Pass exams after demolition? I leave it to God, says Aisha

03Sep 2017
Aisia Rweyemamu
Guardian On Sunday
Pass exams after demolition? I leave it to God, says Aisha

IF I had the authority, I would have postponed the date for standard seven national examinations, says Aisha Mariki (14) a standard seven pupil at Mashujaa primary school in Sinza, Dar es salaam.

Aisha Mariki (14) second right sitting alongside her parents whose house was demolished at Kimara stopover in Dar es salaam, the standard seven pupil is expected to sit for the national examination on Wednesday.

Her parents are among people whose houses were recently demolished at Kimara along Morogoro Road to pave the way for the construction of the six lane expressway from Dar es Salaam to Chalinze.

“I am not psychologically normal since the day I saw our house being pulled down. I can hardly concentrate in class, or prepare for exams,” she says.

She says she fears poor performance during exams which commence on Wednesday.

Aisha is among a number of standard seven pupils in the area whose family houses have been demolished and have no place to call home and study even as exams are around the corner.

The Mashujaa primary school pupil says following the demolishing, she has absconded from school for three weeks now as her parents have lost everything they had been working for especially the house.

She told The Guardian which paid a visit at the site of their demolished house that she can no longer study as it is sun during the day and dark at night as they sleep on bare ground, with ‘passerby’ protection.

“This is our new home,” she said, pointing to a single erected tent at the site where she sleeps alongside her sisters and parents.
At the time The Guardian visited the place, the family was found having Ugali and spinach for lunch.

She says among other reasons for absconding classes is lack of transport to and from school.

“The office where my father used to work around Kimara was demolished and the owner closed shop,” she says.

According to her, the family was now living in hardships with the only thing she keeps thinking about is not exams but having a new home, whether her parents will ever have a house like the one they had before.

She says their lives were normal and happy, enabling her to be committed to her studies before the demolition, but the spirit of hard work has evaporated since the demolition.

“I am confused, I do not know what tomorrow brings because we are now homeless like street children,” she says.

However, despite her unpreparedness for the exams, she will still sit for the exams on Wednesday just like other pupils.

“I feel like postponing exams until I recover from this effect of sleeping on bare ground with my parents and siblings, but I have no choice,” she says.

The pupil says despite it being hard to accept the situation especially when she has to narrate to friends on how they were enduring the night cold, she hopes one day they will own a house again.

“My parents were landlords and had investments in the area but we have lost everything in just a single day,” she further says.

She adds: “I like school because I know school is the only chance for a better future, but I cannot study in the sun or in the dark out in the cold at night.”

She says she has left everything to God on whether she will pass or not do well in the standard seven national examinations on Wednesday.

Aisha’s father Mariki Jeta is a welder by profession. He says they are living a ‘hunting life’ without knowing their future lives and that of their children,.

He says he has four children who entirely depend on him and all his money was invested in the place he called home.

“The government should not leave us without compensation,” he says, noting tht this would enable them to restart their lives.

Among other victims is Hafidhi Fadhili (17), a form four student at Kibwegere secondary school who is expected to sit for his form four examination next month.

He says he has also not been attending classes since the demolition of their house in the area.

“My friends have been calling me to find out the reasons for not attending classes,” he says.

He says his mother passed away and he is staying with his grandmother on the properties her mother left as investment for his studies.

“Since the demolition, we no longer have money and I do not have the bus fare to and from school,” he says.

He calls on President John Pombe Magufuli to compensate the victims of demolitions to restart their lives so that he can be assured of his studies.

The demolition exercise along Morogoro Road is intended to pave the way for the construction of six lane Dar es Salaam-Chalinze expressway, officials insisted.