By Rose Athumani
Dodoma — Politicians have been accused of the killings of people with albinism and using the body parts in witchcraft rituals so they can win elections. Legislator Kasuku Bilango (Buyungu-Chadema), made the accusations yesterday during a one-day seminar on how Members of Parliament (MPs) can bridge equality with people living with disabilities in the country, stressing that during elections people with albinism live in fear of getting killed, while after the elections the killings stop.
“Politicians kill the albino, but after elections they live in peace because there are no more killings … why is it that the government does not kill these murderers? Many of who have been arrested,” Bilango wondered.
The Deputy Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMOs) Policy, Parliament, Labour, Youth and the Disable, Dr Abdallah Possi, said public education is the key to changing public perception on the albino and the myths about their body parts.
He said in the last general elections, killings of people with albinism was not as high as it has been recorded in previous elections, stressing that passing a hanging sentence to the culprits is not the solution but education is.
“It is our responsibility to provide public education to change public perception … legislators must educate the public in your constituencies so you can change the perception and traditional understanding of the albinos … Since the national assembly begun, none of you has ever asked me any questions with regard to disability, only legislators who are living with disabilities ask me questions,” he stated.
Legislator Kangi Lugola (Mwibara -CCM) said the Parliament must have in place an environment conductive to people living with disability, noting that they are unable to climb to administrative office, with Nagenjwa Kaboyoga (Same East – Chadema) wondering why the parliament does not employ people living with disabilities.
Legislator Susan Lyimo (Special Seats – Chadema) advised the parliament to put in place an elevator to assist those living with disabilities access the parliament’s administrative block.
Together with other legislators, Ms Lyimo blamed the government for having a policy and law that addresses issues of people living with disability in the country, including ensuring proper infrastructures in all institutions in the country.
Philipo Mulugo (Songwe – CCM) on the other hand wanted the government to have special desks and prioritize employment of people living with disabilities in the country, citing an example of disabled teachers who have not received employment for more than six years now.
Mulugo also wanted the Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner, Paul Makonda to expound on his directives to remove people with disabilities who are begging in the city’s streets, saying “What is the problem when someone passes by in a vehicle and hands out a 10,000/- to the beggars?”
Deputy Minister Possi said he does not support disabled people to be beggars in the streets, and supports RC Makonda’s move to remove them from the streets, but stressed on building of proper systems that will enable them to be self reliant.
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