu katika miaka ya mwanzo ya 1960, mwanasiasa machachari Zuberi Mtemvu na baadhi ya wanachama wenzake wa Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) waliunda chama cha African National Congress (ANC).  Chama chenye jina kama hilo huko Afrika Kusini, yaani ANC, nacho kilikumbwa na tofauti katika miaka ya mwisho ya 1950 na kupelekea kuundwa kwa chama cha Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) chini ya mwanasiasa mahiri, Robert Sobukwe. 

Migawanyiko, ama mipasuko, ya vyama vya kisiasa inaweza kuwa chachu ya kukuza demokrasia au ya kudidimiza harakati za ukombozi. Ni vigumu kujua ni kwa kiasi gani ANC ya kina Mtemvu ingetusaidia kwa lipi maana baada ya kumpa Mwalimu Julius Nyerere na TANU changamoto kwenye uchaguzi mkuu wa 1962 haikupata tena fursa hiyo mwaka 1965 kutokana na kuanzishwa kwa mfumo wa chama kimoja eti ili kudumisha umoja. 

Wenzetu wa Afrika Kusini wao wanajua kwa kiasi gani PAC iliwasaidia ama kutowasaidia katika harakati zao. Wapo wanaoona kuwa ilidhoofisha na kuchelewesha kupatikana kwa demokrasia kwa kuwa nchi za Afrika ziligawanyika kuhusu nani wa kumsaidia - ANC au PAC? Utata huu umegusiwa katika wasifu wa Nelson Mandela wa Long Walk to Freedom anapoelezea alivyogundua jinsi gani PAC ina mvuto Afrika na ambavyo imekuwa ikiifanyia majungu ANC alipozuru nchi yetu na nchi zingine na hivyo kuifanya kazi yake ya kutafuta ushirikiano wetu kuwa ngumu.

 Lakini ndio hao hao PAC waliosimamia, japo wengine wanadai kudakia, harakati za kupinga kulazimishwa kutembea na pasi za kibaguzi. Japo baadhi ya wanaharakati hao waliuliwa katika mauaji yanayojulikana kama Sharpville Massacre mwaka 1960, harakati zao zilikuwa chachu kubwa katika kuleta demokrasia nchini kwao.

Historia ya wenzetu kwa kiasi fulani sasa inajirudia. Mwaka 2008, kabla ya uchaguzi mkuu uliopita, wanasiasa kadhaa wa chama cha ANC walianzisha kwa makeke chama chao na kukibatiza jina la lililokuwa vuguvugu muhimu katika historia ya demokrasia ya nchi hiyo kutokana na kupitishwa kwa kwa Freedom Charter (Azimio la Uhuru) huko Kliptown mwaka 1955, yaani Congress of the People (COPE). Wapo waliotegemea kitakipa chama tawala changamoto kubwa na kukifanya kisiweze kuhodhi maamuzi ya kibunge n.k. Lakini migongano ya kiwasifu pamoja na kugombania madaraka kati ya vinara wake wakuu wawili kati ya watatu, Mbhazima Shilowa na Mosiuoa Lekota, ilichangia kukidhoofisha chama hicho.

Kuibuka kwa chama kingine cha Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) kilichoundwa na vijana matata waliojikuta hawana jinsi ila kutoka ANC nako kumechangia kufifia kwa COPE. Chama hicho kipya kinachoongozwa na mwanasiasa maarufu, Julius Malema, hakina hata zaidi ya mwaka 1 ila kimeweza kujizolea kura zipatazo milioni 1 katika uchaguzi mkuu wa 2014. Kwa lugha ya mtaani ya vijana, kinakipumulia kooni chama kikuu cha upinzani nchini humo, Democratic Alliance (DA) kinachoongozwa na mwanasiasa  mwerevu, Helen Zille, na huenda muda wowote kikawa chama kikuu cha upinzani na hata kuchukua dola kwenye chaguzi zijazo.

Chama hicho ambacho maana ya jina lake ni 'Wapigania Uhuru wa Kiuchumi' kimevuta hisia za vijana wengi wa hali ya chini na hata ya kati. Pamoja na kiongozi wake mkuu kuonekana ni mkaidi na mkwasi, anaendelea kujizolea wafuasi wakiwamo wasomi. Profesa mmoja katika chuo kikuu maarufu huko Johannseburgh aliwahi kusikika akisema kuwa ni jambo la kushangaza, na linalostahili kuchunguzwa, kuwa wanafunzi wake wengi makini wa shahada ya uzamivu ni wanachama wa chama hicho cha 'mtata' Malema.

Ni nini kinawavuta Dali Mpofu, mwanasheria msomi, na wenzake kujiunga na chama kinachozungumza lugha ya kijamaa/kisoshalisti japo inaonekana ni dhahiri kuwa kiongozi wake mkuu ana ukwasi wa kibepari/kifisadi? Ni nafasi rahisi ya kukuza demokrasia? Je, ni fursa ya kupata sifa na madaraka makubwa ya haraka haraka?

Au ni mvuto tu wa mwanasiasa mwenye uwezo mkubwa wa kuongea na wananchi wa kawaida na ushawishi mkubwa kwa umma? Kama ni mvuto huo wa halaiki ambao wataalamu wa sayansi ya siasa wanauita upopulisti, je, una nafasi gani katika kukuza demokrasia ndani ya chama hicho na nchi yao kwa ujumla?

Hapa kwetu Tanzania tuna nini cha kujifunza kutokana na migawanyiko/mipasuko ya vyama vya kisiasa huko Afrika Kusini? Katika makala ya Kutoka 1995 Kuelekea 2015 tulirejea kidogo historia ya mtafaruku wa NCCR uliopelekea kufunguliwa kwa kesi katika mahakama kuu ili kutatua ugomvi wa madaraka katika ya kundi la Augustine Mrema na kundi la Mabere Marando. Ni vyema tukaichambua kwa kina historia hii na ya mitandao ya CCM katika muktadha wa leo ili tujielewe badala ya kuwa bendera fuata upepo.

Kwa wale wanaoamini kuwa Mwalimu Nyerere alitabiri kuwa upinzani thabiti utatoka CCM basi pengine huu ndio wakati mwafaka wa kuhakikisha chama tawala kinapasuka katikati na ikiwezekana mpasuko huo uzae CCM-Safi na CCM-Fisadi. 

Na kwa wale wanaomini kuwa vyama vya upinzani ndio mwokozi wa demokrasia basi labda wakati ndio huu wa kuleta mipasuko mikubwa katika vyama vinavyoakisi ukiritimba/urasimu wa chama tawala ili kuzalisha vyama vyenye demokrasia na uwazi zaidi.

Lakini wale wanaomini kuwa demokrasia ya kweli haitokani na siasa za vyama bali mavuguvugu ya wananchi wakati ndio huu wa kutafakari na kuchukua hatua kuhusu hatma ya demokrasia yetu.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

African Solution - To Traditionalize or Modernize?

Shangwe:

I think part of the problem with Africa is that we haven't been able to modernize our traditional institutions to respond to challenges of our times. Instead we have opted to kill them altogether and reproduce Western-designed ones in a copy-and-paste fashion. It makes us culturally hollow and brings about lack of cultural values from which innovation and confidence can be cultivated. I believe some of our political behaviors can easily be understood if we bring culture into the equation. 

Why are strongmen still revered in African politics? Well, my question is can our traditional institutions provide us with answers to this question? My answer is, of course, yes! The Chinese have managed, in a way, to do this. We need to add the African characteristics to our politics and development agenda. As it stands now, we are so busy trying to produce flocks of 'westernized societies' inside Africa. 

My thesis is part of the reason we have failed is the implicit resistance by our people. They are Africans through and through, they won't budge at our attempt to Europeanize them. Note that Europeanization is NOT modernization. I can argue that few among our elites know this!

Sabatho:

Once you “modernize” the “tradition” it is no longer a tradition. It becomes a modernity, which is un-African, and disastrous. Why not “traditionalize” the “modern” to fit the “challenges of our times”? Whose times are they? Whose challenges are we talking about?


Is it possible for us to think beyond the traditional/modern binary? When colonialists came, they dubbed everything that existed in Africa traditional. By tradition was meant unchanging/static, backward, ahistorical, dark etc. Thus, we must be aware that our discourse itself is not autonomous. It keeps reproducing the epistemic structure that we seem to be attacking (See Partha Chattrejee’s Nationalist Thought and Colonial World; and Valentine Mudimbe’s The Invention of Africa).

The traditional African systems in most parts of this continent had no “strong men”, be it at household or societal level. The “womanization” of the African female is a colonial import (Oyerenke Oyewumi, The Invention of Women), just like the despotic leaders that we are now referring to as strongmen (Mahmood Mamdani, Citizen and Subject). They are products of modernity, codeword for capitalism.

In Tanzania, one of the most patriarchal and despotic “tribes” (yes, a tribe too was a colonial invention) today are probably the Kurias. However, Abuso’s (1980) A Traditional History of the Abakuria: C.A.D. 1400—1914 reveals that pre-colonial territorial societies in Bukuria were not a “tribe”; nor did they have despotic rulers.

As for precolonial state formation in Bukuria, the earliest administrative units among the Kuria were kin-based. As the society grew up, thanks to the population increase and fusion of different splinter groups, a more complex system of administration developed. Thus, from clan rule, the Abakuria developed a territorial rule. Each territorial community formed its own system of administration, which was independent of other territorial communities or provinces (“omugai”). There was no federal government that united all the Abakuria.

Two hierarchies of power existed in each province: the spiritual hierarchy, led by the Omuraguri (literally, medicine man) as well as the temporal hierarchy led by the Omugambi (the dreamer-prophet). Both the Omuraguri and the Omugambi were the two most important figures in the Iritogo(the territorial Council of Elders), the supreme decision-making body of the province. While Omuraguri was in charge of religious matters, his consent was needed for the Omugambi to declare war. The Omugambi “was appointed to his post by the people’s consensus… and they could as well remove him if they were dissatisfied with his services”. His office was checked by both the Council and the dreamer prophet: As such the Omugambi “was just a spokesperson; he gave no binding orders” (Abuso 1980, 163).

From the above explanation we can see that the pre-colonial African “tribe” was not static. It was dynamic, changing from one form to another, be it in terms of composition, culture and political systems. As for political systems, we can see that they were not tribal in any sense of the word. They were territorial, embracing everyone who was willing to be a loyal member of the territorial community. A person in charge of administrative matters was not an absolute ruler, for there existed mechanisms of checks and balances (See also Mamdani, M. 2010. Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, Politics, and the War on Terror; Usman, Y.B. 2006. Beyond Fairy Tales: Selected Historical Writing of  Yusufu Bala Usman;and Vail, L. Ed. 1989. The Creation of Tribalism in Southern Africa. ).

The imposition of colonial rule changed everything. “The colonial administrators” argues Abuso (1980, 15) “had a policy of putting the colonised communities into confined blocks called ‘tribes’, which might not necessarily have existed before. Such a confinement made the people be much more conscious of their identity of ‘tribe’ as opposed to their own neighbours who were of different tribe. Societies and communities which had perhaps hitherto taken their existence for granted soon regarded themselves as ‘tribes’ different from other groups. In such a way the ‘tribe’ of Abakuria was created”. The colonial government installed new chiefs who had absolute powers, and who were directly answerable, not to their people, but to the colonial administration. The mechanisms of checks and balances, such as the Council of Elders and the dreamer-priest, were dismantled to give the new chief despotic powers.

Our problem, I think, lies in the uncritical embracement of modernity, even when we claim to be against it. We have been imprisoned in the colonial discourse and we do not show any effort of salvaging ourselves. In Hind Swaraj, Mahatma Gandhi chastises modernity and blames Indian problems on “railways”, “doctors” and “lawyers” introduced by the British. India’s future, according to Gandhi, lies in the past! We have to go back to where the British found us. Is it possible? If at all possible, is it plausible?

Shangwe: 

 Yours is a critique of the classic theory of modernization, which I also share. The theory essentially attempts to Europeanize/westernize the rest of the world in a one-size-fits-all style without paying attention to cultural and historical contexts of societies. It is ridiculous, the thought of it. 

I am talking about this aware of the proposition that there are 'multiple modernities'- meaning there is no single model of modernization. 

I also do not believe in the traditional-modern dichotomy. I believe that modernization is cyclic, not revolutionary. As such, traditional elements are an integral part of modernity. They mingle. 

The idea of going back to the drawing board i.e the past/tradition does not mean we go there and stay there! The traditional is a frame of reference from which we abandon the bad, cherish the good and transmit it to our generation, and use it to respond to the challenges of our times.  

Saying we can't mordenize the traditional is to dismiss it's fluidity and development. You are deductively assuming that the traditional is static, a fallacious era already committed by Western proponents of the classic theory of modernization.

SOURCE: 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Introducing the 'Thinking Africa Blog'


Dear all,

We would like to introduce you to our newly formed Thinking Africa blog which we will be using in the build-up to the 2014 Thinking Africa colloquium to be held in September. You can visit the blog here. The blog will collect together interviews with participants in our upcoming colloquium, the theme of which is ‘NGOs and Social Justice in Africa’.

Those of you who are on facebook, might also be keen to visit our facebook page.

Regards,

Sally and the rest of the Thinking Africa team

Sally Matthews
Department of Political and International Studies
Rhodes University
---

Uhakiki wa Riwaya ya Makuwadi wa Soko Huria

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Rise and Fall of Budget Support in Tanzania ?

Introductory Chapter:


Book Overview:

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

New Book on 'Nyerere: The Early Years'

Tamasha la Vitabu vya Watoto Dar es Salaam 2014

RATIBA:

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Impact of Sexual Harassment on Women

Impact of Sexual Harassment on Women’s Health and Incomes

Leila Sheikh

Sexual harassment at work can have very serious consequences both for the harassed individual as well as for other working women who experience it secondhand. 

The consequences to the individual employee can be many and serious. In some situations, a woman who is undergoing the sexual harassment risks losing her job or the chance for a promotion if she refuses to give in to the sexual demands of someone in authority.

 In other situations, the unwelcome sexual conduct of co-workers makes the working conditions hostile and unpleasant - putting indirect pressure on her to leave the job. Sometimes, the employee is so traumatized by the harassment that she suffers serious emotional and physical consequences—and very often, becomes unable to perform her job properly.

According to a survey conducted by the Tanzania Media Women’s Association TAMWA (Sheikh and Gabba), the majority of sexually harassed women suffer from some debilitating stress reaction, including anxiety, depression, headaches, sleep disorders and lowered self-esteem. In addition, victims of sexual harassment are put in the stressful position of losing their jobs and incomes which impacts on their health and incomes.

The consequences to working women as a group are no less serious. Sexual harassment has a cumulative, demoralizing effect that discourages women from asserting themselves within the workplace, while among men it reinforces stereotypes of women employees as sex objects.

Severe or pervasive sexual harassment in certain types of businesses creates a hostile or intimidating environment that causes women to leave their jobs and look elsewhere for work or discourages them from seeking those jobs in the first place.

The effect on the morale of all employees can also be serious. Both men and women in a workplace can find their work disrupted by sexual harassment even if they are not directly involved. Sexual harassment can have a demoralizing effect on everyone within range of it, and it often negatively impacts company productivity on the whole.

From the survey, it was learnt that women victims of sexual harassment are not aware that the use of power and authority by male bosses to coerce sex is a crime, not until it becomes indecent assault, that is when the women realize the man has crossed the parameters of good behavior, and even then, less than one per cent report the cases to higher authorities or to law enforcers.

In 1998, the Sexual Offences Special Provisions Act (SOSPA 1998) was enacted. It is a commendable Act in a number of respects and it is much wider in scope and application. It also offers victims of sexual offences greater legal protection. The Act is more victim friendly, woman friendly and unlike previous legislation on sex related crimes it is more compassionate towards victims.

For example, prior to SOSPA, only the State could impose Fines against offenders. SOSPA changed that and law courts became empowered to impose Fines against an offender and Compensation to victims of sexual violence as ‘retribution for the harm done to them’ (S.131 (1) (2).

Compensation awards in sex crime cases are revolutionary in that they recognize the real victim in the crime. Moreover, compensation awards are dispensed in conjunction with other punishments including imprisonment, fine and/or corporal punishment.

SOSPA protects the integrity and anonymity of children and women victims of sex crimes in court records and in judicial proceedings by requiring child victims of sexual abuse and women victims of sexual offences to testify in camera.

Victims of sexual harassment not only live with the fear of losing their jobs, possibly their only source of income, they would also be afraid of societal disapproval. Women fear being ostracized. They fear stigma. They fear being isolated from the body politic. And a woman who dares to speak up against sexual harassment becomes not only a professional pariah, but also a social outcast.

However, the  law should take into account, the mental and emotional damage suffered by the victim. It should take into account the damage to dignity, honor and reputation of the victim. The law should also take into account the loss of self-esteem by the victim and therefore, impose a jail penalty on the offender, fines as well as compensation commensurate with the damage suffered.

Since it is left to the discretion of the court, then it is important that Magistrates and Judges show compassion to the victim by giving her a fair hearing and protect the victim’s self-esteem by rebuking defense lawyers of the accused when they cast doubt and aspersions on the victim’s dignity and honor.

The fine imposed currently of 200,000/= Tanzanian Shillings or USD 150 is insignificant. There is room to consider higher fines and awards as well as a mandatory jail sentence.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Children's Book Festival in Tanzania:12-14 June 2014

1st Children’s Book Festival centred on fiction books; opening with a ‘Book Parade’ to launch ‘Place a Book in the Hands of Every Child’ advocacy campaign. It also commemorates the Day of the African Child (with this year’s Global Theme: ‘Right to Participate: Let Children be Seen and Heard’).

WHEN: 
12 - 14 June 2014 
9am-5pm

WHERE: 
National Museum & House of Culture

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Invitation: Yash Tandon's Lecture on EPA & Africa

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Kwaheri Mwanaharakati Fides Chale

Kumbukizi:
Udadisi inasikitika kumpoteza Mwanaharakati na Mwenyekiti Muasisi wa Mtandao wa Jinsia Tanzania (TGNP), Fides Chale. Mdadisi ni miongoni mwa wadau waliobahatika kufundwa uwanaharakati na Mwalimu huyu katika matamasha ya jinsia (GF) na semina za jinsia (GDSS) za kila jumatano. Washiriki wa warsha kuhusu "Haki ya kupata Ajira yenye Heshima, Maisha yaliyo Endelevu na Kipato kinachomwezesha Mtu Kuishi" katika Tamasha la Jinsia la mwaka 2007 tunamkumbuka kwa ucheshi wake, umahiri wake wa kuwezesha mijadala na upendo wake. Mama Kazikupenda ametuachia urithi mkubwa na ni wajibu wetu kuenzi kazi zake kwa kuendelea kupigania haki za wanawake na wanaume wanyonge waliosukumwa pembezoni na mfumo dume.

Tanzia:

Maziko:
"Alhamisi Juni 5, 2014 Misa itakuwa St. Peters kuanzia saa 8 mchana na kutoa heshima za mwisho. Mazishi katika makaburi ya Kinondoni saa 10 jioni" - REPOA

Harvard Kennedy School Info Session in Tanzania


Monday, June 2, 2014

Planners as Public Servants

Planners are first and foremost public servants. Therefore they ought to adhere to their respective professions and not be partisans. However, planning does not occur in a political vacuum. As such they also  need to have a deep and dynamic understanding of the political and cultural contexts in which they are operating.

In the case of urban planning, this would also entail an understanding of the varying, and often conflicting interests of political parties, civil societies, private sectors and the citizenry at large. Since the wider public includes all these entities, planners as public servants ought to be conversant with cost-benefit analysis. Skills in such an analysis, coupled with a high level of integrity, would enable them to balance and meet, with relative success, the needs and demands of the people in regards to a given plan.

The following analogy from a debate on whether the public corporation responsible for supplying electricity in Tanzania should buy power plants from an ostensibly corrupt dealer illustrate this need for a balancing act. By way of analogy, one debater argued that even if a cost-benefit analysis of a predominantly Muslim society indicated that the provision of pork would significantly reduce malnutrition at a lower cost compared to other meat, one would not go ahead with the plan given that this meat is not acceptable in that society. In this case, he aptly argued, the second best option - beef - would be more acceptable and thus less costly, both socially and economically. This shows that a cost-benefit analysis of any public plan should be sensitive enough to also necessarily include cultural/religious and related costs.

One would also expect public planners to be skillful in conflict resolution. As relatively neutral actors in planning, by virtue of being public servants who are supposed to be non-partisans and with no conflict of interests, they could  wield much influence in the decision-making process. By underscoring evidence-based cost-benefit analyses to other actors, they can prevent conflict resulting from lack of information or even knowledge and thus facilitate informed planning. When there is a stalemate between contending parties they can use their legitimacy as unbiased and trustworthy to mitigate or resolve conflict and thus build a consensus on a plan. 

To plan is indeed to choose. We can choose plans that are non-starters. But we can also choose to have effective planning through the creation and sustenance of a critical mass of serious planners.

Buriani Shida Binti Salum

Safari ya Shida Salum katika dunia hii iliyojaa dhiki na simanzi imefikia tamati. Amepumzika sasa. Kadri historia ya Taifa hili inavyoandikwa upya Watanzania tutamkumbuka kwa mengi. 

Hakika Shida Binti Salum alizivaa na kuzimudu kofia nyingi. Alikuwa mzazi, mwanasiasa na mwanaharakati. Wapo wanaomjua zaidi kama mzazi. Pia wapo wanaomfahamu zaidi kama mwanasiasa. Tupo na tunaomtambua zaidi kama mwanaharakati.

Nilikutana naye kwa mara ya kwanza mnamo mwaka 2006 wakati tuliposhirikiana katika utafiti wa taasisi ya HakiElimu kuhusu haki ya kupata taarifa/habari. Alikuwa akitokea kwenye mtandao wa asasi zisizo za Serikali za Kigoma na Kasulu unaojulikana kama Kigoma and Kasulu Non-Governmental Organizations Network (KIKANGONET). Wakati huo sikuwa namfahamu mtoto wake, Zitto Kabwe, ambaye nilikuja kumsikia kwa mara ya kwanza mwaka 2007 hasa baada ya wanaharakati wa Mtandao wa Jinsia Tanzania (TGNP) kuandaa maandamano ya kumuunga mkono katika viwanja vya Mabibo kufuatia kutolewa kwake nje ya ukumbi wa Bunge baada ya kuibua tuhuma nzito kuhusu ufisadi wa Mgodi wetu wa madini wa Buzwagi. Kwa lugha tunduizi ya Kifeministi, hii ina maana nilimfahamu Shida kama yeye - Shida Salum - kabla ya kumfahamu kama Mama Zitto kwa kuhusianishwa na umaarufu mkubwa aliojizolea mwanae katika medani ya kisiasa nchini.

Tunapomkumbuka Shida kama mzazi aliyemlea mwanasiasa mashuhuri pia tusisahau kumkumbuka kama mwanaharakati mahiri aliyeendesha harakati na wenzake kama yeye na kupata ukubali katika jumuiya za wanaharakati kama yeye na si (tu) kama mzazi wa fulani. Katika harakati za kutafuta haki ya kupata taarifa, alishiriki kudhihirisha kiutafiti ni jinsi gani watu wa kawaida, wakiwamo wenye ulemavu, wanakosa fursa ya kupata taarifa muhimu kwa ajili ya umma. Cha kusikitisha ni kuwa hata taasisi zisizo za kiserikali ambazo zinajiona ziko kiharakati zaidi na bora kuliko taasisi za kiserikali nazo hazikuwa mstari wa mbele katika kutoa taarifa muhimu kwa wananchi pale wanapofika kwenye ofisi zao au hata kutuma maombi kwa barua ama kwa kupiga simu.

 Katika harakati huyu ndiye Shida tuliyemfahamu. Mwombolezaji mmoja katika mtandao wa Wanazuoni aliyewahi kufanya kazi katika taasisi ya HakiKazi anamkumbuka hivi: "Nilimfahamu Bi Shida Salum kama Mwanaharakati tokea Kigoma na kisha hapa Dar na Dodoma kwenye harakati zake za kutetea Watanzania wenye ulemavu na maendeleo kwa ujumla. Ameacha legacy." Hii "legacy" yake, ama kumbukumbu ya kupigiwa mfano kwa tafsiri ya haraka haraka, tuienzi katika harakati za kuyafanya maisha ya kila Mtanzania - mdogo ama mkubwa, mwenye ulemavu au asiye na ulemavu, mwanamke na mwanaume - yawe bora (zaidi na zaidi).

Nilipomkuta amekaa mbele ya banda alilokuwa akilisimamia katika maonyesho pale katika Viwanja vya Mnazi Mmoja sikujua kuwa hiyo ndio itakuwa mara yangu ya mwisho kuongea naye. Shida niliyemkuta hospitalini AMI, japo hatukuongea, sauti yake bado ilikuwa ya mwanaharakati asiyekata tamaa, akipambana vikali na moja ya vile ambavyo mmoja wa waasisi wa Taifa letu changa la Tanzania aliviita maadui (wakuu) watatu wa maendeleo (yetu).

Ingawa hatutamsikia akipaza sauti yake mwenyewe katika Bunge Maalum la Katiba na maeneo mengine akiwakilisha kundi la wenye ulemavu, sauti hiyo itasikika kupitia wale aliowaachia makabrasha au waliompokea kijiti. Lakini tusiwaachie tu kina Fredrick Msigallah jukumu nyeti la kutetea na kudai haki hizi ambazo, kwa namna moja au nyingine, zinatuhusu hata na sisi ambao hatuna, ama tunaojiona hatuna, ulemavu. Na moja ya haki (za kiraia) za watu walio na ulemavu ni kushiriki kikamilifu katika siasa kwa maana ya kuongoza, kuwakilisha, kupigiwa na kupiga kura n.k.

Maisha ya Shida ni kielelezo tosha kuwa mwanamke mwenye ulemavu anaweza kuwa mzazi, mwanasiasa na mwanaharakati. Tunapojiandaa na Uchaguzi Mkuu wa mwaka 2015 tukumbuke pia kurekebisha masuala tete na tata yaliyoibuliwa na utafiti huu wa CCBRT kuhusu changamoto za ushiriki wa watu wenye ulemavu katika uchaguzi wa 2010 ambao kwa kweli ulinifungua sana macho. Kwa kufanya hivyo tutakuwa tunaenzi harakati zake.


Kigoma mpokee mwanao. Binti wa Tanzania. Mtoto wa Afrika.

Buriani Shida Binti Salum.

Karibu kwenye ulingo wa kutafakari kuhusu tunapotoka,tulipo,tuendako na namna ambavyo tutafika huko tuendako/Welcome to a platform for reflecting on where we are coming from, where we are, where we are going and how we will get there

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