Kagera Press Club chairman Mbeki Mbeki (Photo By Our Photographer)
BY MUTAYOBA ARBOGAST, TANZANIA
GOVERNMENTS all over the world have been reminded to exercise justice when a journalist is suspected of breaching the law by robust investigations, transparent processes and sound legal systems.
Issuing a statement on International Day to end impunity for crimes against journalists, a day commemorated annually November 2, Committee to Protect Journalists(CPJ), Advocacy and Communication Director, Gypsy Guillèn Kaiser, said that convictions will convince the masterminds and perpetrators that censorship by murder is no longer possible.
That, over the past 15 years, there has been advances and hard-won victories, to show the justice is possible.
“According to CPJ’s 2021 Impunity Index, there is complete impunity for 81% of journalists murders during the last decade. Yet, the rallying cry for justice in the murder of journalists, cannot be ignored”, says Gypsy.
He cited the killing of Sri Lankan journalist,Lasantha Wicramatunga in January 2009, who was a probing reporter, whose distinct voice loomed large, exposing unsavoury truth that disturbed the grip of those in power, but”Ten years later,Lasantha’s case is one of the three to form part of ‘The in the murder of journalists grassroots effort to impart justice that will open in The Hague on November 2″, informed Gypsy.
In Tanzania, media practitioners commemorate the day by asking the government to create a conducive environment for journalists to carry their obligations in full capacity.
Edwin Soko, chairman for Organisation of Journalists Against Drug Abuse and Crime in Tanzania(OJADACT), said one of the reforms the government should take is to sign the United Nations Convention against Torture and other inhuman, degrading treatment or punishment(UNCAT).
Mbeki Mbeki, chairman for Kagera Press Club*KOC), affiliate to Union of Tanzania Press Club(UTPC), said various reforms should be done to enable journalists to exercise their duties for the betterment of the country.
However, he said, his organisation has been carrying its activities to serve the community in a successful way, though are some challenges to be addressed.
He said, one of the activities tasked, is to voice out the voiceless including women, girls and children.
He pleaded to the lawmakers to write off The Law of Marriage Act 1971, which allow a girl to marry at 14, as it is conflicting with other laws (which regard the age to be of a child), The Law of Child Act 2009 and on laws protecting children against sexual abuse.
The conflicting laws affect the girl child to young marriage and pregnancies which deny her the right of education and other social opportunities. That the married child, give birth to a child who is unable to take care of, thus a kid suffers from various diseases and state of psychological health which hamper early childhood development especially to children under eight,which at this stage the brain is developing to learn the world around them.