Monday, June 11, 2007

Right to Write.

Haki Elimu, a locally-based NGO, who’s mission is to realize equity and promote democracy in educational institutions by influencing policy and establishing a public dialogue has been silenced. This NGO, which has been instrumental in the recent revelations of government officials embezzling large sums of money out of education programs, and has since its inception gained an increasingly higher reputation amongst educational activists globally, was ordered to suspend all activities until certain conditions were met, the foremost being an apology and a plea of guilt for “upsetting the government and public at large”. This comes after the organization’s long wave of criticism of negative government policy. According to the Tanzania Association of NGO’s (TANGO), “Haki Elimu has become the theme slogan for education rights in Tanzania.” They go on to say that because of Haki Elimu’s efforts, every Tanzanian child is conscious of their educational rights.

The Haki Elimu suspension, rather then increasing public support for the government has rather caused it to plummet, triggering and confirming many earlier notions that the current government is restrictive and has no intention in allowing freedom of expression to be practiced in the country. In the education minister, Margaret Sitta’s own words “the government was ready to take positive and constructive criticism, but observed that when it was apparent that the state would not take anymore of it, punitive measures against Haki Elimu became inevitable.” “No government on earth would keep silent when the freedom of expression was being abused. Haki Elimu was mocking great achievements recorded through people’s participation,’’ added the minister. The sheer absurdity of the government’s action is so apparent; it has caused quite a rift within the ruling CCM party itself. Mgana Msindai (East Iramba- CCM), questioned; ad infinitum, the legality and rationale behind suspending Haki Elimu activities. The representative for Kibaha also demanded to know how accurate Haki Elimu’s claims of corruption actually were.

It clearly evident that the government’s actions were unwarranted, unconstitutional and a violation of free expression acts. Unfortunately however, like every other governmental blunder/crime, the populace’s frustration is barely audible, and they simply endure with the anomalous, subversive whispers in the crowd. It is our duty and obligation to voice our discontent with current government behavior. Speak.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is very interesting to hear the stereotype of "Corrupt Africa" play out from an American perspective. And as I try to resist the judgements, I am silenced by occurences like the one expressed here. But then I always try to find a way to trace it back to colonialism and exploitation by the World Bank etc. and then it just goes way over my head. As if I have no control, helpless and eventually actionless. But I realize the easiest solution. And it is a blog like this one. We need to Unsilence the Taboos because they are only made taboo by Man who really has no control over the forces of the universe, despite what we think. Just keep talking because Truth is inevitable. The government is fucked up but one day Zion's goverement will rule this. In the mean time I encourage this NGO to continue Speaking since it has obviously recoginzed the power of 'Unslience'. The governement may be able to suspend the institutional aspect of the NGO but it sure as hell can't stop the impact of Speaking up and educating the people. And I have no doubt in my mind that the Speaking out will stop.

Kimani said...

It is very interesting to hear the stereotype of "Corrupt Africa" play out from an American perspective. And as I try to resist the judgements, I am silenced by occurences like the one expressed here. But then I always try to find a way to trace it back to colonialism and exploitation by the World Bank etc. and then it just goes way over my head. As if I have no control, helpless and eventually actionless. But I realize the easiest solution. And it is a blog like this one. We need to Unsilence the Taboos because they are only made taboo by Man who really has no control over the forces of the universe, despite what we think. Just keep talking because Truth is inevitable. The government is fucked up but one day Zion's goverement will rule this. In the mean time I encourage this NGO to continue Speaking since it has obviously recoginzed the power of 'Unslience'. The governement may be able to suspend the institutional aspect of the NGO but it sure as hell can't stop the impact of Speaking up and educating the people. And I have no doubt in my mind that the Speaking out will stop.

Black Shepherd said...

kimani, zion's government? care to elaborate?

and you said: "And I have no doubt in my mind that the Speaking out will stop."

the speaking out WILL stop?
here is to hoping it was a typing mistake.

hj said...

kimani, I agree that solving the crisis of silence is the most important way of solving the devastation we face today. I also hope the truth is inevitable, the truth according to us rather than the truth according to him. We should, and must all stand to be heard, and we will.

kifimbocheza said...

the government circular proscribing government cooperation with HakiElimu was issued in September 2005.

This issue was resolved in 2005 after a meeting between Prime Minister Lowassa and HakiElimu in February 2007. See http://hakielimu.org/press.pdf

This post was made in June 2007.

kifimbocheza said...

PS

keep the site going

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