Z’bar to amend laws ‘oppressing widows’

22Apr 2021
By Guardian Reporter
Zanzibar
The Guardian
Z’bar to amend laws ‘oppressing widows’

​​​​​​​ZANZIBAR President Dr Hussein Mwinyi has directed relevant authorities to prepare amendments for oppressive laws that deny basic rights to widows in the Isles.

Dr Mwinyi issued this instruction at a meeting with leaders of the Zanzibar Widows Organisation (ZAWIO) at the State House here yesterday.

He said it would be better for ZAWIO to formulate recommendations that can be appropriately used in amending such laws to remove deficiencies causing complaints from widows.

It is not wise for a woman to be divorced from a marriage with children without getting rightful assistance for their upkeep.

Dr Mwinyi explained that there were women who help their husbands to put up sizeable savings or properties, but in divorce they get nothing. “This is not wise at all despite excuses from their husbands,” he said, signaling that he would immediately sign into law any such amendments.

He hailed ZAWIO for the good work in offering services to assist widows in Unguja and Pemba islands, efforts to which the president donated 10m/- to help cover administrative expenses for the NGO and iftar arrangements for 300 widows living in difficult situations.

He also called on the NGO to assist widows from challenges they face in producing various items by seeking out markets for the products..

For her part, ZAWIO chairperson Mgeni Hassan Juma cited efforts made by the NGO, pledging to work on the president’s suggestion immediately, to as to help present formal amendments to the House of Representatives.

Mgeni, who is also Deputy Speaker of the House lauded the president for his support to the cause of ending oppression of widows.

ZAWIO director general Tabia Makame Mohamed listed achievements and challenges facing the organization, set up under the 1995 law governing civil society organisations and registered on December 12, 2019.

As for now, the two islands have about 16,000 widows and the number was rising each day, in which case the organisations has posted coordinators in various Isles regions to train widows on entrepreneurship shills, she added.

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