Monday, April 27, 2009

Education on societal morality and public involvement has been cited as important ingredients needed to win the war against the killing of albinos. Using force alone would not solve the problem, University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) dean of students Dr Martha Qorro said when opening a debate on how to stamp out albino killings. Speaking at the event that was preceded by a demonstration around UDSM main campus, Dr Qorro said the use of force only won?t help to change the perceptions and ideologies of the people. "This is not a matter of showing ympathy or using too much force, it was a matter of changing the mindset of the people? we want to groom people into believing that all human beings are equal," said Dr Qoro. She said there was a need to conduct extensive public awareness campaign to educate people on various issues on albinism as there were a lot of misconceptions about it. Dr Qorro insisted that those engaged in the evil activities of killing fellow human beings in the belief that they might get wealthy fast should be educated. The chairperson of the Tanzania Editor?s Forum, Mrs Sakina Datoo, commended the work being done by the media but added that there was room for extensive investigative journalism to unearth more issues related to myths surrounding albino killings. "Albino killings give a dangerous sign? a sign that our country is heading the wrong direction. Everything starts slowly, when they are done with albinos, next time they will target another group of people," observed Mrs Datoo. She appealed to the public to assist the media in its work to reveal the evils taking place in society on things like albino killings so that the police can get the evidence needed to deal with culprits," she said. One of the participants, Mr George Bakari said it was dismaying that the government failed to protect a section of its people whose population is less than 400,000. The UDSM Human Rights Association chairman, Mr Olengurumwa Onesmo, said the killings create fear as no one knows which group will be targeted next. The debate was organised by the University of Dar es Salaam Human Rights Association in collaboration with German Centre for post graduate studies in Law. Its suggestions will be forwarded to the government, police and other stakeholders for implementation.

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