FORGING of academic credentials, according to elites, can be described as a lack of confidence and selfishness on the part of the perpetrator. Selfishness creeps in when the forger fails to fulfill their job description due to a low level of education.
On the other hand, academic certificate faking is a source of employment when vacancies are occupied by non- professionals. The only recommended remedy to this bad behavior is reinforcement of the set legal punishment against the culprits, to nip the problem in the bud.
Laying an accent on the need to uproot the evil and cleanse society, President John Magufuli has warned that no certificate forger will remain safe during his reign. During the launch of the University of Dar es Salaam hostels recently, the President said he was waiting for a report believed to have contained about 9,000 certificate fraudsters, to react. “You can see to what extent this country has been plunged into total chaos.
We had as many as 19,000 ghost workers and 56, 000 ghost students who were benefiting from government loans,” said the President. Women activists have resolved to raise their voices in support of President Magufuli’s efforts to weed out bad elements in the civil service by introducing the elite women database, of women who possess clearly vetted academic credentials.
The database to be launched soon comprises women professionals in and outside the country.
It was activists from various non-governmental organization and civil societies, under the umbrella of Tanzania Gender Networking programme (TGNP) who reached such decision; saying the main objective of the data base, among others, is to persuade the government to consider women participation in leadership. The activists urged the President to start selecting names from the database, especially when revoking an appointment, saying women should be considered as a replacement.
TGNP Executive Director, Lilian Liundi assured the public that there are many competent professional women for every field, but have been forgotten in leadership matters despite their potential to bring positive change in society. “We have a good number of engineers, economists, environmentalists, doctors……Let our President give them a chance and see their capability in leadership,” she said. “We have already conducted a keen credentials’ vetting exercise to support the President’s agenda in eliminating fake academic certificates.
Further inspection would only be just the appointment formalities, this database is one hundred per cent reliable,” says Liundi. For sustainability of the database, activists recommended for quality in education for both male and female school children so as to produce many more female professionals.
They urged the government and other stakeholders to fight against all barriers denying the right to education for female children; recommending availability of sanitary pads as a starting point. The sanitary materials will help curb absenteeism; she said, adding that anecdotal findings showed that mature girls missed classes for not less than five days a month when in their menstrual cycle, equal to 60 days annually.
The situation created a wide gap between male and female scholars, said Selemani Bishangazi from Gender Information Center in Kipunguni, Dar es Salaam. According to Bishagazi, another educational gap stems from embracing outdated Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Kipunguni.
“The government has a long way to go in fighting this war,” he says. FGM practices have been carried simultaneously with early marriage; another disadvantage to the girls who are forced to drop out of school.
“Those are few areas that trigger gender inequality. We need collective efforts to set women free from any kind of discrimination,” he said. The women coalition said there was no way women leadership could be avoided, if Tanzania is to switch into industrial economy.
They cited all agricultural activities, one of the important sectors towards industrialization led by women for years; insisting that women are leaders by nature and should never be left behind. ACT-Wazalendo Chairperson Anna Mughwira, said women were less corrupt and urged President Magufuli to cast his eye on the potentiality of elite female, an under utilized human resource.
She discouraged favors like the special-seats saying that was not the kind of leadership women have been fighting for. She was of the view that, some of the nominated MPs have no leadership skills and played no significant role for society except for their personal gain.
“Very few of these MPs meet the leadership requirements and have no selfconfidence, which is an important leadership quality. Some special seats MPs don’t even contribute in the national assembly debate sessions,” she said.
A former veteran Member of Parliament (MP) Anna Abdallah appealed for unity among women to attain their goals over leadership matters; advising them to shun their political ideology differences.
She was speaking during the launch of a book which agitates for revival of new Constitution processes, written by the Coalition of Women and Constitution civil society. The Coalition is composed of various civil society and non-governmental organizations involved in previous new constitution processes.
Titled: “Our Energy, Our Voice: Joint Agenda in New Constitution Processes” the book was sponsored by Women Fund Tanzania “We belong to different political parties but agreed to form this Coalition specifically for pressurizing writing of a new Constitution.
Let us stick to our stand,” said Ms Abdallah, adding: “Remember Tanzanian women have so many unresolved issues, leadership opportunities being one of them. I dare say that the new Constitution is the only remedy, pull up your socks. Nothing is impossible on this planet as long as you do not break the law,” said Ms Abdallah.