Opening the National Human Rights Dialogue in Arusha, the Constitutional and Legal Affairs Minister, Dr Augustine Mahiga, said not everything which is spelled as ‘Human Rights’ actually translate into such, because there are some issues applicable only in western countries but can translate into horrid things when forced onto Tanzanian culture.
Dr Mahiga insisted that, the country was on the ‘right tracks’ in the applicability and realisation of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, that entail among other issues, the right to health, education, good governance, social well-being, freedom of expression, movement and entertainment.
“Tanzania rolled out free basic education from primary to secondary level of education, but it has not ended there it has also ensured that students joining higher institutions of learning are provided with loans to see them through their semesters,” explained Mahiga.
The National Human Rights Dialogue was organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Tanzania Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance (TCHRAGG).
The CHRAGG chairman, Mathew Mwaimu said for any country to forge ahead, culturally and economically, it is important for its people to enjoy all rights vital to their survival and productivity.
“Tanzania is the only country in Africa with the National Health Insurance Coverage scheme for all its residents,” pointed out Mwaimu, adding that there are many ways in which the fifth phase government can be lauded for the realisation of basic human rights for the citizens.
Meanwhile, Godfrey Mulisa, who represented the Resident UNDP representative in Tanzania stated that, decentralised governance, freedom of the media and speech were vital components in realising human rights in any country.
James Mbatia, Member of Parliament with the opposition NCCR-Mageuzi party, presented a paper on the ‘Right to free education, and how Tanzania is striving to accomplish this endeavour.
Dr Ayub Rioba, the managing director of the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation moderated the opening session which was graced by the Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS) Richard Kwitega.