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Mbeya , Tanzania

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Tanzania`s agricultural growth represents case study.







Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan (R) exchange views with Melinda Gates (L) when the two visited a village in Arusha recentlyFormer UN Secretary General Kofi Annan (R) exchange views with Melinda Gates (L) when the two visited a village in Arusha recently.


The African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF-2012) ended in Arusha city recently. The Forum brought together African leaders, agricultural experts, civil society organisations, farmers and development partners. Correspondent GERALD KITABU who attended the forum highlights reasons why Tanzania was selected to host it.
From September 26 to 28 Arusha city in northern Tanzania hosted the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF 2012), building on the recent momentum to tackle global food insecurity.
The forum was attended by African heads of state, ministers, international and civil society organisations, the private sector, farmers and other stakeholders.
Under the theme, “Scaling up investment and innovation for sustainable agricultural growth and food security”, the forum set the stage for African ownership in the next phase of scaling agricultural development solutions and steering investment to build a sustainable, food secure future.
African leaders, organisations, researchers, ministers, permanent secretaries, international organizations, civil society, the private sector, farmers, AGRA secretariat, officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, and journalists assembled at the Ngurudoto Hotel, defying the morning chilly weather.
The first to arrive at 7.30 am were the conference organizers, followed by the delegates.
Some visibly seen public figures were the first Vice President of Zanzibar, Seif Idd, Second Vice President of Burundi, Eng. Dr. Gervais Rufyikiri, President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Jane Karuku, and President and Chief Executive Officer, Yara International, Jorgen Ole Haslestad.
Joining them from global arena was the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who is the Chairman of AGRA and Melinda Gates, the Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates and the host President Jakaya Kikwete. Different plenary sessions ran simultaneously in different rooms, with some African leaders, agricultural experts, civil society organizations, and other agricultural stakeholders taking part as panelists.
Some of them were Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives Minister, Eng. Christopher Chiza, AGRA President Jane Karuku, and President and Chief Executive Officer, Yara International,  Jorgen Ole Haslestad, editors from different media houses in Africa, to name but a few.
There was tight security as only registered conference participants who had badges were allowed to attend.
Simultaneous interpretation into other international languages such as French and English and sign language were available. To make the public informed, senior journalists and editors from all over the continent and outside Africa were all busy rushing up and downs, defying their comfortable seats to capture every event that was taking place.
As delegates flocked in the Tanzania convention centre, a group of Maasai dancers adorning in traditional dresses jumped high, blowing whistles. One could see the delegates shaking hands and patting each other’s biceps as they were taking their positions in the soft chairs of the convention centre.
There was joy, sympathy, friendship, and laughter throughout as others thanked God for the wonderful progress made on agriculture.
However, casual glances at trees along Ngurudoto Lodge, one could see the birds swaying smoothly on feeble branches they pecked at and preened their feathers excitedly as they were preparing to life themselves on the crests of their high spirits into the luminous softness of that beautiful day of the forum.
More than 1,000 delegates were in the convention centre. A concrete multi-billion self-contained building with all furnished services such as cafes, media centre, exhibitions pavilions, swimming pool, a huge dining hall, name what! But one could ask himself, why was Tanzania selected to host the AGRF 2012?
Tanzania is endowed with huge arable land area estimated at 44 million hectares. However, currently, only 10.1 million ha or 23 percent is cultivated.
The total potential irrigable area is estimated at 29.4 million hectares with different suitability levels with 2.3 million ha of high irrigation development potential, 4.8 million ha of medium potential and 22.3 million ha of low development potential According to the AGRA president Jane Karuku, Tanzania's recent agricultural growth represents a case study of what is possible. For example, in  Kilombero district in Morogoro region, the yields for maize have recently increased for some smallholder farmers from 1.5 to 4.5 tons per hectare; the yields for rice have increased from 2.5 to 6.5 tons per hectare. The goal of the government is to transform Tanzania into a middle income country by 2025, fuelled by growth in its agricultural sector.
On his part, President Kikwete said that agriculture has always been given priority since independence in 1961. Speaking at the opening of the forum, Kikwete said that the most recent initiative to develop agriculture in the country is the 2006 Agricultural Sector Development Programme (ASDP).
“This is 14-year programme aimed at transforming Tanzania’s agriculture through overcoming obstacles to transformation and growth of the agriculture sector,” he told the delegates.
He said, however, that in the course of implementing the programme, it was realised that it was overly dependent on government financing and support from donors. Unfortunately, the government’s financial capacity was very limited and donors financing was not sufficient enough to meet all the needs of the sector.
“Donor support to agriculture in Africa has declined from 18 billion dollars twenty years ago, to 3 billion dollars three years ago before increasing to the current level of 6 billion dollars,” he said.
The President hailed AGRA for its support on agriculture sector, particularly in four inter-linked programmes; namely Africa’s Seed Systems, Soil Health Programme, Market Access Programme and Policy Programme.
He said in 2011 AGRA supported the Ministry of Agriculture to develop the breadbasket strategy. The implementations of the programmes are continuing to bear fruits.
Citing an example, the president said AGRA programmes have helped to reduce distance farmers travel to access agricultural input from an average of 30 kilometres to 16 kms in the 39 districts where the agro dealer development is being implemented.
AGRA’s support has also helped to reduce post harvest losses from 30 percent to 15 percent in Kilombero district.
“These are no small achievements. We want to reassure those who are supporting AGRA that your money is not wasted. It is making a difference in the lives of Tanzania,” said the president.
He requested donors to increase their support, adding that government will increase the involvement of the private sector to address financial, technical and technological challenges facing agriculture.
“In 2008 my government in collaboration with the private sector decided to undertake a joint study of the situation of agriculture in the country and agree on what we can do.
The study concluded that agriculture needed to be given top priority by everybody. The government, farmers, private sector and development partners, we all agree that agriculture should come first and this is what gave birth to the catch-phrase or motto of Kilimo Kwanza meaning agriculture first,” he said.
He said the government will continue with its facilitation and enabling roles. This includes putting in place sound policy and regulatory environment, investing in research and development, providing extension services and building relevant institutions.
AGRA) chairman Dr. Kofi Annan commended Tanzania for its initiatives that are being taken, commitments and determination to transform agriculture sector saying long term solutions to food and nutrition security can be realised.
He said that agricultural investments must rise to at least 10 percent levels of the national budget pledged under the 2003 Maputo Declaration. The right policies are also needed to increase public and private investments.
Commenting on supporting small-scale farmers, Annan said that across the board, there must be an unwavering focus on improving the productivity and profitability of small holder farmers-most of whom are women.
He said they can be supported by creating opportunities to enable them to move from subsistence farming to running their firms as business, and encouraging community cooperation to empower individual farmers.
He also pointed out that there is a need to ensure they are well organized and have access to seeds, fertilizers, knowledge and markets so they can play their full role in Africa’s agricultural transformation and embrace new technologies to give younger generation’s greater opportunity to play a large role in the agricultural revolution.
However, he said larger farms have also a critical role to play, particularly in testing and disseminating new technologies and providing opportunities for aggregating small holder production for market.
“We cannot increase food production in the speed needed without empowering small-scale producers, so it is high time for leaders to take actions and increased funding from donors,” he said.
Linking food security and health issues, Melinda Gates, Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates, called on African governments to take practical actions to improve food security saying that would solve some health issues resulting from hunger and malnutrition.
She said that for a viable productivity, there is a need to empower women as well because they are the ones who work hard and produces more at family level.
“When you look at family level, majority of producers are women. So, we need to respond to what women farmer’s needs,” she said. Annan and Melinda Gates visited rural cassava farmers and a commercial village dedicated to cassava processing in Arusha to learn more about the positive impact that higher yields and increased market opportunities bring to farm families.
They toured a commercial village that is part of the Cassava Village Processing Programme (CVPP) in Meru, an initiative that is supported by AGRA and implemented by Farm Concern International (FCI) in Eastern Africa. The visit was conducted prior to the start of the three-day AGRF 2012.
Melinda and Annan tour of the farms aimed at learning how smallholder farmers in the country are achieving in self-driven agricultural efforts and how their efforts can be transformed and guarantee food security on the African continent.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) also funds the AWM solutions project in Tanzania (AgWater solutions project).
The main goal of the Project is to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers through agricultural water management (AWM) solutions.
Agriculture minister Christopher Chiza said that given the importance of agriculture, which has the potential to alleviate poverty among poor people and enhance economic development, Tanzania has embarked on several programs including policy environment that aimed at making the country food self-sufficient.
“Policy environment is a key issue, Tanzania is committed to making this a reality. We will continue addressing challenges so as to unlock the potentials in agriculture,” he said.
He urged African leaders and other stakeholders to make sure they turn experiences and knowledge gained during the forum into actions adding that the private sector has a key role to play in strengthening food and agricultural support systems.
“That’s why in recent years,” he said, “the government of Tanzania has been committed to working with the sector through public–private partnership to enhance agriculture in the country. My appeal to you all is to turn this into actions and in partnerships to ensure that small farmers particularly women benefit from these interventions in a more profitable and sustainable manner.”
He added: “Let’s not forget that we all should strive to make farming a business that would attract youth to agriculture and increase employment. Without new technologies, better seeds and other farm inputs, it will be difficult to improve agriculture and realise a food secure nation.”


Challenges facing millennium development goals.

Tanzania’s leadership is struggling to promote gender equality to meet the requirements of the Millennium Development Goals. Success of the MDG number 3 and target number 4 are all intended to be portrayed by four major indicators. The goal is to promote gender equality and empower women, while the target is to eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education by 2005 and in all levels of education not later than 2015.
The four indicators are: Ratio of girls to boys in primary, secondary and tertiary education to be equal as well as ratio of literate females to males among 15 – 24 years. Two other indicators are:- share of women in wage employment in the non agricultural sector, to be the same as that of men and proportion of seats held by women in the national parliament to be 50%.
Gender equality can simply be preached and lived; enrolment of children in pre and primary schools has always been done without discrimination among children of both sexes in our country. Nevertheless, the ratio has never been as required.
In 2007, the number of boys enrolled was 4,215,171 while that of girls was 4,101,754. Moreover pregnancy further lowered the number of girls by raising the number of girls’ school drop-out. The men responsible with the pregnancies have been going unpunished, even though the law states that 30 years’ imprisonment is what they deserve for so doing.
What happens is that, a parent who happens to sue a man for impregnating his/her daughter is required to go to court. Going to court takes time, and sometimes bus fare where the court is some distance away. The magistrate may postpone the case three our four times, leaving the parent tired and broke. Without bus fare, the parent will not be able to report again to the court.
Without complainant, the magistrate will not be able to go on with the case. So the accused walks away to ply his trade. Postponement of such cases may be intentional, although some magistrates may give excuses which cannot be denied as genuine.
In some communities, girls are given into marriage at a young age, sometimes as young as 12 or 13 years. Although the law says that any person under 13 years is a child and children are not given into marriage, the same law says that a girl of 14 can be given into marriage at the consent of the parents.
Even if this law is amended, to prohibit such girls of tender age to be given into marriage, yet some culprits will break that law and the principle will again protect such law-breakers; cases will be postponed till complainants lose hope and decide to work in their fields instead of wasting time by going to court where justice is not expected to be dispensed. Again none will be convicted.
The number three indicator which is equal share of women in wage employment in the non agricultural sector cannot be implemented without adequate education being considered. It will not be proper to pick a woman from the streets and employ her in an office, just to balance the number of women against that of men in offices.
The same applies to indicator number four. The proportion of seats held by women in the national parliament will depend on the academic qualifications of the women. When women candidates cannot compete with men academically, voters may vote for them at their peril. Even the president may nominate some of the kind, but such members of parliament will be a burden to the house.
These are only challenges rooted from education. There are more when we consider other aspects. For example, when empowering of women is being considered, land ownership should not be excluded. However, land is acquired through inheritance or acquisition, which is by paying money to buy it. Inheritance can be given by parents to their children. Parents themselves give away their possessions to children according to certain criteria. In some societies, a girl who marries becomes part of the husband’s family. Some parents do not consider such daughters in their wills.
In case they die, what they will inherit will be the deceased mothers’ clothes and maybe jewelry (unfortunately very few women in our culture have jewelry) but not land. Some fathers bequest their possessions to children after weighing what such children are worth. A daughter who had had no income, who had not brought even a half kilogramme of sugar to her father is not likely to get something valuable from such a father, who is the sole owner of land in the family.
As in the case of acquisition, one has to pay money to buy land. A woman who had had no learning, no employment will not be able to buy land. Moreover, money lenders need security for their money. Without security, an ordinary woman is not likely to get a loan from our banks. Some money-lenders who have more lax rules are those who take loans from our banks and lend it in small amounts to their customers, especially “mama-lishes”, who cannot make any development because the rates of interest are high. The lenders have to charge much to pay back their creditors and leave some to pay for their own survival.
In order to meet the MDGs requirements, education obstacles to girls must be dealt with accordingly. The law intended to safeguard children (Education law 25/1978) must be in operation. The Swahili language newspaper, Uhuru of November 20, 2006 reported that 47 girls failed to complete standard seven in Kilombero district because they got pregnant and some of the men responsible with the malady had been dealt with, but others were living with the girls as their wives.
This was an Area Commissioner’s report to his senior, the Regional commissioner. One wonders why these others were given a green light, to live with the pregnant pupils, while the law states plainly that they should be punished.


Sometimes the chains that prevent us from being free are more mental than physical...


October 10 hadi 13 mwaka huu, ilikuwa ni wiki ya huduma za kifedhana uwekezaji, iliyofanyika jijini Dar es salaam.

Katika maonyesho hayo hakuwepo kwa taarifa maalumu ya kuonyesha idadi ya washiriki, lakini ilionekana kuwa na washiriki wengi katika wiki hiyo.

Inawezekana idadi kubwa ya washiriki ilikuwepo kutokana na kutokuwepo kiingilio,pia na kutolewa bure kwa elimu iyo ya ujasiria mali kwenye mabanda zaidi ya matatu kwnye viwanja hivyo.

“nimejua mengi kuhusu namna gani naweza kupata mikopo na jinsi ya kusimamia biashara yangu katika hali ambayo itanipa ufanisi wa kudumu”.

“mimi n mjane,nina watoto wa tatu ambao nawatunza na nimekuwa nahangaika kupata mkopo, nafuga kuku, ambao nafikiri sasa nahitaji mkopo ili nikuze mtaji wangu” anasema Muro.

Anasema ipo haja ya wiki ya huduma za fedha zikaendeshwa katika maeneo mengine nchini ili kuwasaidia watanzania wengi zaidi ambao tafiti zinaonyesha kwamba hawana ujuzi wa kusimamia fedha zao kwa ufasaha.



Muro anasema kutokuwa na elimu ya kutosha kuhusu elimu ya fedha, kumesababisha watu wengi kushindwa kulipa madeni wanaokpa benki.

“nilichogundua kwenye wiki hii ya fedha ni kwamba taasisi nyingi za mikopo nchini zimekuwa hazitoi elimu nzuri ya mikopo , na taasisi hizo zinafanya hivyo kwa lengo la kuwadhulumu hasa katika marejesho na kupitia riba za mkopo, lakini hakupewa elimu jinsi atakavyoendesha biashara yakeau kusimamia fedha yake sawasawa..”



Taarifa ya taasisi ya Bogach Finance Co.Ltd inaeleza kwamba ni lazima mkopaji awe na sababu ya uhakika ya kuchukua mkopo huo, kabla ya kuamua kufanya hivyo.

Bogach Finance Co. Ltd imekwa ikitoa mikopo kwa ajili ya watakaotaka kujiendeleza kielimu, kulipia pango la nyumba,kununua viwanja na huduma za mikopo kwa vikundi.

Kampuni hiyo imebainisha kwamba siri moja ya kuw a na mafanikio mazuri yatokanayo na mkopo ni kutimiza malengo ambayo muombaji anakuwa amejiwekea kabla ya kuamua kukopa.

Baadhi ya wakopaji wamebaini kwamba zipo taasisi ambazo zinatoa mikopo bila kubainisha aina ya riba wanatozwa katika mikopo wanayotaka.

Mfanyabiashara wa soko l kariakoo Jonathan Kihaule , ambaye alikwenda kwenye wiki ya huduma ya fedha , alisema kuna benki zimekuwa zikifurahia wakopaji kutokuwa na elimu ya mikopo.

“nilichogundua baada ya mafunzo, kutokuwa na elimu ya kifedha kunasababisha matatizomengi katika maisha. Kwa mfano mtu anaeza kukimbilia riba ya asilimia mbili kwa mwezi, ambayo ukichanganua ni sawa na asilimia 24 kwa mwaka na kuacha riba ya asilimia 10 kwa mwakaambayo ni nafuu”

Anasema kihaule.

Mfanyabiashara huyo amewashauri watanzania kujua muda wa marejesho ya mkopo, masharti ya riba kabla ya kukimbilia kukopa kwa kuwa kadri muda wa kurejesha mkopo unapokuwa mrefu riba pia inakuwa kubwa.

Kwa mfano, mkopo wa sh5 milion unatozwa riba ya 24% kwa mwaka ukitaka ukatwe ndani ya miaka mitatu riba itakuwa 964,000 lakini watu wengi hawana ufahamu kuhusu hilo.



Kumekuwa na malalamiko kutoka kwa baadhi ya wakopaji kwamba baadhi ya taasisi zimekuwa zikiwatangaza watu wanaokopa mikopo katika taasisi hizo jambo ambalo kampuni ya huduma ya fedha ya Finscope Survey imeonya tabia hiyo.

Finscope Survey inakiri kwamba watoa mikopo wamekuwa wakitangaza taarifa za wateja wao kwa watu wengine na kukiukasheria za mikopo ya Benki Kuu ya Tanzania( BOT Act2007).

Taarifa za mkopaji zinatakiwa kuwa siri kati ya ofisi ya mkopo na mteja wake kwani kutoa siri ya mtu mwingine ni kinyume cha sheria.



Mchambuzi wa maswala ya uchumi kutoka Zanzibar, Hawa Maljuni, anasema mkopaji yoyote anatakiwa kuwaza kwa makini kuhusu dhamana ya kuweka hasa kwa mikopo inayotaka mkopaji kuweka nyumba, gari au biashara kama dhamana kabla ya kupewa mkopo.

“kuna watu wengine wamepoteza gari, nyumba baada ya kuweka dhamana ili wapate mkopo. Ukweli ni kwamba unatakiwa kuweka gari au nyumba yako iwapo tu una uhakika kwamba una uwezo mkubwa wa kurudisha deni kwa wakati” anasema Hawa.

Kama una wasiwasi kuhusu kurejesha mkopo usikubali kuweka dhamana ya gari au nyumba. Pia imebainika asilimia 21 tu ya wakazi wajiji la dare s salaam na vitongoji vyake wana elimu ya usimamizi wa fedha huku asilimia 48 wana ufahamu wa kuweka akiba, hii ni kwa mujibu wa utafiti uliyofanywa na taasisi ya kifedha ya Finscope .

Kwa mujibu wa ofisa mmoja wa taasisi hiyo, Ally Goronya, karibu asilimia 80 ya wananchi wote jijini dar es salaam hawana ufahamu kuhusu maswala ya mkopo.

Utafiti unabahinisha, asilimia 54 ya wanawake wote jijini dare s salaam wanaochukua mkopo wengi wao wameishia kunyang’anywa dhamana wanazoweka ili kufidia fedha wanazokopa.

Kwa mfano, vyombo vya ndani, kama friji na mali nyinginezimekuwa zikichukuliwana taasisi za fedha kutokana na wakoaji kuwa na elimu duni ya kutunza fedha na kurudisha kwa wakati.

Utafiti huo ulifanyika mwaka 2009 na kubaini kuwa kutokuwa na elimu ya kutosha kuhusu fedha kumesababisha watanzania wengi kushindwa kufikia malengo ambayo wameweka kabla ya kuchukua mkopo.

Wateja wengi wanachukua mikopo wamekuwa wakidhulumiwa haki zao kwa sababu hawana elimu ya kutosha kuhusu fedha.

Mratibu wa wiki ya huduma za fedha, Godfrey Kivamba,anasema zaidi ya wajasiria mali 1600 walihudhuria na kupatiwa mafunzo, na jitihada zinafanyika kuhakikisha watu wengi wanapatiwa elimu.

Anasema lengo la mpango huo ni kutoa elimu kuhusumatumizi bora ya taasisi za fedha hasa suala la mkopo kwa kuwa wananchi wengi nchini hawana elimu ya kutosha, ukilinganisha na nchi kama Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, na nyingine nyingi za Afrika.

Mafunzo yaliyotolewa na pamoja na kutambua jinsi ya kufungua kampuni, mikopo na biashara.

Ofisa mikopo wa wajasiriamali wadogo katika benki ya CRDB, Frank Peter, anasema wajasiriamali wanakabiliwa na matatizo ya mitaji na kukosa elimu sahihi kuhusu jinsi ya kukopa katika taasisi za fedha.

Chanzo: Mwananchi, oct 18 2012

INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM 2011* The UN Internent Governance Forum (IGF) takes place in Baku Azerbaijan from November6-9 this year. During the last year UN IGF in Nairobi, The Gender Dynamic Coalition met and resolved as follows.   The Gender Dynamic Coalition would like to bring to the attention of the 6th UN IGF the continued gender imbalance in both the participation (as speakers and participants of workshops and sessions) and the substance of the discussions. As the Internet rapidly transforms our lives and societies, we need to be cognizant of the way it transforms power, and recasts the rights of those in the margins, especially socially and economically marginalised women. We need to fully address cultural barriers to the full exercise of women's human rights, including among other aspects, access to information, participation in public spaces, and freedom of expression. Women and girls have, in creative ways, explored and appropriated the power of the Internet to define their agenda and influence social norms and public policies. This active agency of women is an indicator of how the Internet is an exciting frontier of political activity for social change. It also suggests the need for public authorities to develop strong policy frameworks that strengthens the Internet as a public domain and uphold its architectural openness as non-negotiable to ensure equitable participation of the marginalised. Public policies at national levels in all social and economic domains need to keep pace with the rapid changes being ushered in by the Internet and also pay heed to the inherent tensions arising in the Internet ecology - for instance between the right to privacy and the right to know - managing them not through retrograde, patronising and patriarchal visions of women's needs and rights, but with a strong commitment to human rights, equality and social justice. There is increasing evidence to show how private interests and state control can compromise the potential of the Internet to be an open and inclusive space. The Gender Dynamic Coalition: 1. recognises the role of the state and private sector as key actors and request that they ensure accountability and the securing of privacy rights to create an enabling environment for the fulfillment of rights 2. considers that the IGF must move in the direction of helping national level legal and policy processes as well as regional bodies engaged in policy making, to frame issues and agenda in a manner that brings in gender justice not as an afterthought, but an essential ingredient of policy considerations 3. recommends the participation of women’s rights groups in the deliberations and decision-making of the national, regional and the global IGF processes. 4. recommends that the IGF support and adopt a gender audit for planning sessions at the 7th IGF. Considering all these, the Gender Dynamic Coalition supports the call to make human rights the theme of the IGF in 2012 and in doing so pay equal to attention to women's rights that emphasises a rights-based approach in place of protectionist solutions.
FOCUS ON GENDER BASED VIOLENCE “Numbers don’t lie” Nearly 50% percent of all sexual assaults worldwide are against girls 15 years or younger, according to a 2003 United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) report. Between 15% and 71 % report of women report physical or sexual violence by a husband or partner. Between 4% and 12% of women reported being physically abused during pregnancy. Up to one in five women and one in 10 men report experiencing sexual abuse as children. An estimated 100 to 140 million girls and women worldwide are currently living with the consequence of female genital mutilation (FGM). “Female students are at greater risk to suffer sexual violence, but most of them do not report. This leads to physical emotional and psychological problems.” Source GBVnews   
What disabled want in the new constitution... FORTY-year-old James Mkwega is the councillor for Gumanga ward, Mkalama district in Singida region. He wants an article in next Katiba dedicated to the rights of people living with disabilities. Mkwega also wants councillors and Village Executive Officers to be renumerated for the job they do because they are closest to the wananchi and play a significant role in running local communities. To him, without them, that concept on local government loses meaning. Those are some of the considerations he wants in the new constitution. But that is not Mkwegas only highlight. Councillor Mkwega is a Person Living with disability (PLWD), and true to his liking for leadership, he suggests that the next constitution should provide for allocation of more leadership posts for them majorly because they are a minority group but have untapped talent in many ways. Let us be given more chances in Parliament, but let the constitution also pronounce that PLWDs have free given access to social services, he said. The system and way of life is complicated for us. I am here as a councillor because I fought my way through even with the foul language during campaigns of opponents focusing their wrath on my disability, he said, adding, So how many potential good leaders are out there but we are missing them because they are afraid of coming out because of the rough environment for them to reach the top? he queried. Mkwega highlighted his perspectives when he was giving his views to the Constitution Review Commission when it went to Ibaga village, Gumanga ward to collect wananchis views on the new constitution. He said it should contain rights of People Living with disabilities along issues of employment and access to social services. He also suggested that they should scrap special seats in Parliament for women and instead give them to People living with disabilities, noting that it should be entrenched in the Constitution in response to the demand for equal opportunity for them, given the prejudicial attitude that have been held about PLWDs in many parts of the country for years. His view was also shared by Ladislaus Massawe, a 22 year old teacher at Kinampanda teachers college,who said that special womens seats in Parliament should be scrapped and instead given to People Living with Disabilities. The idea of free social services for PLWDs continued to have more support with Augustine Bunda,a 39 year old farmer at Ibaga village,Gumanga ward in Mkalama district, joining Ignus Gota, 45, a farmer at Ibaga village that they should receive free health care and special seat in the Parliamant be allocated to them. The concern for PLWDs went on with Shaban Malise, a 34 year old teacher saying that the health sector should be asked to plan to change physical structures of hospitals for easy PLWD access. He said the Katiba should give them right to access educational institutions and facilities, and the right to reasonable access to all places and public transport. Involving People Living with Disabilities (PLWDs) in hospital design is important to offset the current situation where many more still dont access health facilities because of the unfriendly nature of the designs of many public health centres, he said. He said that making building designs accessible to People Living with disabilities is important for their education institutions as well, because it is inline with the policy on inclusive education. He said that due to the topographical nature of some rural areas, the health facilities situated on hilly points should have these adjustments. This makes it difficult for People Living with Disabilities (PLWDs) to access such facilities and many of their services thus in a way marginalizing them, he said. It was raised that hospitals (both private and public) should be welcoming places, and disabled people should not expect difficulties when using a hospitals facilities. He told the Commission that there are still a large amount of buildings that are hard for such a group of people to access. We have to get this right. Funding for many district councils may not be able to support this but the next dispensation has to see what works best to meet their needs and to get feedback about the accessibility of existing hospital structures, he said. He said that for example, the deaf have learnt to compete and succeed in harsh environments where authorities dont effectively implement policies that concern PLWDs, which in turn would have accorded them equal rights in schools, hospitals, colleges or other institutions. He said that if their circumstances are recognized, they would be able to shatter barriers and seek leadership positions in various fields. He said there is a need to feed more sign language interpreters in more institutions such as hospitals and schools. How do doctors attend to deaf people when they do not understand sign language? Isnt it high time the Government employed interpreters in hospitals. This should be a right entrenched in the constitution. he said The electronic media, he said, have also alienated the deaf. There are no sign language experts in the studios to help the deaf people follow news on television, he charged, adding his group is calling for more schools for the deaf across the country. There are about only 40 schools for the deaf across the country. We need to establish more modern school for the deaf in every district because there are many children with hearing disabilities who cannot attend normal schools, he said. He added: Some schools do not even have deaf teachers while those employed either by government have to endure frequent intimidation, mistreatment especially those who raise issues affecting the deaf pupils. He said most special teachers including the principals cannot even use sign language fluently yet they are expected to serve deaf pupils. Some education inspectors assigned to monitor special schools, he said, do not even know Sign Language. Then how can our childrens (living with disability) concerns be addressed,? he queried. He added, Considering the huge need we have here, I think more health practitioners should be trained especially in sign language so that they can comfortably communicate with PLWDs when they come to access hospital services, The line of contribution however extended to other issues. Saidnali Rajab, a farmer at Guwanga said political leaders should be treated in local hospitals, a practice he argued would compel them to make decisions that would improve local social services. Edward Mangesa, an electrician at Mwangeza village said state organs should be non partisan and with no political inclination, especially those that deal with security like the Police. Another farmer, Richard Manjano, 35, suggested that students should be able to tour tourism sites in the country at no cost, since it is the same generation that would have to promote the sector at the international level. Speaking for the health sector, Emmanuel Mlambo, 40, an electrician said that ordinarily, doctors are not questioned when a patient dies in their hands and it is the same person who writes the death certificate. He opined that the next Katiba should provide that if relatives of the deceased are not satisfied with the doctors report on the cause of death of their relative, they should be provided to get another independent doctor to prove the exact cause of death through post mortem.