Thanks for writing. Indeed, the attack on Dr. Ulimboko, the cover-up which followed thereafter and mumblings of the govt., the prime minister and the president over it paint a very pathetic picture of the country. If those who now claim it is a Kenyan criminal and his cohorts who carried out that horrendous crime, therefore, hardly should we accuse our own government of committing such a deplorable offense, I think they got it totally wrong as their small minds have now added an international dimension to the criminal act and I believe we will soon hear the Kenyan govt. and its citizenry demanding a thorough investigation be carried by an independent commission comprised by, among others, of officials from the Kenyan government and its security organs so as to ascertain the validity of the statement given by the Tanzanian police. Hence, a minor local problem involving the President and his govt. settling their scores with our doctors has been mishandled to such an extent that it has now spilled out of our borders to involve a neighbouring country while at the same we read of our doctors pleading to the international community through the UN office in Dar for help to fend off pressure, harassment and intimidation from their own government and its security organs including the police and intelligence services. And now we also learn that teachers are about to protest as well, read tc1, tc2.
The way our government treats cases of valid demands and concerns of its citizens as if such demands and concerns lack merit, with illegal methods used to harass, silence, maim and intimidate protestors leaves no space and amicable options to pursue this matter other than through international condemnation and other coercive measures to pressure our government and as you know there are quite a number of avenues the doctors, civil and human rights organizations in Tanzania can pursue to put pressure on the Tanzanian govt. One needn’t go far to find workable examples to follow. Take the example of the recent Magnitsky Bill in the US, named after Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer whose death in police custody generated international media attention and launched an investigation into allegations of abuse. The Bill which is currently in the US Congress aims atpunishing Russian officials behind the death of Sergei Magnitsky (watch VIDEO and read Mg1, Mg2, Mg3, Mg4, Mg5) . People are now talking of making the bill have an international dimension by expanding its outreach to include all those in other parts of the world who are involved in human rights abuses in their countries – read (also read about human rights abuses in Russia here). Those government officials, people in the police force, intelligence services, prosecution, courts and other state organs in one way or the other involved in committing crimes like that on Dr. Ulimboko and similar atrocities, or those who have been involved in the poisoning of politicians like Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe, threats on the lives (read thr1, thr2,thr3, thr4, thr5) of Zitto Kabwe, Samuel Sitta, Dr. Slaa, John Mnyika, Godbless Lema and many others in Tanzania could fall under the hammer of this bill which calls for the denial of visas to visit the US and other countries which have passed similar bills and restrictions on those accused – read! If President Kikwete will fail to take prompt and effective measures to arrest the problem of human rights abuses by the police, intelligence organs, prosecution and courts in Tanzania, and if it will be proven that he or his govt. are in one way or the other complicit in committing these crimes, don’t be surprised to hear one day that he himself has fallen victim to this bill, which calls for barring any state official including the president to visit the mentioned foreign countries. And taking into account how much our president and government officials like to travel, especially to the US, UK, Canada and other western countries which have passed or are about to pass similar bills, and also due to our country being too much dependent on foreign aid for budget support and other needs, this will mean the end of his presidency, that of his govt. and those in the police force, intelligence services, prosecution and the courts who commit human rights’ abuses. So, it is very important that our govt. and president solve the doctors’, teachers’ and workers’ problems expeditiously and in good faith without resorting to any illegal, moreover, thuggish methods like those employed onDr. Ulimboko.
Finally, I find it hard to understand how our president and his government intend to solve family planning in Tanzania as he declared at the recent summit in UK which he attended (read JK1, JK2, JK3) without having doctors, which he has sacked in hundreds (read dct1, dct2, dct3), and now more than a thousand of them are about to join demonstrations as noted in this article. We also see Zanzibari doctors on the verge of protesting like their counterparts on the Mainland – read! What is surprising, however, is that how is it that doctors are currently striking in Portugal, for example, protesting against govt. austerity measures which entail as well cuts in salaries and the health budget, the government has reduced overtime, increased prices for prescription medication and even closed certain services – read Pt1, Pt2, Pt3. Overworked doctors have denounced a "worrying and dramatic" fall in the quality of care in Portugal's health system - ranked 12th best in the world by the World Health Organization in 2000. The sector has also criticized the purchase of second-rate or obsolete equipment to cut costs and want the government to drop plans to use cheaper outside service providers instead of hiring additional staff, but one never hears that the Portuguese government is even contemplating sacking its worthy and highly-needed doctors while Tanzania with its few thousand doctors to cater for a population of over 44 mln people has sacked its valuable health personnel just for the mere sake of satisfying the ego and cocky arrogance of its shortsighted leadership – what low level of stupidity is this?
Winding up this letter, let me once again call on president Kikwete and his govt. to seize the opportunity, a God-sent one, however cynic this may sound, to clean-up the police force and intelligence services of corrupt and criminal elements in these structures and if it will be proven that indeed police and intelligence officials were involved in such horrendous crimes like the attack on Dr. Ulimboko, then Police Chiefs Saidi Mwema & Kova as well as the Chief of the Country’s Intelligence Service MUST resign. The Minister of Home Affairs should also go.