Tanzanian President Magufuli’s odd prison reform that is a human rights ticking bomb

Nduta Waweru July 15, 2018
Photo: Reuters

Tanzania’s President John Maguguli has called for the reforms in prison management.

His recommendations, however, are rubbing human rights groups the wrong way. Top among the recommendations is that prisoners should be made to work ‘day and night’ and any lazy ones should be kicked.

“It is a shame for the country to continue to feed prisoners. All the prisons have fields, inmates must cultivate them. Some prison staff don’t have homes. Make the prisoners work, let them make bricks day and night. If they show laziness, kick them. You have labourers, and for free,” he said.

The president, nicknamed Bulldozer, was speaking at the inauguration of a new prisons chief on Saturday.

He also called for the end of conjugal visits, saying:

A man is in prison, leaving his wife outside, and a prison official receives this woman and authorises the prisoner to do things he is not supposed to do during his detention. I don’t want to hear talk of that any more.

He further attributed drug use and homosexuality in prisons to underemployment of prisoners.

Magufuli has been accused of curtailing human freedoms in the East African nation in many occasions including recently when he banned pregnant girls from schools.

A local advocacy group called Twaweza is in trouble after conducting a poll that showed the decreasing popularity of the president, who came into office in 2015.  They are required to provide an explanation as to the motive of the poll by Monday, July 15.

Last Edited by:Nduta Waweru Updated: July 15, 2018


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