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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Legislators should stand up for the down-trodden

It was a sad day for a section of the populace here in Tanzania when legislators hauled the prime minister over the coals questioning his stand on the albino issue.

My spirit was dampened by the legislators’ actions. These are the very same people who were quiet the while the killings of albinos were going on. They did very little to assuage the misery that albinos were going through – physically and emotionally – but here they were, vehemently talking against the PM’s statements!

I couldn’t bring myself to understand the logic behind the scathing criticisms levelled by these legislators against the PM (a man who was doing something about the albino predicament).

Did they (the legislators) do this because the PM was out to find a solution to an issue that they had turned a blind eye to? Did the PM’s “breaking of the silence on the albino issue” embarrass our self-important legislators – for they are the ones who ought to have been at the forefront in the fight against albino killings? It beats me.

My Two Cents
Legislators are mandated by the electorate to fight for their (the electorate’s) cause in and out of parliament. When people are suffering in a country, legislators should try to come up with solutions.

Now, when debates on how to assuage the suffering, such as the one that has been borne by albinos in Tanzania, do not feature in parliament, one is left wondering whether the people we took to parliament were the right kind of people in the first place. This is the question.

I wonder, too…
There are some motions that have been brought to the House, discussing ways and means of safeguarding the interests of some people – (for instance the motion on how to resolve the impasse between farmers and pastoralist communities).

I am left wondering why the albino issue did/does not get such a forum. Or maybe there are some people whose issues can be discussed while others do not even “risk” a mention – a case of some people being more equal than others.

Maybe this is the same thing that George Orwell foresaw when he wrote his book “Animal Farm” in which we find the expression some are more equal than others.Honourable Al-shaymaa Kwegir, nominated MP in the current parliament. She is an albino.

Hon. Al-shaymaa Kwegir, just know that not all your colleagues in the House pray that albino killings come to an end. So they are not very keen that a solution is found in this issue.

Just know that the whole world is looking to see that violence against albinos comes to a close in Tanzania.

This animosity will not persist for long, believe you me.

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