Saturday, March 29, 2008


ELIAS MHEGERA, Friday, March 28-April 3, 2008
CITY authorities should take immediate measures to handle a growing number of street beggars. As there is a fast growing number of this population at an unprecedented speed, there are clear indications that the situation might be even more pathetic in other regions.
One is drawn into a conclusion that the mushrooming of street beggars particularly in Kariakoo is a response calculated to send a strong message to the concerned authorities.
The message is clear too, that these people have been neglected by their closer relatives, and that there are no institutions which cater for their immediate demands like food, shelter, clothes etc.
It has to be understood that disabled people are part of the society: therefore they deserve to be accorded every kind of services which will make them live comfortably and feel that they are part of the entire society.
Tanzania has ratified and signed the international covenants and treaties in regard to human rights; therefore there is a need to pay attention to economic, social and cultural rights of every citizen in order to guarantee enjoyment of civil and political rights.
A hostile environment to disabled people and a lack of institutional response to their demands make them vulnerable to other social menaces like the HIV-AIDS infections. Apart from that, this group of neglected people involves a big number of school dropouts due to poverty, subsequently this leads to an increse of orphans.
Disabled people could contribute to our national economy if they are supported with amenities and resources which could enhance petty businesses. On the contrary these people are victims of stigma and discrimination, they lack care and support to attend schools and make a positive contribution for our economy.
Disregard to the disabled has another impact which is mainly psychological due to the fact that there are no guarantees of care when they fall sick, or whenever they fall victims of personal health problems.
Unhappiness, stigmatization and discrimination just contribute to negative behaviours as a response to the social rejection. Hence there is a need for strong advocacy and support from all leaders who have the capacity to influence the society as a whole, and make informed decisions.
Apart from material support disabled needs guidance and deliberate actions from committed people with 'the spirit to serve'. In this way we can easily support any initiative including mobilization of resources to confront the problem.
The strenth and magnitude of the people's response will correspond with, well to the way political and governmental leadership handles the matter. Constant perpetual encouragement and persuasion will ensure more people taking actions as opposed to a rather laissez-affaire attitude.
There is a need to dicourage all negative attitudes towards the disabled. For that matter, there is need for formulation of and implementation of policies and advocacy by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to engage other partners, for instance NGOs, agencies, both at local and international level to implement the programme of averting the problem.
Partnership will increase material and financial resources for the programme. The current ministerial infrastructure can be used to facilitate implementation of the programme and counselling the victims.
Technical committees can be formulated by human rights activist groups to oversee the implementation of regulations, and programmes in supporting the marginalized groups.
In this endeavor religious institutions like the Christian Relief Services (CRS), or the Islamic relief agencies could be co-opted to man personnel who can work together with CBOs, NGOs and with other faith organizations in supporting the existing institutional framework.
To start with disabled people should be enlighted on international agencies which support their course. For instance, the Disabled People's International (DPI), which is a network of national organizations or assemblies of disabled people, established to promote human rights of disabled people through full participation, equalization and development.
The goals of DPI are clearly stipulated in its 2007-2011 strategic plans as promotion of human rights of disabled persons, promotion of human rights of disabled persons, promotion of economic and social integration of disabled persons and development and support of organizations of disabled persons in line with the UN Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRDP).

Thursday, March 27, 2008


ELIAS MHEGERA, FRIDAY, March 28-April 3, 2008
CLOSE to the end of the year 2007, Kenya, one of former three East African countries before the inclusion of Burundi and Rwanda, conducted general elections. The results and the aftermath of those elections now remain just a sad history to Kenyans and other well-wishers. However, it is better that we recapitulate here and there in order to build a sold foundation for permanent tranguilty in the whole of East Africa.
It has to be known from the outset that the Kenyan situation was just culmination of the long term dissatisfaction in part of the countries' populace, due to nepotism and unequal distribution of resources and services. Although there are claims that the political tussle had its roots in the colonial legacy, but much has been contributed by greedy politicians who have failed to deliver to the expectations of their subjects.
On the other hand, it is much better to acknowledge the willingness to surrender power after defeats in elections which led to smooth transitions of power as it occured in Zambia when Kenneth Kaunda lost to Frederick Chiluba (1991), another example is Malawi where Kamuzu banda surrendered power to bakili Muluzi after he had lost in 1994 general elections. Furthermore, we have an example of Ghana where John Atta Mills , a presidential aspirant from the PNDC accepted defeat in December 7, 2004, from the opposition by John Kuffuor.
Elections results in the mentioned countries were in favor of the opposition, but the incumbent succumbed into smooth transitions by rendering power to those who had won elections. The Kenyan situation, therefore, is a sad one where the defeated captured power and wrangled for power sharing negotiations from the point of strength denying the deserving such an opportunity.
A tracer analysis would start with what happened during the orange vs. banana constitutional referundum in November 2005, a referundum that dismantled the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC). Therefore it was clear from the outset that Kenyans had already decided their political fate longer before the disputed election results.
A clear indication to this assertion is the number of members of parliament from that party even though the statistics were startling, but indicated that it scored (99) seats, PNU (43), ODM-K (16) and KANU (14).

Monday, March 24, 2008


Welcome to Mhegera's data bank. The aim of this databank is to communicate with people from different backrounds without any kind of discrimination, racism or chauvinism. It is my hope that through this databank I will gain a lot more from people of different exposures with an aim of exchanging ideas, experiences and eventually share the joy of life.

Currently in my country Tanzania we journalists are busy trying to do every effort in order to change the attitudes of those who are enjoying in causing misery and torture to the innocent civilians. For instance in Tanzania particularly in the lake zone there are a lot of killings of albinos and the main believe is that parts of their bodies can be used to increase fish catches and good fortunes to small miners.

Apart from that it is the problem of corruption which is inherent in many African countries. Therefore it is the duty of the media to tackle this problem as it is well known that media has the 'watch dog' task of combating crimes in the society. It is my believe that you will be a contributor to that mission.

Once again welcome all!

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Mr. Elias Ibrahim Mhegera was born on June 10th, 1963 in the goldrich township of Geita, which is one among the six districts of Mwanza region. The author grew up in a fervent Christian family of the late Ibrahim Izidory, and Flavia Dominico, later Mrs Flavia Izidory. Being the fourth born of the ten children, the author was very much inspired by the ideals of strong African personalities, particularly ideas of Kwame Nkrumah who eventually became his unelligible mentor throughout his life.
The author was registered in Geita Mission Primary School in 1972, he spent two years in that school before being transferred to Nzera Bugando Primary school, and Kishinda Primary School subsequently following his father's transfers as a normal routine to Tanzanian civil servants. In 1979 he joined St. Mary's Seminary Nyegezi, Mwanza. He completed 'O' level studies in 1982, he was recalled for 'A' level studies where he spent two years, from 1983 to 85 when he completed form six.
As a compulsory measure he joined national service at Bulombora camp in kigoma region, and Maramba camp in Tanga region subsequently. He joined the University of Dar es Salaam in 1987 and he was supposed to graduate in 1990, but the university was closed for one academic year follwing political ferments of that era. He graduated with a BA(ED), Hons-in Political Science, History and Education in 1991.
Mr. Mhegera taught politics (Development Studies), for one year at the then Dar es Salaam Technical College, Now Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT). He later on in the same year, 1992, joined the Immigration Department where he worked for seven years. Meanwhile he also pursued a one year PostGraduate Diploma (PGD), in International Relations and Diplomacy at the Centre for Foreign Relations in Kurasini Dar es Salaam.
As from 1999, he rejoined the teaching career starting with Tabora Boys Secondary School where he taught History and General Studies to A level students, he was later transferred to Mwenge Secondary School in Singida region, and later to Bukoba Secondary School in Kagera region. He left government service to join his former school Nyegezi Seminary where he taught for four years consecutively. Meanwhile he managed to pursue a three months short course in Broadcasting and News Reporting at St. Augustine University of Tanzania in Nyegezi, Mwanza.
He later on pursued a Masters in Mass Communications at the same university. At the time of preparing this blog the author was employed on full time basis with The Business Times Ltd. where he was writing for two newspapers Business Times an English broad sheet newspaper and Majira a Swahili tabloid newspaper. He was as well working with Radio Times FM within the same Company.
Mr. Mhegera has attended various courses and workshops in journalism, sub-editing, corruption, photography and environmental issues. He is mainly interested in investigative journalism, politics, and environmental issues. Mr Mhegera is a human rights activist and a champion for democracy. He is married to the former Miss Martina Adrian Mpande and they have been blessed with two children Ibrahim who was born in 2000, and Claudia who was born in 2004. Prior to his marriage the author had one child (a son) Revelian who was born in 1990.
Contacts: Telephone 0754 826272.