IF BRITAIN IS BURNING, HOW SAFE IS TANZANIA?

Citizen Chief Reporter Lucas Liganga has been reflecting on what has been happening in Britain. Extracts:
‘The youth-engineered riots rocking some of the UK’s major cities have been described as a lesson for Tanzania to wake up, think and act. Political and social analysts have said that the riots in the UK are an indication that all is not well in our societies, adding that the line between peace and chaos is very thin indeed.’

Rakesh Rajani, the head of ‘Twaweza East Africa’, an initiative that promotes transparency and accountability in the region, said that Tanzania’s leadership and its professional classes should get their act together and focus on the frustrations facing the youth. “I was in London only one week ago,” he said, “and everything looked sunny and peaceful. A few days later some of these same places are in flames, and many people are hurt, angry, confused. For Tanzania, it should be the time to wake up, think and act about, for instance, the condition of the schools, the treatment of street hawkers and the dearth of opportunity for the young in the rural areas.”

Chadema Chairman Freedman Mbowe said the government’s policies should take into account the interests of the youth who comprise Tanzania’s majority. “The lesson we get from what is happening in the UK is that if there are no deliberate policies to address critical issues concerning the youth, we should expect such riots,” he said.

Executive Secretary of the Media Council of Tanzania, Kajubi Mukajanga, said that leaders should understand the reality that the young generation, who had a lot of expectations, was now starting to lose hope. He said the youth get frustrated when they see the country’s abundant natural resources benefiting only a handful of people, leaving the majority of them in poverty.

Zanzibar House of Representatives MP Ismail Jussa Ladhu (CUF), said most of the youth in the country were frustrated and a small event could trigger… riots across the country. He said: “We have natural resources but these are not used to uplift the youth. Only the few are enjoying these resources. They feel excluded and frustrated.”

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