Don recommends ‘more tougher’ legal action to ‘diminish’ incidences of sexual harassment

IT has been a flurry of activities on the political scene, this past week, as the longawaited report on proposals on how to conduct our political affairs in the country, was handed over to the President.

The Good Citizen of 22 October, dedicated its whole page 2 to this event. A colourful photograph tells it all. The caption accompanying the photograph reads as follows: “President Samia Suluhu Hassan poses with members of ‘a task force’ that she formed to collect views on doing multiparty politics in the country at State House in Dar es Salaam yesterday.”

Now, this task force is well known. Indeed it was appointed by the President 10 months ago to carry out a specific assignment. So, in the caption, it should not be referred to as ‘a task force’, but rather, as ‘the Task Force’. So: “President Samia Suluhu Hassan poses with members of ‘the Task Force’ she formed to collect views ………”. There was immediate reaction on this report from key stakeholders, as is noted in paragraph two of the story: “The reaction came shortly after the task force had handed over its report to President SSH after 10 months of ‘coordinating’ views by stakeholders from different groups across Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar”. Surely, the Task Force’s assignment was to “collect views”, not to “coordinate views”.

This is admitted as much, in the third paragraph of the story: “Tabling the collected proposals, the task force ….. outlined 11 key issues that dominated citizens’ views”. One UDSM don was quoted as advocating for immediate steps to be taken: “He cited some of the issues that needed immediate ‘actions’ ‘like’ the formation of an independent electoral commission and lifting restrictions on political activities”. The above-cited sentence needs some adjustment.

For example, we talk of “immediate action”, not “immediate actions”: “He cited some of the issues that needed immediate ‘action’ ‘as being’ the formation of an independent electoral commission and the lifting of restrictions on the activities of political parties”. A seasoned politician pointed out that political reform in the country had a long history, going back to 1991 when: “The Nyalali Commission proposed, among other things, reintroduction of the multiparty politics and ‘repealed’ 40 laws that were considered to be draconian”. Surely, the Nyalali Commission did not “repeal” the 40 laws. It had no jurisdiction to do so. It just proposed that they be repealed.

To reflect this, we can rewrite the sentence to read as follows: “The Nyalali Commission proposed, among other things, ‘the’ reintroduction of multiparty politics and ‘the repeal of’ 40 laws that were considered to be draconian”. On page 3 of the same paper is a story titled: “Hotspot for sexual harassment named”. Public transport was pinpointed as being one hotspot for such heinous activities. One daladala driver: “when asked if the implementation of a level seat policy would help to ‘to diminish’ the said act”, he answered in the affirmative.

The person who posed the question was most likely thinking of “reducing” rather than “diminishing”, incidences of sexual harassment in public transport facilities. On the other hand, a UDSM alumna thought: “‘More’ tougher legal action should be taken against perpetrators of Gender Based Violence”. The “more”, in the above quotation is redundant.

“Tougher legal action” is adequate. Moving on to page 7, we find an interesting article titled: “Tanzania’s urban petty traders: a reality to stay”? The writer has a mission: “I want to give my views ‘about’ the ‘bursting’ numbers of petty traders and hawkers in Tanzania”.

I get a feeling that by “bursting” the writer had “bustling” in mind. A ‘bustling place’ is full of noise and activity. This is what you see in Kariakoo, Dar es Salaam, and in Makoroboi, Mwanza.

Yes, petty traders and hawkers are here to stay!

lusuggakironde@gmail.com

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